by guest blogger Holly Walck Kostura, certified Iyengar Yoga teacher
First, if you are reading this blog, you have taken the form of a human being; karmically speaking, this precious human life we've been given is very hard to come by.
As human beings, we grow and develop outward--engaging with the phenomenal world via our five organs of action and five organs of perception. This evolution from the core to the skin, from the skin to the world brings with it life's joys and sorrows, pleasures, and pains. The sorrows and pains are considered negative stressors or reactions that disturb our physical or mental balance. Stressors are pollutants that enter into the body/mind from the outer environment and disrupt that equilibrium.
Whether acute or chronic, stress becomes distress when it is not purged from our body-mind. In his article, "Yoga: De-stress the Stress," (Astadala Yogamala, Volume 3) B.K.S. Iyengar theorizes that our evolution away from the core of our being has caused this pollution and that the involution process made possible by the practice of yoga is the solution.
He writes, "Yoga not only acts as a shock absorber but also helps in rebuilding and reconstructing energy to combat the destructive and the offensive energy that creates further stress and strain."
When we don't take time to maintain our vehicle (the body) and its engine (the mind), they fall into disrepair. For example, when your tires are not maintained at their recommended pressure, they wear prematurely and have to be replaced before their recommended tread life. The same deterioration happens to our hearts if they are under consistent high pressure; they wear out too soon.
There are eight petals on the yoga flower: social restraints, personal observances, postures, energy management in the form of breath control and sense control, concentration, meditation, and absorption. These individual practices combine into one holistic, healing therapy for all of humankind.
The following yoga sequence starts with actions that loosen the stiff outer body, builds toward deep, internal cleansing, and ends with poses that create a divine blossoming of the pure inner being.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free
And may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life
Contribute to that happiness and freedom for all.
Yoga for Purification and Healing
Vinyasa to Warm Up the Lower Body
Intense Stretch of the Raised Back and Legs Pose (Uttana Padasana)
Gate Pose (Parighasana)
Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
Revolved Seated Angle Pose (Parivrtta Upavistha Konasana)
Revolved Seated Forward Extension (Parivrtta Paschimottanasana) & Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)
Note: Practice a supported version of Savasana and do 6-8 cycles of Bhramari Pranayama.
Holly Walck Kostura uses the healing practices of Ayurveda and Iyengar Yoga to secure her to the core of her being. Combining her bachelor's degree in nursing with her certification in Iyengar Yoga gives her the ability to approach her students from a place of wholeness and infuse her yoga classes with a unique flavor. Find her online at yogawithholly.com.
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com