Pose of the Week: Chaturanga Dandasana

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 11:42
This week’s pose is Chaturanga Dandasana.  Chatur means four and Anga means limb. Danda means a staff. Asana means posture or pose. So it’s four limbs staff pose.
 
Iyengar Yoga is based on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. These are a collection of 196 Indian aphorisms on the theory and practice of yoga. They were compiled by the Sage Patanjali around 400CE. Previously the transference of yoga knowledge was largely an oral tradition. The Yoga Sutras are one of the foundational texts of yoga philosophy.
 
Patanjali defines yoga as having eight limbs. These are described in detail in the second chapter (pada) of the 4 padas of The Yoga Sutras.
 
The 8 limbs are:
 
Yama - ethical disciplines 
Niyama - individual discipline
Asana - posture/pose
Pranayama - regulation of the breath
Pratyhara - sense withdrawal
Dharana - act of concentration
Dhyana - meditation
Samadhi - absorption.
 
You can see that asana is only one limb of the 8 limbs. The Yamas come first and they are rules for living in a society. Without following these guidelines the emotions of greed, desire and attachment bring pain, violence and ignorance. The Niyamas refer to individual discipline, such as purity of body, contentment, continuous effort, self-education and surrender. 
 
Monday night’s beginners learning Chaturanga Dandasana using support of the bolster.
 
The practice of Asana ensures that the body is a fit vehicle for the soul. BKS Iyengar says “By practising them one develops agility, balance, endurance and great vitality.” (Light on Yoga p.20) Prana means breath, life, vitality and Ayama means control or restraint. So Pranayama is the control of the breath. “These rhythmic patterns strength the respiratory system, soothe the nervous system and reduce craving. As desires and cravings diminish, the mind is set free and becomes a fit vehicle for concentration.” (p.21) It also brings about Pratyhara, freedom from the pull of the senses to external objects of desire. And this leads to Dharana or concentration on a single point with complete absorption. The mind becomes clear and focused. Then the mind becomes fit for meditation, Dhyana. The last stage is called Samadhi. It is pure freedom beyond common understanding. Samadhi is seeing the soul face to face, a state where all differences between the body, mind and soul are dissolved.

Level one class practising and enjoying ;) Chaturanga Dandasana 
 
Learn more about your yoga in a progressive 4 week course to learn techniques to practice Pranayama and to develop an understanding of Yogic Philosophy. Second class this week on Wednesday 12th June 8.15pm, book your place:
 
 
See you on the mat :)
 
Namaste,
Nicole Schroeter
Certified Iyengar Teacher
 
Yoga Path
 
 
Become an Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Undertake Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training wtith Nicole at Yoga Path Newport Apply Here
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