This month, we turn attention to yoga sutra 2.46: The posture (asana) for yoga meditation should be steady, stable, and motionless, as well as comfortable, and this is the third of the eight rungs of yoga (sthira sukham asanam). Ideally, the head, neck, and hips are in alignment; in turn, the feeling of being balanced reduces the need for effort to maintain the pose. It is also ideal to balance in such a way that you are not slouched or leaning into a chair or couch back. The purpose of this alignment is to avoid becoming drowsy, as meditation is practiced in an alert and a waking state.
However, it is also critical to remember the underlying principle of yoga: do no harm. If you have an injury or limitation that prevents you from sitting comfortably, find any posture that allows you to be steady and comfortable—even if it means lying in savasana. When the spine is in alignment, and the body is not distracted with discomfort, you can then focus on opening sushumna, the central energy channel in the spine. In any posture, opening sushumna can be aided with alternate nostril breathing and by focusing the attention on the cartilage that separates the left and right nostril while you are breathing diaphragmatically.
And always remember the goal of all practice is to ascend to higher states of consciousness where we feel connected in the present moment, courageous, compassionate, curious, and contented.
October updates and special events:
- Seventh anniversary events. Although 4yoga’s actual anniversary was Sept. 27, we will celebrate in October with three events: a potluck party after the Yin class on Fri., Oct. 5; a book club discussion at 1:30 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 7; and an open house with free mini-classes beginning at noon on Sat., Oct. 20.
- Yoga and Meditation at The Downing Museum. In October, Leslie will teach the Yoga@the Museum class on Sat., Oct. 13, and Alice will lead the Meditation@the Museum session on Sat., Oct. 27. Both classes meet at 10:30 a.m. For details and to register, see the links above or collect one of the rack cards at the studio.
- Teacher change for Saturday 7 a.m. class. Although Ashley has decided to take a break from teaching the 7 a.m. class on Saturdays, a rotating roster of teachers has volunteered to teach it during October. Join Cassandra, Tori, Chie, and Leslie to start your Saturdays with a practice!
- Living Our Yoga Yin class. On Friday, Oct. 19, Angie continues the monthly Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with an exploration of this month’s yoga sutra, 2.46: sthira sukham asanam.
For a full list of October classes, please see the calendar page or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. We also post the day’s class(es) each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.