Asana practice for the soul
Inspiration for the way of practice
This way of asana practice is inspired mainly by the philosophy of Heinz Grill, who in his book ‘The Soul Dimension of Yoga’, describes an approach that meets the need to work from the thought life onto the physical body rather than the route given from the ancient past, which moves from the body towards a state of mind.
In this way, to him:
‘Yoga itself is much more a growing, conscious attitude of the soul.’ (Heinz Grill)
Inspiration for classes also come from the teachings of an
Integral yoga path as described by Sri Aurobindo,
the asana sequences from Swami Sivanada,
the movement exercises from Bothmer,
From these inspirations I hope you will find a way of practising that rejuvenates you whole being, rather than take up an exercise practice that energetically vitalises the physical body.
extend to the outside
For the last eighteen years, I have been practising and studying a creative approach to Yoga based on the idea of a New Yoga Will as inspired by spiritual teacher Heinz Grill.
I continue to study this contemporary path of yoga with Heinz Grill, attending lectures on spiritual individuation and its application into everyday life, as well as yoga teacher training courses. In the links section, you can read more about Heinz Grill and his work, as well as courses on offer in Italy where he resides.
My yoga teaching is certified through Yoga Alliance, UK.
I completed a yoga teacher training course in 2006 and I continue to attend various courses to refresh and deepen my capacities. My background in Physical Movement Exercise is based upon twenty years as a Physical Education teacher to children. During this time, I taught P.E. and yoga at the Swaminarayan Hindu School in North London to children and adults. I have also completed a four year training in Bothmer Movement Exercises. And am interested in movement as it expresses itself in people and in plants.
Today, I continue to teach yoga to adults and children in the community in which I live and work. As well as carry out work as a natural gardener, see www.thenaturalsussexgardener.com
Aim of our practice
Asana practice is an activity of the soul seeking connection to a movement quality, which it wants to express through the body.
Asana vary in their shape and form, as well as in their various movement qualities. These movement qualities relate to the 7 cakra, or the 7 soul centres, and have been described from the insight of yoga master Heinz Grill, and can be found in his book 'The soul dimension of yoga'. Here you will find these movement qualities being described:
in the Tree
extending into a lighter, freer space
in the Scales
flowing in a unified dynamic, in
the Standing head to knee
direct, decisive action
in the Standing splits
In classes we develop a sense for these movement qualities and as we learn to bring these into expression not only do we give a better strengthening and flexibility to the body, but we develop qualities which support us in our everyday life.
For example, in the Tree we experience ‘being upright’,
not only as a capacity to hold the body upright,
but also as an inner capacity to hold ‘upright’ an inner sense of self,
which stands in a unique and dignified way, free from outer pressures.
So in everyday life, rather than being distracted or pulled off balance
and away from ones self, we practise the art of maintaining a calm,
centred view point from which we can look upon outer life in a more composed way.
Hence asana practice is integrated, it cultivates soul-like movement qualities that connect into social life as well as the physical body, it promotes and enriches social health and individual health.
How we practice
Most forms of asana practice these days work from the body towards a state of mind,
here it’s the opposite, we work from the mind towards the body.
As the mind views the idea of a movement quality, and as it expresses itself upon the body,
so we bring the soul forces of thinking, feeling and willing into activity.
With the thinking
we draw up the image of the yoga pose in its idea and physical form –
eg in the tree, sense self in the middle of an upright spine.
With the feeling
we unfold a sensitive
sense or subtle feeling for a sense of self in uprightness.
With the will
we begin to move,
inwardly and outwardly with the
newly created arising picture of a sense of self in uprightness.
This way of practising yoga is inspired by the idea of a new yoga will,
which stands in contrast to the old yoga will.
An old yoga will stimulates an energetic vitalising of the body, which creates state of mind. It takes something from the body.
A new will in yoga, however, is the result of a mindful activity, which creates new aesthetic movement and leads to new insights, which promote health for body and soul. It gives something new to the body.
This way of practising offers a new step on the yoga path …. read more with this article.