Deconstructing Lolasana

Some poses come easily for some of us and other asanas are difficult.  We all have poses that we think we will never be able to do in a million years!!  However, I disagree with this thinking.  The beauty of having a regular home practice means that you can 'study' the asana that is your most difficult, instead of avoiding it.  Below is my example of breaking down and studying a difficult pose.  This method can be applied to any pose.

Lolasana - the mother of all poses! - and I don't mean that in a nice way!!

Lolasana is a pose that has always eluded me.  My issue was that I couldn't seem to get my brain around what was actually required.  Because I couldn't understand Lolasana academically I didn't have a way of translating the 'thinking' of the pose to the 'doing' of the pose.  I came across an excellent article by Richard Rosen which has allowed me to find a path to understand and practice the pose.  At Teacher's Practice last Friday we followed his reasoning and we all commented on how useful this was.  I hope the following will help you to understand Lolasana too, when you are ready to take it on.  

Breaking down or deconstructing Lolasana, or any asana, is a great way to practice.

Benefits of the Pose

Strengthens wrists, tones arms, develops abdominal muscles and strengthens back muscles.

Contraindications

Wrist injuries, shoulder pain or serious neck issues.

Round the Torso

Start on the hands and knees with your knees below the hips.  Place your hands a few centimetres in front of your shoulders, spread your palms and press the mounds of your index fingers to the floor.  On an exhalation press your tailbone down toward the floor and forward toward your pubic bone and round your back up toward the ceiling to create an arch.  Let your head hang to release the back of your neck and lengthen as much as possible between the tip of your coccyx and the base of your skull.  

Spread your shoulder blades as far away from your spine as possible, as if you're wrapping them around the sides of your torso.  Counter this outward movement by hugging the outer arms inward, as if you were squeezing the arms together.  Combining these two actions helps to round your back and strengthen your arms.  Your back torso will form a lovely arch (in a perfect world)!  In a perfect world the space between the shoulder blades should lift, instead of sinking to the floor.

The Arms

As per the energy channels that yogis mapped out thousands of years ago, the outer arm channel runs from the shoulder to the little finger (down the outer arm), while the inner channel runs from the base of the index finger up to the shoulder (up the inner arm).  On your hands and knees again, round your back by spreading the scapulas into the resistance of the outer arms from shoulder to floor.  Then, the counter action is from the mound of the index finger to the shoulder.  Feel how the outer arm channel anchors you to the floor (creating an earth element in the pose) and the inner arm channel lifts you toward the ceiling.  Hold this circuit for a few breaths then release back to a neutral position.  Repeat a few times.

The Belly

The belly is the final part of the jigsaw. On your hands and knees again in a table top position, round your back again but now lift the navel towards your spine and reduce the space between your pubis and sternum.  Counter the lift of your navel by pressing your index finger mounds into the floor.  Hold for 15-30 seconds, then release and take a few breaths.

Putting it Together

Use blocks under the hands (as per the image from our Friday Teachers' Practice).  Kneel with your thighs and torso perpendicular to the floor and hands on blocks beside the hips.  Cross your right ankle under your left, sit your buttocks back on your left heel - warming:  this is not pleasant.  

Press your hands to the blocks and on an inhalation, lengthen your front torso.  On an exhalation, round up your torso, lift your knees away from the floor but keep your feet on the ground.   Work on all of the points for the belly, arms, scapulas and hands.   This is the first step.  Hold for 15-30 seconds.  Repeat on the other side.

The next stage is to do what you just did but this time lift the shins away from the floor as your lift your knees on an exhalation.  Lastly, with the right ankle below the left, lift your left knee off the floor, then when you exhale into your round ball, push that knee downward, using the right ankle as a fulcrum, and squeeze your right shin firmly up.  The left leg will act like a lever to lift the ball of your body away from the floor.  Hold for as long as you can then reverse and do on the other side.  When finished, sit back on the heels with a straight spine for a few breaths.

As Richard Rosen quotes in his article on Lolasana, 'Remember what Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita:  On this path no effort is wasted, no gain is ever reversed'.  Level 2 students will particularly appreciate that quote as they have been studying the Gita.

Other articles:

Casual Class Tues 28 January and Start Dates for Term 1

I hope that all students have enjoyed a break and are ready to come back to class for Term 1 2020.  I am really looking forward to seeing you all again to begin a new year of yoga.  Steph, Fiona and Sharon are also excited to begin a new term with continuing students to start 2020 with a positive commitment to the practice of yoga.

Term 1 starts on Monday 3 February.  Please enrol online at https://orangeyogaroom.com.au/collections/all.  On line payments can be made by PayPay, direct deposit or credit card.  If paying cash or cheque, please let me know you are committing to a class and I can place you on the appropriate class role. 

Casual class Tuesday 28 January

I will teach a casual class next Tuesday for those students who wish to get back on the mat in preparation for the start of the new term.  All levels welcome and encouraged.  You can use the casual booking button on line or pay cash in class on the night.  I look forward to seeing you next week!

 

YogArt - Yoga and Art for Children Wed 22 January

We will again hold YogArt in the January holidays 2020.  This workshop is a fun and healthy way for children to express themselves and learn yoga in a nonjudgmental, friendly environment.  We start with a yoga session followed by a snack, then art led by Abigail Hawke who is a primary school teacher.  We have fun exploring yoga poses within a story or an adventure.  We use our imagination, move our bodies and learn some mindful ways of working together as a group and individuals.  Sometimes the teachers have more fun than the students!

3-6yrs    9.00-10.45am - Yoga and Art

7-12yrs  11.00am-1.00pm - Yoga and Art

The workshops include yoga and art tuition, snacks and art supplies.

Please arrive 5mins before your session and bring a drink bottle and a paint shirt to keep clothes protected.

BOOKINGS:   HTTPS://ORANGEYOGAROOM.COM.AU/COLLECTIONS/ALL OR CONTACT TRICIA@ORANGEYOGAROOM.COM.AU.

 

Term 1 2020, Casual Holiday Classes in January, and January Intensive

Enrolment for Term 1 2020

Wishing all our students a wonderful 2020 filled with learning and progression along the path of yoga.  Term 1 commences on Monday 3 February and if you haven't yet enrolled, please do so asap.  Enrolments are open on line or you may pay a deposit by placing $20 in an envelope and delivering it under Yoga Room door to secure your place.  

Casual Holiday classes

If you're still procrastinating after a holiday, now is the time to get on the mat and start 2020 by rebooting your yoga practice.  All students are very welcome to join Steph for the remaining two holiday classes.  All the classes are casual and open to all levels.  

The new casual rate for 2020 is $24, but for the January classes, it will remain at $23.

Thursday 16 Jan 9.30-11.00am Casual Class with Steph
Tuesday 21 Jan 6.00-7.30pm

Casual Class with Steph

 

Bookings for Casual classes can paid in class on the day or on line at https://orangeyogaroom.com.au.  Use Tuesday 5.15pm and Thursday 9.30am Casual Class booking buttons.

January Intensive 22-25 January

There are still places left in the Intensive and all students are welcome to attend.  The Intensive format gives us the time to develop and refine our yoga practice and to experience the effects of steady, consistent progression over these 4 days. There are 6 Sessions as follows:

Wednesday 22 January 5.30pm-7.30pm – Asana/Restorative
Thursday 23 & Friday 24 January 6.30-8.00am - Active Asana
Thursday 23 & Friday 24 January 5.45-7.30pm - Restorative/Pranayama
Saturday 25 January 8.30am-10.45am - Asana
Saturday 25 January 11.30am-1.00pm – Setting Goals for 2020 Workshop.


Attendance at all 6 sessions is recommended as the Intensive is taught as a complete learning unit, but the following variations are offered:
6 sessions $180 +free Setting Goals Workshop
5 sessions $150 (add $30 for Setting Goals Workshop)
4 Sessions $130 (add $30 for Setting Goals Workshop).

A deposit of $30 is required upon booking.  Please email me with your intention to attend and specify which sessions you will attend.  I will then email you bank deposit details.

Setting Goals Workshop

This workshop is separate to the Intensive and students are welcome to attend the workshop without attending the Intensive.  Students who attend all 6 sessions of the Intensive may attend the workshop free of charge.   Bookings essential.

Steph, Fiona, Sharon and myself look forward to spending another term on the mat progressing and learning together in Term 1 2020.

Happy New Year - 2020: A New Decade

Happy New Year to everyone in our yoga community!  

I know most of you have heard this before (because I say it every year), BUT .......  I do love the New Year.  The promise of a fresh start and the infinite possibilities that come with it, is irresistible.  2020 is also a new decade, which is twice as exciting.  

Setting Goals  Workshop Saturday 25 January 11.30am-1.00pm

Setting goals gives us direction, momentum and extends us to look more deeply at what we want to achieve.  Setting goals is a great way to help us have a purpose and to make ourselves accountable.  At the beginning of each year I set my goals for the next three months, for one year, 3 yrs and 5 yrs.  If you would like to do the same, join me for the Setting Goals Workshop on 25 January.  I would love to take you through this process and set you up for 2020 and into the future.  We may even make a 10 year goal to celebrate the new decade.  You may wish to set some goals around your yoga practice.  You may wish to practice Headstand (Sirsasana) proficiently, get your health on track, improve your finances or find some balance with family and work.  The cost is $30 and is open to anyone.  Friends and family are welcome.  The Setting Goals Workshop is free to students attending all sessions of the Intensive (22 January to 25 January).

Begin the new decade with positivity and direction!  Contact me to enrol in this workshop.  You will be most welcome!

Give the Gift of Health for Christmas

I hope you are staying calm and centred in the face of this frantic time leading up to Christmas.  As part of the usual last minute shopping, I have had a few calls for gift vouchers over the past few days.   I am working from home and happy to be available for anyone wanting a voucher for classes or yoga equipment up until 3.00pm on Christmas Eve.  There is loads of equipment in stock, ready and waiting to find a home and get put to work on the mat.

Fiona, Steff, Sharon and myself wish all our students a healthy, safe and fun Christmas with lots of laughs, the odd present and happy times with family and friends.  

Until 2020, stay well and keep practising your yoga!

January 2020 Holiday Timetable

Begin 2020 by renewing your commitment to your yoga practice.  Consistent, regular practice brings rewards in many ways.  Practising yoga regularly encourages a healthy lifestyle, a positive attitude and an ability to remain centred when the world around is unpredictable, overwhelming or just plain busy.  All students are very welcome to join Steph for the following classes to maintain their practice over the holidays.  All the classes are casual and open to all levels.  

The new casual rate for 2020 is $24, but for the January classes, it will remain at $23.

Thursday 2 Jan 9.30-11.00am Casual Class with Steph
Tuesday 7 Jan 6.00-7.30pm Casual Class with Steph
Thursday 9 Jan 9.30-11.00am Casual Class with Steph
Tuesday 14 Jan 6.00-7.30pm Casual Class with Steph
Thursday 16 Jan 9.30-11.00am Casual Class with Steph
Tuesday 21 Jan 6.00-7.30pm Casual Class with Steph

 

Bookings for Casual classes can paid in class on the day or on line at https://orangeyogaroom.com.au.  Use Tuesday 5.15pm and Thursday 9.30am Casual Class booking buttons.

Bookings for Intensive to be paid in class or via direct deposit.

Term 1 2020 commences on Monday 3 February and is a 10 week term for all students.  Term 1 2020 bookings opened on Monday 9 December.