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:

Women's Series Workshops - Yoga for Menopause - Saturday 30 November 1.00-4.00pm

A yoga practice is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.  As practitioners we need to adjust our yoga practice to support ourselves during times when the body, mind and emotions are moving through transitions.  Knowing the asanas to practice around those times of flux when the body is energetically different has a profound impact on the way we move through this stage.  Taking time to learn and accommodate the body’s responses to these transitions is an essential part of every woman’s practice.  

The workshop focusses on the asanas that give energy when needed, or calm the nervous system and adrenals to find balance during this transition.  This is a really important workshop for all women approaching menopause or making the transition.  Just as important are the asanas to practice post menopause when hormones have settled and the change upon the body needs to be managed to take us into a healthy third stage of our lives.

Cost:  $45 each which includes notes.

 

What's Happening in November, December and January

November

Women's Series Workshops - Yoga for Menopause 

Saturday 30 November 1.00-4.00pm

This is an important workshop for all women nearing, in the middle of or post this transition.  Hormones change, and the way we practise needs to accommodate the body's response to change. This workshop is essential for women to maintain their yoga practice and find balance and a positive attitude during this time and especially for the years afterwards.  The cost is $45 and includes notes and sequences.

December

Relax and Restore Class

Sun 1 December 9.30-11.00am

This is the final Restorative class for 2010.  I encourage all students to come along and take some time out from the busy, crazy pre-Christmas hype and spend some time on the mat to ground and centre, re-energising and cruise through til Christmas.  This class is not open to make ups.  Casual rate $23.

Yoga Room Christmas Gathering

Friday 6 December 5.00-8.00pm

To celebrate another year of Yoga and to meet and chat to other students, join Steph, Fiona, Sharon and myself for nibbles and refreshments.  The gathering will be at my home and you are welcome to come for a short time or for the duration.  I will provide some food and nonalcoholic refreshments.  You are free to bring whatever you who like to drink plus your wonderful Self.  If you would like to bring a plate of something small to eat, that would also be welcome but not necessary.

The Yoga Room will close on Saturday 21 December after Led Practice and reopen for casual classes on Thursday 2 January.

January 2020

The New Year is an opportunity to start over again and to renew your focus and commitment to what is important in your life.  Make 2020 your 'Year of Yoga' and join us for the following classes to kickstart your commitment.

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

 

All classes are suitable for all levels and all students are encouraged to attend.

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 - Find your Centre

Wednesday pm 22 January to Saturday am 25 January

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 four days.  It is a time to reflect on our practice and contemplate how it's possible to be present in a world that is consistently drawing us away from our centre and away from a sense of peace and stillness.  We will incorporate basic Meditation, Mindfulness  and restful, or Restorative Yoga, to help silence the mind and find our centre.  Asana and Pranayama are also 'of meditation' if practised with mindfulness and observation.  From this space of clarity we will set our goals for 2020 in a short workshop that walks you through the steps needed to create relevant and achievable goals and to be accountable to pursue them.

 Wed 22 January 5.45-7.30pm Restorative/Pranayama/Meditation
Thursday 23 Jan

6.30-8.00am and

5.45-7.30pm

Asana

Restorative/Pranayama

Friday 24 January

6.30-8.00am and 

5.45-7.30pm

Asana

Restorative/Pranayama

Saturday 25 January 8.30-10.30am Asana/Meditation
Saturday 25 January 11.30-1.00pm Workshop - Setting Goals for 2020
 

Further details on the flyer.  Bookings for Intensive to be paid in class or via direct deposit.

Term 1 2020 Bookings and Price Rise

I will open bookings for Term 1 2020 on Monday 9 December.  Due to escalating overheads, the price of classes will rise slightly next year.  A term of 10 classes (1 class per week) will be $190, a term of 10 classes (2 classes per week) will be $335, a casual class will be $24 and a casual student or pensioner $20.  However, if you pay for your term classes by 31 December, you will receive the current prices.  Prices for Led Practice will remain the same.  If you enrol for two classes per week, you are welcome to attend Led Practice for free.  Thank you for your understanding and I look forward to having you all in class again next year.

 

January Holiday Timetable 2020

The New Year is an opportunity to start over again and to renew your focus and commitment to what is important in your life.  Make 2020 your 'Year of Yoga' and join us for the following classes: 

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
Wednesday 22 Jan (pm) to Saturday 25 Jan (am) 6.30-8.00am and 5.30-7.00pm Intensive with Tricia (see flyer for details.  Six, four and two session attendance available).

 

All classes and the Intensive suitable for all levels and all students are encouraged to attend.

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 open on Monday 9 December.

Intensive Wednesday 22 Jan pm - Saturday 26 January am 2020

Tricia will again hold a January Intensive for students to come together and spend time on the mat consistently over a number of days.

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 four days.  It is a time to reflect on our practice and contemplate how it's possible to be present in a world that is consistently drawing us away from our centre and away from a sense of peace and stillness.  The following quote from "Yoga for a World Out of Balance' will be our starting point for the Intensive:

'Action begins in our present circumstances.  In our distracted, busy, entertainment-driven culture, it is not only hard to slow down but also to pay attention to that which is outside of our preferences and expectations.  It is difficult to be present from moment to moment in our attention-deficit society.  

Being distracted and caught in habitual patterns of addiction and adversion leads to a life of alienation and apathy.  It becomes hard to find a centre.  A centre, in this case, connotes sensitivity to our own body and the body of the world, to our own mind and to the minds of others, and to the effects of our speech both internally and externally.  Lost in self-judgment, guilt, blame, anxiety, or depression, it becomes hard to take in a world outside of our own thoughts and feelings.  Not receiving and responding to a world beyond these limiting symptoms reinforces those very symptoms and cuts us off from others and ourselves.'

As we reflect on what it means to be sensitive and present from moment to moment, we will incorporate Asana, Pranayama (breath work), and Restorative or restful Yoga, to help silence the mind and find our centre.  All these elements of Yoga Practice are 'of meditation' if practised with mindfulness and observation.  

From this space of clarity we will set our goals for 2020 in a short workshop that walks you through the steps needed to create relevant and achievable goals and to be accountable to pursue them.

 Wed 22 January 5.30-7.30pm Restorative/Pranayama/Meditation
Thursday 23 January

6.30-8.00am and

5.45-7.30pm

Active Asana

Restorative/Pranayama

Friday 24 January

6.30-8.00am and 

5.45-7.30pm

Active Asana

Restorative/Pranayama

Saturday 25 January 8.30-10.45am

Asana/Meditation

Saturday 25 January 11.30-1.00pm

Workshop - Setting Goals for 2020

 

 

Attendance at all 6 sessions is recommended as the Intensive is taught as a complete learning unit, but the following variations are offered:

sessions  $180 + free Setting Goals Workshop

sessions  $150 (add $30 for Setting Goals Workshop)

Sessions  $130 (add $30 for Setting Goals Workshop)

A deposit of $30 is required upon booking.

Book in class or email Tricia.

 

Weekend Workshop - suitable for all levels Sat 2 & Sun 3 November

Participating in a weekend workshop gives us time to meet on the mat and look at the practice of yoga at a deeper level.  Whether we are beginners or have been attending classes for a few years, we are all students and have much to learn.  

Yoga is not about looking good or holding the pose for great lengths of time.  It is about working to your capacity, being steady and focussed, listening to instruction and being present.  This workshop is suitable for all levels and all students are very welcome.

Options for Attendance:

All three sessions:  $150

Two Sessions:        $120.

Bookings on line for 3 sessions:

https://orangeyogaroom.com.au/collections/all/products/weekend-workshop

or contact tricia@orangeyogaroom.com.au for 2 session option.

Sat 2 November 3.00-5.30pm Restoratives and Yoga Nidra
Sun 3 November 8.00-10.30pm Asana
Sun 3 November 3.00-5.30pm Restoratives and Pranayama

Yoga News

Weekend Workshop Sat 2 and Sun 3 November - How can practising Yoga bring the mind to silence?’.

I am teaching a weekend workshop this Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 November.  This workshop represents a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of Yoga and to spend time exploring some of the yoga asanas in more detail.  It takes us out of the class format and into a 3 session format.  The morning asana will be active and the afternoon sessions will be restorative or we will practice Pranayama (breathing techniques).   All levels are welcome - please confirm your attendance by Friday 5pm by emailing or placing your name on the enrolment sheet at TYRO.  Flyer with details at Yoga Room. 

 

Sat 2 Nov 3.00-5.30pm Restoratives and Yoga Nidra
Sun 3 Nov 8.00-10.30am Active Asana
3.00-5.30pm

Restoratives and Pranayama

Cost:   $150 all 3 sessions or $120 for 2 sessions.  It is preferable to attend all sessions.

Women’s Workshop - Yoga for a health Transition through Menopause - Sat 30 November 1.00-4.00pm 

Learn the asanas that give energy when needed, calm the nervous system and adrenals to find balance during this transition.  An important workshop for all women who are approaching menopause, making the transition or who are postmenoausal. Cost $45 which includes notes.

Relax and Restore Class Sunday 1 December 9.30-11.00am

This is the last restful class for this year so come along a de-stress, take some time for yourself and feel ready to face the busy month of December.  All levels welcome - casual attendance $23. This class is not open to make up classes.

Christmas Gathering and term dates

We will again have a Christmas gathering to allow students of The Yoga Room to catch up and chat over something to eat and drink.  Date and venue tbc.

Missed Classes

A reminder that all missed classes must be made up this term.  Classes cannot be carried over til 2020.  Please note the Relax and Restore class is not open to make up classes.

Intensive January 2020 and holiday classes 

I will again hold the Intensive in January.  Dates 22-26 January - tbc and flyer to follow.  There will also be casual classes throughout January.  This is an excellent way to prepare for the New Year and Term 1.

Iyengar Yoga Australia Convention May 2020

I encourage all students to look at attending the Iyengar Yoga Convention next year on the Sunshine Coast.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet yoga students from all around Australia and to attend classes with Iyengar’s granddaughter Abhi.   Here is the link:  https://iyengaryoga.asn.au/abhijata2020/.   If you are looking to share accommodation with another student from The Yoga Room, I will place a list on the table so you can communicate to organise a room mate.