An Introduction to Yoga by Annie Besant

By Annie Besant

An summary of Yoga philosophy.

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Extra info for An Introduction to Yoga

Example text

Sitting on the mat on the floor, position yourself directly in front of the chair but facing away from it, so your upper spine rests against the chair seat. You want to place your upper, or thoracic, spine against the back of the chair, just above the lower tips of your shoulder blades; if you have a shorter spine, use a folded blanket under your sitting bones to elevate you to the right position. Clasp your hands behind your head, with your fingers interlaced and your elbows wide. Begin by arching your spine over the seat of the chair, lifting up and over, toward the seat of the chair.

As this area opens up, you will likely be able to move to the next stage Stage 2. If and when it is comfortable to move into a deeper stretch, bring the forearms and the backs of the hands toward each other, keeping the left elbow tucked firmly under the right. Stop when you feel a stretch in your upper back, and simply press the backs of the hands toward each other, or against one another if they are touching (Figure 4B). Stage 3. Next, if the backs of the hands touch, and you are still comfortable to move a bit deeper, begin to wrap the arms.

Ideally you want to feel these bones pressing slightly into the chair or your prop. Place your hands on your hips, and let your pelvis rock slightly up and down so the muscles of the hip sockets loosen up and you find the most upright position for the pelvis. The front hipbones should be lifting slightly off the thighbones, and the sacrum should be moving in and up toward your head, rather than slumping back toward the back of the chair. This rocking motion of the pelvis should help you feel the healthy movement of the hip sockets rolling over the thighbones and also the difference between a collapsed spine and a spine that is supported by the rotation and lift of the pelvis.

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