This well-rounded advanced level forward bend class will feature both standing and seated poses. The main focus will be directed at opening up the groin area. We will start off with some standing poses and move on to the seated portion of the class, which, apart from forward bends, will also include some seated twists and some more static poses, such as Siddhasana and Padmasana.
Guruji used to say that when you do an action, you should watch for the reaction. Then you will know what action needs to follow. However, we often skip the observation stage and thus miss a lot of information that could help us in our practice. This is why today, as we do the actions, we will be paying extra attention to the response within the body.
We will look at the various challenges that stand in our way when we are practising yoga, especially when it involves forward bends. These challenges will differ greatly depending on the pose and the person performing it but, regardless of these differences, the goal stays the same: to bring ourselves back to the centre, to balance ourselves out.
For more advanced students, these challenges may manifest themselves as a tightness in one side of the body or an injury or trauma that gets in the way of going deep into a pose. The benefit of the challenges is that they make us pay more attention to different aspects of our practice. The tight or injured part of the body is almost like a child that misbehaves — you can’t ignore it. And trying to overcome this obstacle takes you out of your comfort zone. But by managing to do so, you grow and become more confident in your practice.
As you’re going through the sequence, pay attention, especially with asymmetric poses, to where in the body the negative response (or tightness) is generated. Also, explore the concept of your “capacity” — don’t overstretch; trust your body to guide you to your limit and don’t push beyond that. The minute you feel resistance, stop and observe: the resistance is what teaches us. Ask yourself this: What can I do to create the “green light,” the space that I need to move forward? And remember: don’t force, just explore.