Introduction to Anjali Yoga
Manual of ANJALI YOGA
(First 3 series)
Asanas for Blossoming, Blessing and Celebration
ANJALI YOGA is a Yoga Mandala that is offering postures & practices from many sacred traditions as well as new ways to dance the Sacred Geometry of our human body and to experience our Bliss Body.
ANJALI YOGA is an open and co-creatively evolving outline of practices for Consciousness Expansion, Breathing, Global Blessing and Spirit Celebration. The first 3 series focus on personal practices. Future series will focus on partner and group practices and dances.
Receive ANJALI YOGA as a blueprint that you can evolve in spontaneous ways, a model to adapt to your own needs and awareness, and a gift to pass on to others the Bliss of Being.
ANJALI YOGA is an open invitation to dance the Body of Light by activating the Kundalini currents of life force nurturing the human hologram, a bliss-scented FLOWER.
If you would like to occasionally join
Aya's daily practice of ANJALI YOGA in Sedona,
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(Scroll down for 1 and 2. Click on 3, 4 and 5)
1. Introductory Remarks
2. Preliminary Practices:
• Anjali Mudra
• Posture & Gaze
• Grounding Line & Spirit Line
• Energy Circulation
3. Anjali Series #1: postures & descriptions
4. Anjali Yoga Series #2: postures & descriptions
5. Anjali Yoga Series #3: postures & descriptions
Anjali Yoga is a program of:
The StarWheel Foundation
The StarWheel School of Mandalas & Sacred Arts
The Sedona School of Sacred Geometry
1. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
• Each series starts with bowing to Self (and each other), using the Anjali Mudra. Anjali, in Sanskrit, means to honor & celebrate (see Preliminary Practices).
• Series #1 is performed in the STANDING UP position of the Cosmic Human.
Series #2 is performed in the PRONE position (facing down) of Embracing the Earth.
Series #3 is performed in the SUPINE position (lying on the back) of Embracing Heaven.
• Many postures are structured with sets of 9 "pulses" or "counts", alternatively going left-right, in a loop or a circle. "9" is the number of completion and underlies the number field.
• Anjali Yoga alternates dynamic postures (some of them on the strenuous/aerobic side) and moments of rest with deep breathing. The goal is to build up the range (maximum to normal) of the HRV (heart rate variability). A high HRV has been found to indicate a healthy condition on all levels of the body-mind-spirit.
• All postures call for a progressive training in focusing attentive mindfulness and developing awareness of subtle energies and other dimensions of the Greater universe.
• You can perform all 3 series in a row (making sure you drink plenty of pure water between series) or a series a day. You will find your own rhythm according to your own needs.
• Regularity is essential. If you have no time for an entire series, perform at least the opening practices (posture & breathing) + 1 asana. Even 5 minutes will make a huge difference in your whole day and will let your body-mind know that you are PRESENT in your Sacred Temple.
• Series #1 includes some postures that are pointing to the 4 directions as a revolving blessing to Mother Earth and Humanity. Series #2 and #3 can be performed in a different direction on different days.
Pointing the body to the 4 directions is a way to become part of the flow of grid lines circling the Earth. It is also a natural way to honor the Medicine Wheel or Wheel of Life Cycles, especially if you perform yoga outdoors as a conscious bridge between Mother Earth and Father Sky.
2. PRELIMINARY PRACTICES
A. ANJALI MUDRA
Before each series, we use the Anjali Heart Mudra to honor each other and the Self within.
Description of Anjali Mudra
• Shake the arms loose
• Bend arms at the elbow
• Bring your hands together, palms facing: the hands will naturally come to the level of the heart.
• This Anjali Mudra is soft: no pressure is used to keep the palms flat and pressed together. In this soft Anjali Mudra, the fingers and hands are gently touching leaving an opening inside: this is the place for the secret treasure of LOVE, as a seed or bud emanating from the heart.
Meaning of Anjali Mudra
In the Indian yoga tradition, "Anjali" = Sanskrit for "to honor or celebrate". Bringing the two hands together is a gesture of unification (left/right polarities, female-male etc...). It is an acknowledgment of the divine inter-connectedness of all things and all beings.
As a mudra (meaning "seal" or "sign" in Sanskrit), Anjali is a recognition of the spirit divinity of both the practitioner and the recipient. It is equivalent of Namaste and states in a sacred, non-verbal way: "I honor the Divine Spirit within You and Me".
Positions of Anjali Mudra
There are 3 main positions of the Anjali Mudra:
• Heart Anjali: in front of the Heart, enclosing a Seed of Love.
• Ajna Anjali: in front of the Third Eye ("Ajna chakra"), enclosing a Spark of Light
• Crown Anjali: on top of the head (Crown chakra), enclosing a Bud of Infinity.
These 3 positions of Anjali Mudra frame the 3 Anjali Yoga series:
• Heart Anjali (Love) opens & completes Series 1 (Standing Up as Cosmic Human)
• Ajna Anjali (Light) opens & completes Series 2 (Prone - Embracing Earth)
• Crown Anjali opens & completes Series 3 (Supine - Embracing Heaven)
B. POSTURE & GAZE
It is essential to start from a good posture as a foundation for asanas ("asana" = Sanskrit for "seating down" but used for any yoga body position).
Description of Posture
The goal of the posture is to create an optimum vertical alignment of the body and thus be able to receive the subtle energies from above (Heaven) and below (Earth).
• Feet are parallel, about one foot length apart.
• Feet firmly planted on the ground. Toes are slightly curved to grasp and feel the earth.
• Knees are slightly bent as to be open and flexible.
• The sacrum (base of spine) may need to be tilted back. Find the position that make your entire back straight.
• The chest and shoulders are open. The shoulders may need to be reset back to open the chest.
• The head usually needs to be brought back in alignment with the body as modern life styles create a "head forward" syndrom. Bringing the chin a notch backwards helps to align the head. The eyes are looking straight forward.
Description of Gaze
The Gaze is formed by a Triangle of Vision. The base of the triangle is the normal perception of the two physical eyes. The top of the triangle is the single focus of the psychic/subtle vision of the Third Eye.
• Be aware of this triangle and keep this awareness going through the asanas. This triangle opens up your perception and makes it active. It also helps to build up an attitude of "facing life eye to eye". Practicing the Triangle of Vision will invite into your perception more subtle aspects of reality.
• Keep this Triangle of Vision focused on a point level with your straight head. At times, your visual attention will wander: notice it and bring it back to the point you have chosen as your focus for the asana you are performing. Make sure you are looking STRAIGHT AHEAD.
C. GROUNDING LINE & SPIRIT LINE
The Grounding Line and the Spirit Line are the continuation of the spine (and inner highway of life force) above and below. These two energy lines are our live connections with the rest of the universe: they allow us to breathe in and out the various grades of universal energy. "Grounding" and "Spirit" lines are two ends of the same river of energy: they both are conduits for subtle or spirit energy.
Description of Grounding Line
• From the Base Chakra (pelvic floor), extend a line of energy down to the center of the earth and anchor it there.
• Use any image that can help you make this Grounding Line real: energy highway, laser beam, magnetic line, rope, tree, telephone pole, tail, tap root, pipe... You might also imagine your spine to be a rubberband and stretch it below down to the center of the earth.
• Feel your grounding cord going through the house and/or the ground, the geological layers of the planet and down to the very core center.
• The Grounding Line will give you STABILITY: it provides another base point besides your two feet to anchor your moves during the asanas. So you are supported by a tripod system (observe how each foot has 3 support points) that lengthens and strengthens your axis and prevents you to "space out".
• The Grounding Line will provide SAFETY: when activating energies, it is important to make the body feel safe. The Grounding Line creates a survival tool for the body to hang on.
• The Grounding Line will offer PROTECTION: without grounding line, the body system can be short-circuited by too much spirit energy. The grounding line functions as a drainpipe to flush out excess or unwanted energies.
• With practice, the Grounding Line can become permanent. Learn how to get a good sense of when you are grounded: how does it feel in either case? Is there a pattern (like getting ungrounded when confronted with unresolved emotions etc...)?
• The strength of the Grounding Line depends on the strength of the 1st chakra and your ability to cover the survival needs of the body. Working on the 1st chakra will help if there are difficulties creating a grounding line.
• The Grounding Line is also the channel to draw up Earth energy to the base chakra and mix it with cosmic energy in the heart.
Description of Spirit Line
• From the crown point (top of the head) extend an energy line to a source of light above you: it can be the physical sun, a spiritual sun, the center of the galaxy, your higher self or your understanding of the Source of All.
• Feel this Spirit Line as a channel to download spirit and cosmic energy from higher dimensions of consciousness into your crown chakra and your human body-mind experience.
• The Spirit Line is connecting you to the larger universe and giving you direct access to everything and the best you know and want: love, light, wisdom, knowledge, happiness...
• Use images of flowing communication: cascade, waterfall, bridge, river, vortex, blossoming flower with roots in heaven...
• Reach up and bring down a cosmic flow of higher consciousness energy. Sense the multi-sensory clues: colors, the sounds, the powerful rush, the tingling and sparkling...
• The Spirit Line has always been there: it has created and maintained your very physical life. What is new is that you are now becoming conscious of it and using it to develop and expand your spiritual presence.
• Through the Spirit Line, you bring cosmic energy to your human hologram. Let this flow enter your body and nurture your centers (chakras).
• If needed, allow the overflow to go down the grounding line.
D. ENERGY CIRCULATION
"Energy circulation" designates the overall process of mixing earth energy with cosmic energy as "life force" and circulating it throughout the physical and subtle networks that distribute this energy to the whole body-mind system. It is learning how to own and consciously use the energy functions of the body-mind.
Description of Energy Circulation
• Invite the earth energy to rise through the feet, legs and the grounding line to reach the base chakra, nurture your lower centers (Emotion center, Sun Plexus) and go up to the Heart center.
• Invite the cosmic energy to come down through your Crown. Let this flow enter your body and nurture your higher centers (Crown, Third Eye, Throat) and go to the Heart center.
• In the Heart, mix and unify the two energies. As both energy & information, this higher grade "mix" nurtures your entire being as a feeling of radiating light/love.
• Allow any overflow to flush down the grounding line.
Breathing is an easy, dependable and conscious access to increase the quantity & quality of the energy circulating in the body.
The 3 Air Bags
• The Belly. Practice breathing in/out through the belly only.
• The Diaphragm. Practice breathing in/out through the diaphragm only.
• The Lungs. We all know the feeling of "shallow breathing" through the lungs only. This is the way we are trained by society to function: through unconscious minimal breathing.
Practice full lungs breathing. And then breathe in a little more...
The Full Deep Breath
A full deep breath is simply filling up the 3 air bags.
• Take a deep breath and starting filling up the belly, then the diaphragm and finally the lungs.
• Hold to your in-breath for a count of 3.
• Breathe out all the way. Make sure your "3 bags" are empty.
• When you breathe in and out, you may want to make sounds i.e. make your in-breath and out-breath audible. There is a great joy and release in accompanying breath work with sounds.
The 3 Levels of Breath
In the ANJALI YOGA practice, we do 3 sets of breath on 3 different levels.
• Level one: a set of 3 full breaths. Here we take in physical prana (air) into the 3 air bags (belly, diaphragm and lungs). Take 3 in/out breaths.
• Level two: be aware of your entire skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and an extension of the nervous system. Feel the complex membrane of your skin as an interface with the field of energy around you: see its pores and mini openings breathing in and out.
Take 3 full breaths through your skin, filling up your "skin bag" with a higher-grade of "air" (prana energy). and breathnig out your own frequency signals.
• Level three: now be aware of your aura (energy field) extending 2-3 feet around your physical body. Visualize an overall egg shape, golden in color and pulsating with higher frequencies. Feel the membrane of your aura interfacing with the universe.
Take 3 full breaths through the membrane of your aura, inviting in the love of the universe and giving back to the universe your own flavor of love.