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It’s Known We Are Born (61-mins) Vinyasa

A vigorous vinyasa class featuring leg balancing, core strengthening, and heart-opening as you build toward Anuvittasana (standing backbend) as the peak pose. This class opens with a poem by Pablo Neruda and a mantra to honour transformation. Hamstring and side waist lengthening create space for deep backbends. A supine twist and inversion with a headstand or legs up the wall complete your practice.

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 60-minutes

Level: open

Props: 2 Blocks

Focus: core strengthening, heart-opening, standing backbends.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Music: Spotify Playlist It’s Known We Are Born

Poem to anchor the class:

Births by Pablo Neruda, translated by Stephen Mitchell.

We will never have any memory of dying.

We were so patient

about our being,

noting down numbers, the days,

the years and the months,

the hair, and the mouths we kiss,

and that moment of dying

we let pass without a note

we give it to others as remembrance,

or we leave it simply to water,

to water, to air, to time.

Nor do we even keep

the memory of our birth,

though being born was important and fresh:

and now you don’t remember one detail

and you haven’t kept even a branch

of your first light.

It’s well known that we are born.

It’s well known that in the room

or in the wood

or in the hut in the fishermen’s district

or in the rustling canefields

there is a quite unusual silence,

a moment solemn as wood,

and a woman gets ready to give birth.

It’s well known that we were all born.

But of that profound jolt

from not being to existing, to having hands,

to seeing, to having eyes,

to eating and crying and overflowing

and loving and loving and suffering and suffering,

of that transition or shudder

of the electric essence that takes on

one body more body like a living cup,

and of that disinhabited woman,

the mother who is left there with her blood

and her torn fullness,

and her end and beginning, and the disorder

that troubles the pulse, the floor, the blankets

until everything comes together and adds

one more knot to the thread of life:

nothing, there is nothing that remains in your memory

of the fierce sea that lifted a wave

and knocked down a dark apple from the tree.

The only thing you remember is your life.

The mantra from class:

Om Namah Shivaya Gurave

Saccidananda Murtaye

Nisprapancaya Shantaya

Niralambaya Tejase

Om

The following English translation reflects a general sentiment of the actual Sanskrit words; they rhyme and work together for singing.

I open my heart to the power of Grace

That lives in us as goodness

That never is absent and radiates peace

And lights the way to transformation

Source for the mantra.

Opening Movement

10-15 breaths to move as you like, options:

  • Balasana (child’s pose)
  • Adho Mukha Shvanasana (down dog)
  • Uttanasana (forward fold)
  • Bidalasana (cat pose)
  • Bitilasana (cow pose)

Come to Tadasana at the top of your mat.

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (lunge) variation

  • Place blocks under your hands
  • Inhale and bend into your front knee, reaching the chest forward
  • Exhale and straighten both legs, taking your hips up and back
  • Repeat 5 cycles

Anjaneyasana (lunge) variation

  • Take your blocks on the highest height and place them beside your hips
  • Press your fingertips or palm down on the blocks and lift your chest
  • Breathe into your upper spine and root down through all parts touching the ground

Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana (dolphin plank pose)

  • Inhale at center
  • Exhale and take both heels to one side
  • Inhale back to the center
  • Exhale and bring your heels to the opposite side
  • Repeat several cycles

Salamba Bhujangasana (sphinx pose)

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Eka pada adho mukha svanasana (3-legged downward dog)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Uttanasana (forward fold) with hands interlaced at your back

  • Extend the palms to the sky
  • Take your feet hip-distance
  • Bend your knees and rest your ribs on your thighs
  • Bend into one knee and take the same shoulder to your knee
  • Breathe into the outer right hip
  • Repeat the same pose on the opposite leg

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence starting on the opposite leg.

Wave 1

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky) and interlace your palms

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee to chest pose) with hip mandalas

Anjaneyasana (lunge) variation

  • Take your hands behind your head and lean your head back into your palms
  • Hug the belly button in and draw your pubic bone toward your ribs
  • Take several breaths

Anjaneyasana (lunge) variation

  • Place your palms on your front thigh
  • Inhale and lift the chest
  • Exhale and round your back as you take your chin to chest

Ardha Hanumanasana (half splits)

Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana (dolphin plank pose) variation

  •  Keep your forearms on the ground and stack both heels to one side

Anantasana (Krishna’s couch)

Parsvo Vasithasana (side plank pose)

  • Hold and breathe or take Lahari Flow

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Eka pada adho mukha svanasana (3-legged downward dog)

Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2)

Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle)

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (standing splits pose)

Tadasana Pavanmuktasana (standing knee to chest pose) with hip mandalas

Repeat the same sequence starting on the opposite leg.

Backbend Sequence

Anuvittasana (standing backbend)

Setu Bandha Sarvāṅgāsana (brideg pose)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose)

Cooling Sequence

Jathara Parivartanasana

An inversion of choice:

  1. Viparita Karani (legs up the wall)
  2. Sarvangasana (shoulder stand)
  3. Sirsasana (headstand)

Savasana or seated meditation to close.

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