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New Chapter (60-mins) Vinyasa

A smooth and fiery class plays with arm balancing as you build toward Eka Pada Koundinyasana A (flying splits) as the peak pose. Open practice with a mantra to Ganesha—the Lord of New Beginnings. One would invoke the powers of Ganesha when starting on a new path or clearing the way for a new direction. Ganesha is symbolic of wisdom and a discriminating intellect of understanding. This class features twists, hamstring lengthening, core strengthening, and arm balancing as you prep for the peak wave. Backbends, inner thigh, and neck release conclude your practice.

Style: Vinyasa

Duration: 60-minutes

Level: open

Props: 2 blocks

Focus: arm balances with Eka Pada Koundinyasana A (flying splits) as the peak

Location: Vancouver, BC

Music: Spotify Playlist – New Chapter

Meditation

Come to a seat of your choice and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths into your body to align and arrive in the moment.

Ganesha is the elephant-headed god and the child of Shiva and Parvati. We honour Ganesha as the Lord of New Beginnings. One would invoke the powers of Ganesha when starting on a new path or clearing the way for a new direction. Ganesha is symbolic of wisdom and a discriminating intellect of understanding.

He is a bit of a trickster in that he is the Lord of Obstacles and the one who places obstacles on our path to challenge our perspective.

Ganesha provides the courage to overcome obstacles and hardship. He also provides us with faith as we start something new and stay the course on our own journey in life. When you offer yourself to Ganesha, he blesses you and guides you along your path to conquer your fears.

Mythology of Ganesha

Ganesha has the body of a six-year-old and the head of an elephant. He has trouble finding a wife as a young man, so he goes to his mother, Parvati, and seeks her counsel.

He goes to Parvati and says, “Mother, will you help me find a wife?”

Parvati says, “Yes, go to the wall outside of my room and write ‘tomorrow, mother will help me find a wife.’”

So Ganesha goes to the wall and writes what she says and feels excitement for what is to come. The next day he goes to Parvati and asks the same thing, to which she replies, “Go outside and read what is on my wall.” So he reads what it says to which she replies, “So come back tomorrow, and we will find you a wife.”

The moral of the story is that tomorrow never comes: all we have is today.

Your question to sit with is; if today was your only day, how would you choose to spend your time? What would you focus on?

Mantra to Ganesha 

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha 

Om = the primordial sound that connects us all

Gam = the bija seed mantra for Ganesha

Ganapataye = Ganesha’s formal name

Namaha = I bow to you, I salute you

  • Take three calls to Aum to open
  • Three cycles of call and response
  • Ganesha Mantra 21 times

May you use this mantra to clear your mind and body of any obstacles along your path.

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

  • Take your hands on either side of your front foot, option to use the blocks
  • Inhale and bend into your front knee and lift your chest
  • Exhale and straighten both legs as you lift your hips
  • Repeat several cycles with your breath

Dandayamana Bharmanasana (balancing tabletop) variation

  • Inhale and extend the opposite arm and leg
  • Exhale and round the spine, taking elbow and knee to chest

Bharmanasana Knees Up (hovering tabletop) – hold for 10 breaths

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)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Tadasana Janu Hastasana (knee to hand pose) and roll up to stand

Vrikshasana (tree pose) variation

  • Fountain of youth from tree pose
  • Inhale and take your prayer palms overhead
  • Exhale and take your arms wide and down
  • Repeat several cycles with your breath

Anjaneyasana (lunge) variation

  • Take your hands to Anjali Mudra at your chest
  • Inhale and lift your heart to your hands
  • Exhale and twist your torso to the side
  • Repeat several cycles with your breath

Parivrtta Ashtachandrasana (revolved lunge) with the back knee on or off the ground.

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

Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana (standing splits) at the back of your mat

Rollerskating pose and lower onto your bum

Marichyasana (seated spinal twist)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Repeat the same sequence starting on the opposite leg.

**After the second side:

Bakasana (crow pose)

Benefits include:

  • Tones the abdominals, deep core stabilizers, and adductors, to alleviate and help with lower back pain
  • Strengthens the wrists, hands, arms, shoulders, and upper back
  • Stretches the upper back and inner groins
  • Improves mental clarity and focus

Peak Wave

** We’ll come into Eka Pada Koundinyasana A (flying splits) from a low lunge variation for you to try the different ways to get into our peak pose. 

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chatarunga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

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

Virabhadrasana II (warrior 2 pose)

Viparita Virabhadrasana (peaceful warrior)

Anjaneyasana (lunge) variation into an arm balance:

Take crow pose OR move towards Eka Pada Koundinyasana A (flying splits pose).

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Backbending Sequence 

Virasana (hero’s pose) OR Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose) – hold for 16 breaths total.

A backbend of choice for 10 breaths.

  • Setu Bandha Sarvāṅgāsana (bridge pose)
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose)

Cooling Sequence 

Baddha Konasana (seated bound angle pose) variations:

  • Neck release to stretch the scalenes at the side of the neck.
  • Forward fold using your blocks to support your head and arms.

Savasana or a seated meditation to close.

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