Archive for March, 2013

Intertwining Elements, Kosas, Chakras and Vayus, plus Baby Back Bends and Side Stretch

March 27, 2013

Much was covered in my four day workshop in Jakarta. In the first four classes we explored the elements and koshas, which included standing poses (anamayer kosa: earth), jumpings (pranamaya kosa: water), twists, and backbends on the ropes ( manomaya kosa: fire) and inversions and pranayama (vignaomaya kosa: air and anandamaya kosa: ether).

“As animals we walk the earth. As bearers of a divine essence, we are among the stars.”

“So many seek this greater truth in the heavens, but it lies much closer than the clouds. It is within and can be found, [via asana and pranayama] by anyone on the inward journey.”

“From your physical body, you can journey inward to discover your ‘subtle bodies’; your energy body pranamaya kosa: [element of water] where breath and emotions reside; your mental body manomaya kosa: [element of fire] where thoughts and obsessions can be mastered; your intellectual body vignanomaya kosa: [element of air] where intelligence and wisdom can be found and your divine body anandamaya kosa: [element of ether] where the universal soul can be glimpsed.” — B. K. S. Iyengar, Light on Life.



The physical body (annamayer kosa) corresponds to the element of earth. The standing poses, when practiced from and returning to tadasana increase the element of earth in the legs, which become strong and steady.

photo copy 2

“…a graphic representation of the primordial seed sound Om, symbolizing the whole cosmos. The letter Om is split up into five shapes to represent the entire universe, resolved into five cosmic principles.”  —  Yantra: The Symbol of Cosmic Unity by Madhu Khanna. © 1979 Thames and Hudson Ltd. London

From David V. Tansley, Subtle Body — Essence and Shadow, © 1977, Art and Imagination Series, Thames and Hudson, London)

Illustration showing the nadis and the major and minor chakras. From Subtle Body — Essence and Shadow, David V. Tansley. © 1977, Art and Imagination Series, Thames and Hudson, London

The nadis. The life force condensed in the subtle body travels along pathways called nadis (Nadi: a duct or conduit). The tree like nature of the subtle body contains around 72,000 of these nadis.


Yogin With Six Cakras. Painting. Kangra school. Late 18th century A.D. From Tantra Art: its Philosophy & Physics by Ajit Mookerjee. © 1966 by Ravi Kumar.

The chakras are pools of life energy, vibrating at different rates and located on the midline of the body. The three chakras located at the lower regions of our body represent our instinctual nature, the four highest ones reflect the mental and spiritual aspects of our being.

The final two classes were baby-backbends (not so baby) and side stretch poses. Here are a few of the poses from the side stretch sequence:





Thanks to all the lovely people at Jakartadoyoga!

Visit my website, for upcoming workshops.

© 2013 Bobby Clennell.

Kids, trees, birds, bugs and a stick

March 13, 2013

Here is the latest crop of photos of kids who were inspired by my picture book, Watch Me Do Yoga.

Vrksasana (Inverted Tree Pose):

Karstin 4449060682_d0719d664d
Karstin from Phoenix, AZ.
Jarae from Phoenix, AZ.

Parsva Bakasana (a crane or wading bird, legs to side):


Karstin from Phoenix, AZ.

long legs heron

K 5

Mom shows them how.



Austin from Phoenix, AZ.


Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose):


Regan, from Phoenix, AZ, gets a little help from mom.

Black Scorpion

The photos of the kids above were sent to me by Morgan Turley from Essence Yoga Studio in Phoenix, AZ.

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four–limbed Staff Pose):

Elijah, from Brooklyn.

And last, but not least, here’s Elijah, from Brooklyn…


…and Fred, from a remote valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, with four limbs and a staff.

Keep sending your pictures!

© 2013 Bobby Clennell.