Ottawa Workshop, June 19 – 22, 2015

 ELEMENTS and Koshas at Pathway Yoga, Ottawa.

According to yogic principles, everything in the universe, including our body, is made up of five subtle elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether (space).

Our own beings also comprise five “sheaths” or koshas; Annamaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Vignanomaya Kosha and Anandamaya Kosha. In this workshop, we explored and brought into balance our own unique expression of these forces. We learned where the koshas and elements meet and how these intersections informed our practice.


In Uttitha Trickonasana, gripping the ankle too tightly, and not externally rotating that arm reduces your ability to move that shoulderblade down – and open that lung and breast.


Supporting the hands on blocks introduces the element of space into Urdva Mukha Svanasana.


In Adho Mukha Svanasana, experience the element of space and  access the length from wrist to outer hips by elevating the hands on blocks, then pulling back through the outer corners of the hips



Ardha Chandrasana is a good pose for figuring out ones (primary) dosha. I came to the conclusion that this student was Pitta (fire). She was muscular, bony, angular, and her eyes bright.


The fire element rules the back bends,


Stamp your feet down to charge the element of fire in the spine.

The inversions are ruled by the element of air and space (ether). Extend the sitbones to the ceiling to activate and lengthen the anterior and lumbar spine.


In Uttanasana, Vata (air and ether) types can pranasize the element of earth in the legs by using blocks and pushing against a belt.


Kapha (earth) types can practice Uttanasana this way to break up inertia, tamas, and heaviness in the torso.


In Uttanasana, Pitta (fire) types can cool the brain and reduce high blood pressure by supporting the head.


We tend to “eat” space in the abdomen and chest when we practice the forward bends. Using the chair this way helps us elongate and reclaim the space from the hip sockets to the fingertips.


Here is another way to introduce space into the body. An upward lift, arm strength, and awareness of the location of the pelvis has to come before you can get up into Sirsasana, Adho Mukha Vrksasana and Pincha Myorasana


I get by with a little help from my friends.


One of the poses we practiced in the Breast Health for Everyone workshop.


In the Breast Health workshop we practiced poses that opened up the sides of the breasts.


The lymph nodes congregate around the sides of, and above, the breasts and lungs.

© 2015 Bobby Clennell.


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