Updated: Aug 9
I would like to continue with this series about bring Yoga philosophy into the physical practice, and providing you with a full class. This is designed with Yoga instructors in mind, but totally accessible for practitioners as well.
Satya is the second Yama. It means honesty and is about being truthful to the world and to yourself, but without forgetting our other goals of being kind and compassionate that we looked at in Ahimsa. Sometimes being truthful is not about what you say, but how you say it. In order to check if what we want to express is following Satya, we can ask ourselves these four questions:
1. Is it true?
2. Is it REALLY true?
3. Is it necessary?
4. Is it kind/can you say it in a kind way?
If your answer is no to any of these questions, then maybe it is not something that you should say or even think, if you can. In our lives, we must try and follow this and being true to ourselves and honest to others.
In our yoga practice, we must be honest with our students when we are teaching and we must be honest to ourselves as practitioners. We can't let our ego take over and tell us we can do a pose when we can't or shouldn't. In the same way, we can't let fear tell us we can't do something if truthfully we can. These are all things to consider when completing this practice - decide what is the version of the practice that is truthfully right for you.
Satya Yoga Flow
settle in - contemplate what we spoke about above and the 4 questions for Satya, set an intention to follow this throughout the practice
cat/cows x 3
extended cat/cows, with one leg extending and tucking along with the spine x 3 on each side
Chaturanga workshop - work through different versions of Chaturangas and decide which one is right for you
Chaturanga 1 - hold a Downward dog (DD)
Chaturanga 2 - From DD, inhale to come forward to a high plank, then exhale to press back to DD
Chaturanga 3 - From DD, inhale to come forward to a high plank, lower knees to the mat and then exhale to lower chest keeping elbows close to the body, inhale to lift your chest up to cobra (use back muscles to lift, not arms) and exhale to press back to DD
Chaturanga 4 - From DD, inhale to come forward to a high plank, exhale as you start lowering down towards the mat, at about halfway lower knees to the mat and then continue to lower chest the rest of the way down, inhale to lift to cobra and exhale to press back to DD
Chaturanga 5 - From DD, inhale to come forward to a high plank, exhale as you start lowering down towards the mat, inhale to lift press through the arms, roll over the toes and press chest forward to upward-facing dog (UD) and exhale to press back to DD
Chaturanga 6 - From DD, lift one foot slightly up off the mat, inhale to come forward to a high plank, exhale as you start lowering down towards the mat, inhale to lift press through to UD and exhale to press back to DD (keeping foot lifted the whole time. Make sure to alternate which leg is lifted)
Classical Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) x 2, (twice on each side)
Start with Surya Namaskar B, from three-legged dog, swing lifted leg forward and lower back knee to the mat, coming to a low lunge (hold each of these poses for the first time for about 3 breaths, flow through if you repeat them again), then press back to a half split. Come back to the low lunge, bring the hand of the front leg to the inside of the foot and lift the other hand skyward to an open twist, then come back to DD, three-legged dog and then to a wild thing variation with supporting knee lowered. Repeat all on the other side.
Now we will do the same flow, but a slightly more challenging variation. Start with Surya Namaskar B, from three-legged dog, swing lifted leg forward and coming to a high lunge (hold each of these poses for the first time for about 3 breaths, flow through if you repeat them again), then press back to a forward-facing trikonasana. Come back to the high lunge, bring the hand of the front leg to the inside of the foot and lift the other hand skyward to an open twist (optional bind behind back), then come back to DD, three-legged dog and then to a wild thing variation. Repeat all on the other side.
Then repeat and give students the option of lowering the knee for the first variation or keeping the knee lifted for the second variation.
Tree pose for 5 breaths, provide variation arm and leg position options
Squat to the floor
Dandasana for 5 breaths
Janu Sirsasana on each side for 5 breaths. Before switching sides, perform Ardha Matseyandrasana for 5 breaths
Reverse plank for 5 breaths, once with knees bent, once with straight legs if they want to
Mermaid side bend stretch 5 breaths for each stretch
Reclined twist for 20 breaths
I hope this helps any Yoga teachers out there who want to know how to bring the Yamas and Yoga Philosophy into your classes, I know I couldn't find full classes like this online when I was looked for something to take inspiration from! I hope you enjoy this practice and let me know how it goes for you.
Wishing you all love and light!