June 2019 LGY Newsletter: On The Sun

June 2019 Newsletter

On the Sun

 

June is the month of the summer solstice, an auspicious time of change and the beginning of my favourite season. I thrive with light and warmth; I am very grateful to the sun. The sun has wonderful archetypal references in yoga. After all, we tend to start our practice saluting it, but its connections go much, much deeper.

I struggle with the Marichyasana poses. I am still somewhere in that journey between frustration and letting go, binding, twisting, coming forward with the mind and the body. And breathing, of course. These poses have it all – they are called gateways in the primary series. Sometimes, though, I have wondered why they are there, and what do they do. 

After my weekend with James Boag exploring the sun, I think the Marichyasanas might be related to it. Usually they are linked to Marichy, Brahma’s son and a sage, but James told us the story of Maricha, and I understood something of that pose. Maricha is a rakshasa, a demon, in the Hindu epic the Ramayana. He terrorised yogis, ate human flesh and drank the blood of those he killed. He encountered Rama, Vishnu’s avatar, and underestimated him, thinking he was just a boy, so he terrorised him in a sacred site and was thrown to the other side of the world by one of Rama’s single arrows. The second time he met Rama, he sought revenge and attacked him again. Rama shot three arrows, killing the demons that were with Maricha, but sparing him. This prompted Maricha to transform into a saintly person, the one we might embody in the asanas.

Marichy means ray of light, but also mirage. It is the ability the sun has of allowing us to see round the corner, where there might be darkness, where we might not even know what there is (like when we rotate that arm to bind or twist to look round …) It is also the ability to discriminate, to see what is real and what is not. This skill — and many others the sun embodies — is within each of us. The only thing we need to do is to keep practicing.

Laura x
https://www.lauragonzalez.co.uk/yoga/

 

 

 

 

What I have been listening to
I have become very fond of the twelve mantras to the sun, which James does at the end of the video (the other invocations he sings are also to the sun). Here are the twelve archetypes and what they mean, so you can chant with him:

Om Mitraya Namaha
salutations to the friend of all

Om Ravaye Namaha
salutations to the shining one

Om Suryaya Namaha
salutations to the one who induces activity

Om Bhanave Namaha
salutations to the one who illumines

Om Khagaya Namaha
salutations to the one who moves in the sky

Om Pushne Namaha
salutations to the giver of strength and nourishment

Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namaha
salutations to the golden cosmic self

Om Marichaye Namaha 
salutations to the bringer of the dawn

Om Adityaya Namaha
salutations to the son of Aditi, the cosmic mother

Om Savitre Namaha
salutations to the stimulating power of the sun

Om Arkaya Namaha
salutations to the one who is fit to be praised

Om Bhaskaraya Namaha 
salutations to the one who leads to enlightenment

 

 

 

 

What I have been practicing
Tapas is the third of the niyamas, or internal observances. It refers to the heat we generate when we practice. This heat, however, is not dissimilar to the one of the sun. Generating heat is good, but within measure. Too much can burn; too little does nothing. It needs to be tended and befriended, used skilfully, so its transforming power can work on us.

 

 

 

 

What I have been reading

The sun produces heat and us ashtangis like our practice hot. But what does the heat do and how hot should we go? Gregor Maehle discusses the link between heat, agni, enlightenment and environment in this very interesting article:

There’s more to raising agni than turning on the heater. If simply working out in the heat raised agni, every construction or landscaping worker wielding a jackhammer in the Australian mid-day heat would be as purified as a mountain spring! But that’s not how it works. I’ve done plenty of jackhammering in the mid-day heat and it didn’t purify me. Take my word for it!

 

 

 

 

This session of classes has now finished and I am off until the first week of September. I will be studying ashtanga and pranayama with Kia in Spain in July, and pranayama with Sudhir Tiwari in Stockholm in August.

My class timetable for Autumn 2019 is below. I have also included the full studio schedule, with Kate, Sue, Catherine, Ali and Rosina’s classes. So much to chose from!

Also in September, Sue Crow and I will be running our retreat in Barmolloch. There are only 3 places left so if you want to come book now! All the details are below. I cannot wait to be in this magical place.

Thank you for what has been a wonderful year of learning for me. You have been a big part of it.

 

 

 

September–December 2019
Rosina Bonsu Moves
at the Arlington Baths

WEEKLY CLASSES

Monday 2 Sept to Thursday 12 Dec

Mondays, 7.45–9.30: Yoga Assisted Practice (Mysore)
Tuesdays, 18.25–20.30: Yoga Assisted Practice (Mysore)
Thursdays, 7.45–9.30: Yoga Assisted Practice (Mysore)

COURSES

Introduction to Assisted Practice

Tuesdays 3, 10, 17 September 2019
17.00 – 18.15
£11/£9 Arlington members, concession
Class card valid

Pranayama 

Tuesday 24 September
Tuesday 29 October
Tuesday 26 November

17.00 – 18.15
£11/£9 Arlington members, concession
Class card valid

 

Last 3 places left on our retreat.
Book now to avoid disappointment!

On the September full moon, Sue Crow and Laura González team up to offer a yoga retreat aimed at using the strength, warmth and lightness of the summer to nourish the mind, body and breath.

We are inviting you to take time to focus on your yoga practice, assisted and adjusted by us, and complemented by workshops that will help you open your hips and make the most of working from your core. There will also be an opportunity to tune into your breath through pranayama, and ask us anything you want to know about yoga in the satsang sessions.

For programme, prices and booking: https://www.lauragonzalez.co.uk/yoga/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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