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Bakasana or Crow pose tip

Bakasana or crow pose can be quite daunting for many people-I will sometimes offer the option of putting a blanket or cushion on the floor in front of you, to give the illusion of the floor being closer ( and remove some of the fear of falling)...as with any prop you will have to let go of it at some point & in my experience once a student has felt the where the balance is, and what needs to be engaged ( shoulders, bandhas etc) they are happy to remove the prop. 

Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga yoga is a flowing dynamic form of yoga, where each pose is linked and synchronised using a breathing system called ujjayi pranayama.

Ashtanga yoga practices postures (asana), breath (ujjayi pranayama), focal/gazing point (driste). The discipline of this system allows us to develop a deeper understanding and awareness of ourselves. It is both empowering, and liberating and allows us to move through life with a calmness and steadiness of mind and body.

The linking of breathing and movement creates an internal, purifying heat which detoxifies and purifies the muscles and internal organs. Internal locks (bandhas) are used throughout the yoga practice. The breath is the heart Ashtanga yoga.

Ashtanga translates as “eight limbs”. Below are the eight limbs as described by the sage Pattanjali:
Yama (abstinences)Niyama (observances)Asana (postures)Pranayama (breath control)Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)Dharana (concentration)Dhyana (meditation)Samadhi (contemplation)By practising the first …

Recommended yoga reading: Moola Bandha

For those of you who would like to further your knowledge of yoga, I would like to recommend the following book: Moola Bandha (The Master Key) by Swami Buddhananda, published by the Bihar School of Yoga.

The book is suitable for any yoga student who would like to understand more about the effects of the bandhas in a yoga practice. It is a fascintating read, describing how to use the bandhas in order to activate the arousal of Kundalini, the primal energy within.

The three bandhas are the Jalandhara or throat lock, Uddiyana or abdomen lock and the Moola, perineum or root lock. There is a fourth bandha, which is a combination of the three, called maha bandha.

Very little has been written about the ancient practice of bandhas. This book has a theoretic and practical approach to the use of bandhas, as well as covering pranic and psychotherapeutic aspects of using these locks. Practical advice is given in order to help you to find and use them effectively.