Beginner Yoga Series | Episode 2
From Travis Kā’eo
An in-depth look into practice
In this class we expand upon foundational yoga āsana. The Sanskrit word āsana means “to sit” and it is what we call yoga postures. You can hear this word at the end of many posture names such as Tadāsana, Mountain Pose, or Uttanāsana, Forward Fold.
The system of physical yoga was developed from wise sages who sat in meditation all day, much like how people today sit at work for hours on end. These sages discovered they needed exercise to not only maintain their seated position for longer, but also avoid unwanted ailments in their muscles and joints.
Thus the first yoga āsana was created.
As we find what this āsana practice means to us, as we become more familiar, we begin to find unison with our body. We spend our entire human life in this physical form, yet, if we are not careful, we can be somewhat unaware of it.
Indulge me for a moment. After I bring awareness to a part of your body, I want you to close your eyes for 15 seconds and focus on that part of your body. Know that this exercise can work with any subtle body part, so there is no need to take this exercise so exact – it is more the idea formed through the exercise than the exercise itself. As if your big toe were numbered one and your little toe was numbered five, find your fourth toe on your left foot.
Ready? Close your eyes.
Now look at the body part you chose. It is there, but did you feel it? 10,000 years ago there was no Warrior II. The posture was not innate to humanity. The sages of old developed Warrior II because it felt good to them. That is the essence of yoga āsana – to feel.
Somewhere in the time from then until now, all the postures in this video were formed. Think of them as ideas. For instance, Warrior II is the idea of strengthening your front quadricep, while lengthening your back iliopsoas through external rotation in your front hip. However, ideas are fluid, by definition they hold no perfection – or they would be universal laws.
10,000 years ago the science of yoga begun, and it has been in a constant state of flux since. Today, through your feeling, the practice changes yet again. Make the ideas of the postures you find through this practice your ideas. Fill them with your intention, adjust them if they do not serve you and explore. For this practice always has been and only ever will be a journey to self.
Enjoy that journey.
- Easy Seated Pose (Sukhāsana)
- Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Śvanāsana)
- Ragdoll (Uttānāsana)
- Mountain Pose (Tādāsana)
- Crescent Moon (Aśta Chanrāsana)
- Half Splits (Ardha Hanumānāsana)
- Warrior I (Vīrabhadrāsana A)
- Warrior II (Vīrabhadrāsana B)
- Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonāsana)
- Wide Leg Forward Fold (Prasārita Pādottānāsana)
- Tree Pose (Vrksāsana)
- Head to Knee (Janu Śīrsāsana)
- Supine Twist (Jathara Parivartanāsana)