In September YYC were pleased to host Lulu Bull from the Blue Mountains NSW, for a 2 day yoga workshop, exploring the realm of human existence between Earth and Sky. Starting literally, from the ground up, Lulu instructed our hearts, our bodies, our minds in asana and pranayama practise, towards pratyahara, dharana, dhyana.
Faithful to the teachings of BKS Iyengar, we began our study at the skin on the soles of the feet and the architecture of the ankle bones, in standing poses. Lulu guided our awareness from the lift of arches of the feet and pressure through the heels, to draw up through the legs, stabilising the pelvis and extending the spine, awakening the mind.
Afternoon restorative practise took us from the skeletal frame into subtle musculature of the diaphragm and intercostals for the exploration of Ujayi breathing and Brahmari, “Bumble Bee” pranayama.
Respiration = Purification, Sauca.
Pratyahara, Sensory withdrawal, was experienced by the gentle placing of fingers across the eyes, “as softly as one holds a chick”. Images of Nature inspired exploration of our own true nature. Inhalation breaths entering the body to merge with the vast ocean that lies within each of us. A blending of the cosmic universal energy with individual spirit, for an experience of profound contentment, Santosa.
Empty head, Full heart.
Sunday began with abdominal poses, stoking the “agni” fire, building our strength and courage for backbends to follow. These were done pressing up away from the earths gravitational pull and by dropping back from above, in headstand, to the ground.
This humbling and ennobling practice was made available to all levels of student by Lulu’s gracious generosity and clarity of purpose, with a final quote about Dharma, from The Mahabharata, to encourage us all on our yogic path through practice – ‘dharma is that which uplifts, sustains, upholds those who have fallen, are in the process of falling or they have fallen. So dharma is that which uplifts people.’