Iyengar Yoga Retreat with Dr Abhay

Dr. Abhay with his intellectual and spiritual practices has masterminded the techniques in Iyengar Yoga which can be used by all practitioners of yoga. In this retreat he will teach Iyengar yoga which will include theory in 5 subsequent divisions. 

First Division – Day One Science of Yoga
- Yoga prayers 
- Sage Patanjali 
- The story of yoga

The Aspects of Yoga 
Yama :-Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha
Niyama :- Soucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana

Our Body - The body is like a vehicle. Our legs and hands are the wheels of this vehicle, and you are the master controller of your body. Therefore you should understand the parts of the body. 

WHY WE SHOULD PRACTICE ASANAS?  As a temple is an abode of God, the body like a temple is the abode of our soul. Therefore we need to keep the body clean and sacred....... And so on....

1. Utthishta sthiti: These are standing asanas. Utthitha means standingSthiti means position.. 
You will learn the following asanas of Utthitha sthiti. 
Tadasana / Urdhva Hastasana / Urdhva  Baddhangulyasana /Urdhva Namaskarasana / Utkatasana / Vrikshasana/ Utthitha trikonasana / Virabhadrasana 2 / Garudasana / Uttanasana / Prasarita Padottanasana.

2. Upavishta Sthiti: Upavishta sthiti means sitting asanas. 
You will learn the following asanas: Dandasana / swastikasana / Virasana / Siddhasana / Padmasana / Parvatasana / Gomukhasana / Upavishta konasans / Baddha konasana / Simhasana-1 / Simhasana -2

3. Paschimapratana Sthiti : Paschima pratana sthiti means forward bending asanas. Paschima means back. Pratana means extention. Sthiti means position.
You will learn the following asanas: Adho Mukha svanasana / Marichyasana -1.

4. Supta Sthiti Asanas: Supta means supine. 
We are going to learn supine position called Matsyasana. 

5. Purva Pratana Sthiti: It means backward bending asanas. Purva means front. Pratana means extention. 
We will learn the following asanas: Ushtrasana/ Bhujangasana/ Shalabhasana/ Makarasana 

6. Vishrantikaraka Sthiti: It means recuperative asanas. Vishranta means RESTKaraka means gives
we are going to learn the asanas that gives rest - SAVASANA

Second Division – Day Two
- Effects of yoga on body, mind and consciousness.
- Yoga Vriksha; The tree of yoga. 
- Functions of yoga Vriksha. 
- Effects of Yama and Niyama.

OUR HUMAN BODY - Skeleton system, parts of skeletal system, Bones of arms, Bones of legs, The girdle, Rib cage, Functions of skeleton. 

JOINTS - ball and socket joint, The gliding and sliding joints, The Pivot joint.
- Examples of joint actions in asanas
- Muscular system 
- Types of muscles -voluntary or striped muscles.
- Involuntary or smooth muscles.
- Cardiac muscles.


MUSCLES OF OUR ARMS - Deltoid, biceps, triceps.

MUSCLES OF LEGS - Sartorious, quadriceps, Hamstrings, calf muscles and gluteus.

- Diaphragm 
- Muscles of back 
- Trapezius, latissimus dorsi


Importance of Practicing Asanas.
- Do's and Don'ts while doing asanas

ASANA-S. - Standing poses. 
Urdhva Hastasana. 1
Urdhva Hasthasana. 2. 
Utthitha hastha Padmasana. 
Utthitha trikonasana. 
Utthitha parsva konasana,stage 1 and 2. 
Virabhadrasana 1
Prasarita Padottanasana. 
Adhomukha svanasana. 
FORWARD BENDS ; Paschima pratana sthiti. 
Urdhva Hastha dandasana. 
Padangustha dandasana. 
Adhomukha baddha konasans. 
Marichyasana. 2. 

LATERAL EXTENTIONS. Parivritta sthiti. 
Bharadhvajasans one . Stages 1'2 and 3.
Bharadhvajasans two. Stages 1 2 and 3.

Entwining position. 
Grathana sthiti :AKARNA DHANURASANA.

Supine poses:  Supta sthiti. 
Supta virasana,  Matsyasana 1 and 2.

Prone positions. Adho Mukha sthiti.


Backward extention. Purva pratana sthiti.

Urdhva Mukha svanasana. 
Viparita sthiti. 
-Halasana, Adha sirsasana, Urdhva Prasarita Ekapada sirsasana. 

 Division Three – Day Three
- Artful living
- Way of living
- Guru sishya parampara

- Yoga Marga 
- Types of sadhana
- Abhyasa and vairagya
- Dharana
- Dhyana
- Samadhhi


ASANAS. - Standing asanas, Utthitha sthiti.
parsvottanasa concave back. 
Prasarita Padottanasana 2 
Padangusthasana concave back. 
Padahasthasana concave back. 
Padmottanasana. Concave back. 

Paschima pratana sthiti. 
Trienga mukhiaka pada paschimottanasana.
Ardha baddha padma paschimottanasa. 
Janu sirsasana.

Supta sthiti.

Hand balancing pose. 

Abdominal contraction asanas. 
Urdhva Prasarita padasana. 
Paripurna navasana. 
Ardha navasana. 
LATERAL EXTENTION ASANAS. Parivritta pratana sthiti. 
Marichyasana. 3.
INVENTED ASANAS. Viparita sthiti. 

Salamba sirshasana. 
Salamba sarvangasana. 
Karna pindasana. 
Setubandha sarvangasana. 
BACKWARD BENDING ASANAS. Purva pratana sthiti. 
Urdhva Dhanurasana. 
Viparita dandasana 
- Asanas for stamina, speed, strength and memory. 
- Asanas to become alert in the brain and agile in the body to be done in quick succession. 
- Asanas to improve the memory power. 
- Asanas for recovery from fatigue. 

1. Asthma
Causes: Allergy/ Infection/ Emotional tension/                  
Asanas for Asthma.

2. Tonsillitis:
Causes: Infection
Symtoms: Sore throat and fever 
Asanas for both sore throat and fever.

3. Common Cold:
Causes: viral infection/ Bacterial infection/ Allergy to dust and pollens.
Symptoms: A stuffy nose,moderate headache, cough, feeling of chilliness, slight fever,feeling of discomfort and sore throat.
Asanas for common cold

4 .CoughCauses/Symptoms/Asanas for cough.

5. Constipation:
Causes: Improper diet, nervous tension, irregular toilet habits, insufficient exercise
Asanas for constipation

6. Cramps: Causes/Symptoms/Asanas

7. Headaches: 

Division Four – Day Four
1) The positive aspect of disease 
2) Asanas as therapy.

  1. a) STATIC STRETCHING: Static stretching is the most common technique used in Hatha yoga There are two categories of static stretching the, first is active static stretching. This involves contracting antagonist muscles to stretch the target muscle contracting the quadriceps iliopsoas and biceps during the forwardbend .Paschimottanasana is a form of active static stretching of hamstrings. contracting antagonist muscles in active static stretching results in a phenomenon called reciprocal inhibition. During reciprocal inhibition the central nervous system signals the target muscle to relax.

    passive static stretching of occurs when we relax into the stretch using only the force of body weight to stretch muscles The restorative Pose Setu Bandha sarvangasana is an example of passive static stretching of iliopsoas muscle.
  1. b) GOLGI TENDON ORGAN: The Golgi tendon organ is a sensory receptor that is located where the muscle and tendon are joined. It detects changes in tension  and when tension increases it signals the muscle to relax. This acts like a "circuit breaker" to prevent injuries to the tender,  when tension generated by contracting muscle becomes too high. This contrasts with the muscle spindle receptor which detects change in the length and tension in the body of the muscle and signals the muscle to contract.

    The Golgi the tendon organ forms the basis of phenomenon used by physical therapist and sports trainers to known as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, of   PNF. In PNF we temporally contract the target muscle that we are stretching in order to stimulate Colony tendon organ. The Golgi tendon organ then signals the muscle to relax. This  creates "slack" in the muscle  that we can take up by going deeper into the stretch. This is known in Physiology as a "relaxation response".

    This may seem counterintuitive at first contacting a muscle that we are trying to stretch,  however when applied carefully this technique can be used to dissolve blocks and deepen poses. To understand the technique we will look at lengthening the hamstrings in Janu sirsasana.

3) cardiovascular training through yoga to delight with stored energy
4) Asanas to gain a positive life ----- a) viparita dandasana, b) urdhva dhanurasana with support c) rope exercises d) pinch mayurasana e) shavasana
5) The movements of chest during inhalations and exhalation.
6) The importance of diet in Yoga  ---- Yoga and vegetarianism/ A healthy diet/ Controlling appetite 
7) Yoga superior to sports and  physical exercises
- Relaxation and meditation for  athletes
- Difference between Yoga and jogging for strengthening of the heart
- Asanas to stimulate the heart without irritation  ---- supta virasana, supta baddha konasana, Shavasana on crosswise bolsters adho Mukha svanasana prasarita padottanasana.
8) How to be a good Yoga student 
9) A real teacher is a pupil within
10) The journey of sthira sukham asanam

Division Five – Day Five
1) How does one deal with the esoteric Anatomy and Physiology   

RECIPROCAL INHIBITION: It makes sense that there would be a corresponding physiological Yin /Yang to make biochemical processes such as bending and straightening the knee energy efficient. That is when Agonist muscle contracts, its antagonists relaxes. This exists as a primitive spinal cord reflex known as reciprocal inhibition, meaning that muscles on one side of the joint relax to accommodate contraction on other side of that joint. we can consciously access this reflex arc to deepen and improve our process in Paschimottanasana. The quadriceps muscle along the front of the thigh is agonist and hamstring muscles along the back of the thigh are antagonists. contracting the quadriceps signals hamstrings to relax, this takes place via the spinal cord. The nerve impulse that results in contraction of quadriceps is called excitatory and impulse to hamstring is called inhibitory. Try this technique to get a bit deeper into this pose :firmly contract the concepts to straighten the knee and Note how hamstring muscles relax. Apply it to different  agonist and antagonist muscle groups in other poses. Note the added bio chemical benefits of improved bone alignment when you apply this technique.
- Yoga ; A saviour in women's life. 
- Yoga for mental fluctuations in  women and Men 
- Asana for splitting headache before menstruation.
- Asana for hormonal balance.
- Asana practice during Middle age to maintain strength and health.
- Asanas to calm down women's physical, physiological and psychological sheaths

2) learn how one can move from merely inhaling and exhaling to practice of Pranayama: Pranayama is a compound word with prana and ayama  Prana means self energizing energy and Iayama means stretch  regulation  restraint, control, check  exercise, prolongation, extension, expansion, Length  breadth and circumference. This exercising of Prana helps physiologically in toning the cells,  tendons, ligaments, muscles, Nerves and stimulate the heart muscles to function rhythmically with proper circulation and ventilation. Physiologically it builds the Intelligence and consciousness to remain in an optimum level of efficiency in awareness without the signs of fatigue in the body or the feeling of Boredom in life.

3) does quietness and silence in the mind mean silence in the Citta? 

4) what is the difference between mind and Citta?

5) Energy Source of Human Body: The one and the only energy source of the whole universe is the cosmic life force Prana or Adishakti. This  energy Shakti  that pervades the whole universe and supports its existence. Prana Shakti is the energy of the will of cosmic consciousness "Ishwara", the sum total of all individual forces in the universe, physical, mental and intellectual, when resolved back to their original state becomes the pranic Shakti. The cosmic life force. At the time of dissolution of the Cosmos, all beings dissolve in the cosmic life force.  At the time of creation of the universe, all beings evolve from Prana. Prana is divinity. Prana creates  nurtures and destroys our bodies.  It is Prana, that energises the inert atoms of our physical, mental and intellectual bodies with life force. The man shares this unifying universal life force with the "beings". jeevatmas,- of the rest of the universe.  Prana the life energy force like all other energy forms (physical and non physical) is invisible, and in the sense secret. physical forces such as gravitational force, electricity magnetism, though Invisible are no longer a secret to a man of science. some people are aware of psychological - mental forces and their workings. but we still know very little about secret dynamics of life force- the Prana.

6) What are Pancha mahabhutas? 

7) Explanations of panchamahabhutas when doing various asanas.

8) Explanation of five kosas (layers) when doing various Asanas



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