Ecstatic Yoga Workbook
Asana I Workbook
Key Terms & Definitions
EY Lessons, Key Terms & Definitions of Yoga
The eighth limb of Patangali's 8 Limbs of Yoga, entering into the bliss body and a pure state of expanded conscious awareness. Merging with the Atman and Divine Source Creator Brahman.
Mindfulness is concentrating our focused attention on the present moment while accepting what arises fully from a state of peace. We are witnessing the moment with alert awareness. Mindful presence, stillness of mind, present moment awareness.
Mantra; A word or saying that is repeated during meditation or yoga practice.
Om or aum; The sound made when chanting in yoga class. Often given as a mantra, om has a wide variety of significant meanings in yoga; it embodies the unification of mind, body, and spirit. It can also represent the sound of the universe or all sounds together.
Body Anchor; in the body, an area or chakra like the heart chakra or 3rd eye or root. Or the hands, the head, the feet.
Oneness Thought Mode
Voice of Truth, Internal focus, creativity, inspiration, vision, peace
We are grounded in silence while inspiration flows, ideas arise, solutions to problems present themselves, higher thinking. We hear one voice, a voice of oneness, truth, love and peace. Guidance flows to us naturally with a sense of peace. Messages are rooted in peace and promote connection and joy. Deep inner wisdom arises naturally and with ease. We are able to use the intellect to take care of the business of maintaining a physical life with gratitude.
Separation-Based Thought Mode
Voice of Judgment, External focus, mental fluctuations, thought disturbances
Messages of separation and fear. Thinking takes over, thought disturbances arise, we become engaged in the past or the future, the many forms of fear arise… confusion, hurt, defensiveness, victim, being right. Judgment enters the mind and we are perceiving and interpreting through the fearful limited mind and past experiences. We are stuck in old conditioning, repeated pain cycles and stuck in a limited realm of experience. Repetition of conflict from the past. Blaming, judging, victim, jealousy, attachment, anger, resentment, disempowered, fear and separation based thinking. We are simply distracted by the outer mental fear-based constructs that make up our outer material world, turning away or forgetting for the moment the unlimited ecstasy that dwells within us as us.
Realm of Being
Inner focus, spiritual nature, inner being, felt sense
We activate the Realm of Being through breath, music, presence, diving into pratyahara, fully engaged and present to physical, emotional and energetic sensations within the body. Centered in our hearts activating the highest levels of love possible, feeling our hearts expand with deep contentment. We rest in a state of peace and silent stillness. We bask in the nectar, engaged in the flow of breath, sensations, vibrations, pulsations… immersed in the dynamic ever expanding energy field within the body.
Mindfulness Meditation Anchors; Breath, Mantra, Chakra, Body, listening, prayer
In sanscrit asana means pose, and refers to both one pose or a sequence of pose’s (Asana Practice)
Sanskrit; A language rooted in India (Southeast Asia) used in modern yoga for mantras, pose names, meditation techniques, and other yogic work. Some communities in India still speak Sanskrit.
Wikipedia Definition Asana
An asana is a body posture, originally and still a general term for a sitting meditation pose, and later extended in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise, to any type of position or sequence of poses, adding reclining, standing, inverted, twisting, and balancing poses. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define "asana" as is steady and comfortable". Patanjali mentions the ability to sit for extended periods as one of the eight limbs of his system. Asanas are also called yoga poses or yoga postures in English.
What is the purpose of asana?
Asanas are performed to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. 1 The use of breathing and focus can help relieve stress and anxiety. The poses are not meant to simply be physical exercises but rather used holistically as a mind-body practice to improve physical, mental, and spiritual health. Ultimately to bring one into a deep awakened meditative state called Samadhi.
Analytics of an asana pose
The five types of yoga;
Juana Yoga; Wisdom, self-study/reflection, Inquiry
Bhakti Yoga; Devotion, divine in all, acceptance, tolerance
Karma Yoga; Service, action, reap what you sow
Raja Yoga; Kingly Control, mastery of the mind, sutras & 8 limbs
Hatha Yoga; Effort, physical poses, balance of energy
Some Yoga Lineages
There are many yoga lineages today, as many as there are schools of yoga, and in the past 20 years many newer forms exploded. Below are a few traditional forms of yoga lineage as well as Ecstatic Yoga.
Hatha yoga: A modern type of yoga involving longer-held poses and three body locks called Bandhas (Mula Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha, and Uddiyana Bandha). Typically this yoga is slightly slower-paced than modern Vinyasa yoga, and sequences can vary.
Iyengar yoga: A type of yoga that focuses on physical alignment through precision and the use of props.
Kundalini yoga: Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga that involves chanting, meditation, movement, singing, and breathwork, believed to awaken Kundalini energy that’s said to reside at the base of the spine. Kundalini energy moves up the spine through the seven Chakras.
Ashtanga yoga: Ashtanga means eight limbs in Sanskrit. This style of yoga is generally much more structured than other varieties. Ashtanga largely sticks to a set sequence of yoga postures (known as Primary and Secondary series) that a practitioner moves through at their own pace. Ashtanga is typically practiced early in the morning, up to six days a week.
Ecstatic Yoga, Sacred Embodiment: a whole harmonious yoga practice inclusive of deep samadhi meditation, yin and yang asana practices, Kriya philosophy, chant, dance and rapture experiences.
Types of Yoga Practices
Nidra & Samadhi
More Asana related terms
Drishti; The practice of looking at a fixed point, optimally something that is not moving, during yogic practice. A dristi is most helpful when practicing balancing poses.
Mudra; A hand gesture held during meditation for activating energy and symbolic purpose.
Namaste; A greeting used in Indian culture and yoga. You'll often hear your yoga teacher saying “namaste” as a closing at the end of class. Namaste translates to “I bow to you.” Usually, this greeting is given while pressing the palms against one another in front of the heart center, bowing the head towards the hands.
“I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you that is love, peace, truth and light. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are one.” Namaste.
Proprioception; Awareness of our body in space.
Some Asana poses and sequences practiced in Ecstatic Yoga
Sun Salutation C Flow; Surya Namaskar C
Warrior Flow; Virabadrasana Asana
Hip Opener Flow
Kriya & Philosophy
Raja Yoga: Patanjali Yoga Sutras
Raja Yoga Definition: The understanding and complete mastery over the mind.
Raja Yoga is also called Kingly Yoga, the yoga of control or mastery over the mind. The primary text for Raja Yoga is called Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, or Yoga Darsanam. Raja Yoga includes Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of yoga and the yoga sutras.
There are 200 sutras divided into 4 sections called Pada’s:
Samadhi Pada, portion on; Contemplation of the theory of yoga and most advanced stage called Samadhi.
Sadhana Pada, portion on; The Practice of the 8 Limbs of Yoga.
Vibhuti Pada, portion on; Accomplishments and powers of faithful practice of the final 3 inner steps
Kaivalya Pada, portion on Absoluteness; Cosmic, philosophical Views on yoga.
Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga
Yamas- Outer ethical precepts
Niyamas- Inner ethical precepts
Asana- body awareness
Pranayama- breath awarness
Pratyahara- awareness of inner sensation
Dyarana- Concentration, one point of focus
Yamas: Yamas are the first five ethical principles of yoga—a set of rules that many yogis live by for “right living.” They include Ahimsa (non-harming), Satya (being truthful), Asteya (not stealing), Brahmacharya (right use of energy), and Aparigraha (non-greed).
Niyamas: Observances, rules, and guidelines. The Yoga Sutra describes five different niyamas, including Saucha (cleanliness), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (self-discipline), Svadhyaya (self-reflection), and Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to a higher power).
Pranayama is all about the breath and breathing techniques and practices that clear physical, energetic and emotional blockages in the body and energy field so the vital life force energy and prana can flow freely. Prana means "vital life force" in Sanskrit, and yama means to gain control, and ayama meaning “extension” or “expansion. Pranayama can be said to be breathing techniques that extend and expand vital life force energy and prana within the body through the deliberate control of respiration.
Prana is the vital life force energy that pervades all that is, all of existence and the entire known Universe, visible and invisible. It is the source of life and believed to be the expression of Divine Creator. In yoga the space within all matter is prana, modern physics states the atoms that make up all matter are 99% space, or prana. From a yogic perspective the space is filled with intelligence, creative potential, Divine energy called prana.
The five basic manifestations of prana in the body are called the pancha vayus and include five vayus…prana vayu, samana vayu, udana vayu, apana vayu and vyana vayu.
Vital life force centered in the throat and head.
It allows for thought, communication, singing and making sounds.
Vital force centered in the heart, chest and lungs.
Draws life force in through the lungs
Movement; upward moving energy.
Vital force centered in the abdominal region
Associated with digestion and functioning of the abdominal organs.
A balance point between prana and apana vayu.
Movement; in toward the abdomen on exhale, expansion in all directions on exhale
Vital life force centered in the lower half of the body
Associated with exhalation, elimination and reproduction
Movement; Deep down flowing movement on exhale
Vital life force that pervades the entire body especially the limbs.
Associated with the nervous system
Movement; in toward the center of the body on inhale, outward toward extremities on exhale.
The three aspects or stages of Pranayama are:
Puraka (inhalation) Active expansion while filling lungs with air & prana
Rechaka (exhalation) Emptying the lungs of air & prana
Kumbhaka (Breath retention)
Antara Kumbhaka (the mindful pause after inhalation)
Bahya Kumbhaka (the mindful pause after exhalation
Our traditional analytic’s will cover the following pranayama techniques listed from langhana to brahmana with Samavritti being the mid-point.
Cooling/langhana to vitalizing/brahmama
-Dirgha Pranayama (3 Part Yogic Breath) Cooling; to lengthen.
--Brahmari, buzzing bee, quiets the senses, sooths the nervous system.
-Chandra Bhedana, vitalizing, piercing the moon, activates ida nadi.
-Nadi Shadhana, balancing nadi’s, alternate nostril breathing.
-Samavritti, box breath or equal breathing, quiets mind.
-Nadi Shodhana with retention, balances nadi’s, alternate nostril.
-Dirgha Pranayama (With belly firm) vitalizing, alternate nostril.
-Ujjayi, vitalizing, victory breath, victor over the fluctuations of the mind.
-Viloma, vitalizing, against the current; increases breath & vital capacity.
-Surya Bhedana, vitalizing, piercing the sun, activates pingala nadi.
-Kapalabhati, vitalizing, skull shining, cleanses physical & energy body
-Bhastrika, vitalizing, bellows breath, increases air flow & heat in the body
The subtle body kosha called the pranamaya kosha or vital life energy body includes channels of energy called meridians, vortices called chakras, pathways called nadis, locks called bandhas, and seals called mudras. It is important to know that although the pranamaya kosha is distinct form the physical kosha, or anamaya kosha it penetrates and impacts not only the physical body but all five koshas or sheaths of the self.
Nadi is Sanskrit word that can be translated as “tube,” “channel” or “flow.” It refers to the network of channels through which energy travels through the body. Some texts say there are 350,000 nadi's, some say 75,000 in and around the body. Out of these thousands of nadi's only 14 have been identified, the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna being the most important.
Ida Nadi, feminie, moon, cooling
Pingala Nadi, masculine, sun, heating
Sushumna Nadi, central channel, great river
Ida – Known for its feminine and cool energy, it starts at the Muladhara and ends at the left nostril. It is also associated with the energy of the moon.
Pingala – Known for its masculine and heating energy, it flows on the right side and ends at the right nostril. It is also associated with the energy of the sun.
Sushumna – The main or central nadi through which the prana flows to the other nadis. It starts at Muladhara and ends at the Sahasrara chakra.
Gandhari – It is responsible for providing energy to the left eye. It starts at the Muladhara and ends at the Ajna Chakra.
Hastijihva – Gives energy to the left limbs, i.e., the left arm and leg. This nadi starts at Muladhara and ends at the Manipura Chakra.
Kuhu – Provides energy to the genitals. It starts at Muladhara and ends at the Svadhisthana Chakra.
Saraswati – Responsible for giving energy to the throat, mouth, and tongue. It starts at Muladhara and ends at the Vishuddhi chakra.
Pusha – Gives energy to the right eye. It starts at the Muladhara and ends at the Ajna chakra.
Shakhini – Gives energy to the left ear. It starts at the Muladhara and ends at the Ajna chakra.
Payaswini – A complimentary nadi to the Pingala, it flows through the Saraswati and Pusha nadi and ends at the right ear.
Varuni – Provides energy to the whole body through the nervous system. Begins at the Muladhara and ends at Anahata chakra.
Alambusha – Provides energy to the organs responsible for the elimination of waste. It starts from the anus and ends at the mouth, moving through the Muladhara Chakra.
Vishwodari – Gives energy to the organs related to the digestive system. It starts at Muladhara and ends at Manipura Chakra.
Yashaswini – Provides energy to the right libs, i.e, right arm and leg. It starts at Muladhara and ends at Manipura Chakra.