Morning Sadhana: Maha Mudra (1.5 hrs)
The full body gesture, Maha Mudra, is one of the quintessential postures of this lineage. Many find the Mudra as difficult as it is complex. But never fear! We can work toward it intelligently... and even if it doesn't come to us, we can learn a lot about the breath in the process.
This dynamic sequence is most appropriate for students who have several years practice experience, or who come to practice injury free and prepared to move. It will involve some weight bearing on the arms: downward facing dog and upward facing dog. In other words, we will do several sun salutes. Just a few. And the posture that you are likely more familiar with, Janusirsana (head to knee) is a good approximate pose in the sequence. If you can approach Janu, then you can approach Maha.
Afternoon Sadhana: Chanting Sutra, Ujjayi, and Bandha (3 hrs)
We will open with Yoga Sutra 1:20 and discuss it's meaning in the context of practice. Then we will explore some of the details of Maha Mudra, it's architecture, and what it shows us about the breath. We will move a little bit as we explore the sequence with an eye for the technical. Best to stay light on the belly, but we will not be doing a full asana class again.
“Another thing that he made very simple, and practical, is the use of Mahā Mudrā. This is a very well known posture now, but when you start looking at the texts, nothing is clear there. He has incorporated the Āsana part, the breathing part, and the Mudrā part, and, he feels, Mahā Mudrā, if practiced every day, prevents ill health.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.