Saturday, September 24, 2016

Yin Yoga for the 9 Rasas

“Rasas are the essences of our emotions that exist in both body and mind. The Indian tradition recognizes the 9 Rasas as representing our most important and basics emotions: Love, Joy, Wonder, Courage, Calmness, Anger, Sadness, Fear and Disgust.”

In Yogic philosophy  “our moods and emotions are continually effected by the play of elements, senses, food and vital energy in our body.

In traditional Rasa Sadhana we temporarily promise ourselves or fast temporarily abstain from an emotion in thought, word or deed to better understand and master the Rasa

In this Yin Rasa Sadhana we will address the Rasas by bringing awareness to emotion by focusing on it with a long hold.

"In the circle of wholeness of my true being, I experience my essence as freedom and unity"


Body Awareness: Body Scan from feet to crown and then breath and heartbeat experiencing the 9 rasas. Adapted from a Chopra Center Gratitude Meditation I have used for Thanksgiving.

Bring awareness to the feet, the toes. What emotion or emotion present here in the feet and toes.. Sense any Love, joy, wonder, calmness, anger, courage, sadness, fear or disgust  in the feet and toes. Toes and feet that wiggle, transport you, walk, run, dangle, dance, kick, fold, leap and point.

Bring  awareness to the hands. What emotion or emotion present here in the hands. Sense any Love, joy, wonder, calmness, anger, courage, sadness, fear or disgust  in the hands. Hands that hold and touch, and caress, and open and close, and applaud, and squeeze, the arms and shoulders that carry and hug and lift and stretch.

Bring awareness to the lips and mouth. What emotion or emotion present here in the lips and mouth. Sense any Love, joy, wonder, calmness, anger, courage, sadness, fear or disgust  in the lips and mouth. Lips and mouth that tastes and savours and nourishes, kisses and speaks, that whispers, and sings.

Bring awareness to the ears, What emotion or emotion present here ears. Sense any Love, joy, wonder, calmness, anger, courage, sadness, fear or disgust  in the ears.
Ears that beam in sound, music, laughter, the voices of those you love, the silence, the beautiful sounds of life.

Bring awareness to the nose, What emotion or emotion present here in the nose. Sense any Love, joy, wonder, calmness, anger, courage, sadness, fear or disgust  in the nose.
The Nose that smells the ocean breeze, the aroma of sweet perfume, the flowers, the trees, newly cut grass, the wafting smells that come from the kitchen, like a turkey baking or cranberries on the stove.

Bring awareness to the eyes What emotion or emotion present here in the eyes. Sense any Love, joy, wonder, calmness, anger, courage, sadness, fear or disgust  in the eyes. Eyes that see colors, faces, smiles, nature, the sunrise, the sunset, the rainbow, the moon and the stars, yourself in the mirror.

Firstly bring your awareness to the breath, inhale and exhale and the fact that each of these breaths gives you life. What emotion or emotion present here in the breath. Sense any Love, joy, wonder, calmness, anger, courage, sadness, fear or disgust in the breath.

Be aware of the heart beating.  The pulsing. What emotion or emotion present here in the heartbeat. Sense any Love, joy, wonder, calmness, anger, courage, sadness, fear or disgust  in the heart beat. Notice any love and compassion present in the heart.



Butterflies in the stomach, goose bumps, sweating, trembling, and palpitations of the heart are some of the best-known symptoms of being in love." - Peter Marchand

"To master Shringara we must first of all realize that Beauty is everywhere and is always there to be loved." - Peter Merchand

- Shringara literally means "good taste"
- Master of Shringara is the master of the aesthetic sense the person can bring out the beauty and harmony in everything
- Rase of loves and beauty
- enjoying the company of someone
- mood we create when we concentate on creating a loving atmosphere, romance, art, culture
- dominant Kosha is Manomaya Kosha
- sub rasa are Beauty, Admiration, Aesthetic Sentiment and Devotion
- Element is water
- Key for Mastering: Love in good taste but without discrimination

"Shringara Sasdhana means that for a period of time you are ever tasteful, nice, sweet spoken, tender and loving in deed, word, and thought."

JOY (HASYA) -  Happy Baby

Do one side at a time and then both sides

"The pursest Hasya is a Joy that comes from within for no apparent reason, and is not linked to actions or events. Yogis call it ahlani shakti or "the power of Joy." Ahladini shakti may also come when we feel God or life is kind." - PM

"When life seems like hell, laughter bring us immediately back to Earth if not to heaven." - PM

"In conclusion, Joy or Humor is a very powerful tool against Sadness, Fear and Anger."


"Pure Joy us endless and creates only more Joy," - PM

"The sadhana of Hasya consists of laughing without end, of fasting on Joy and Humor only... To see Humor of any situation requires a deep understanding of the illusionary nature of the universe."

Key to Mastering: Make others see the beauty of the illusion of life
Dominant Kosha: Manomayakosha
Element: Fire

WONDER (ADBHUTA) - Dragon Pose

"From the dawn of civilization, human beings have tried to understand everything and are still trying. The feeling of Wonder comes when we recognize our own ignorance. When a wonderful thing happens the intellect is overwhelmed, unable to fully understand it, the mind is completely immersed in the feeling of Wonder, and the ego surrenders to it." - PM
- Brings the promise of learning
- understand that there are things we don't understand
- comes at the beginning of a spiritual journey
- mystery
- "wonder is dominanted by the fire element; the feeling will heat up the entire body." PM
- "The key to Wonder is to remain open-minded toward the miracle of life, which can be experienced in everything."-PM
- "Wonder Sadhana means to completely remain from the idea of understadning anything, to be conscious of our own ignorance....Nothing can be understood; no explanation can be taken for granted; only astonishment is suitable."

Dominant Element: Fire
Dominant Kosha: Mind
Key to MAstering: Humbly accept the mystery of normality

PEACE/CALMNESS (SHANTA) - 1/2 or full Lotus or Easy Pose

"For true Calmess, body, mind, ego and intellect must be completely still."
- I consciousness and supremem consciousness become one
- The main way to induce calmness is meditation practices
- keep a balance between needs and desires
- gratitude and taking care of everything and everyone around us
- following our dharma (paying debts to our ancestors - continue the line, universe - take care/gratitude and our teachers - passing on the teachings)
- Calmness Sadhana means remaining calm at all times
- Practice calmness is speech, yogic posture, breathwork

Element: Air
Kosha: Anandamaya kosha
Key to Mastering: Meditate and pay your debts while reducing needs to a minimum

ANGER (RAUDRA)- Supported Twist

"When expectations are not fulfilled, the ego may feel that it has been neglected or treated incorrectly; this forms the basis for Anger."

- 1st chakra anger - expectations that relate to insecurity - violent - involves fear
- 2nd chakra anger - unfulfilled sensory desires -
- 3rd chakra anger - people do not give us the respect we think we deserve
- eyes wide open with anger, causes the whole body to get tight and sense (esp. jaw and hands)
- Fire element
- anger can be a purifier

3 ways to master anger
(1) dissolve the anger the moment it arrives - analyze it and shift to an enemy rasa like Joy, Love and Wonder
(2) address the anger in a nonviolent way
(3) play a role of  being angry toward the person who is misbehaving, so s/he understands a line has been crossed  (is there a way to play a role without being emotionally accepted)

- try to cool down by
a) drinking cool water
b) no sweets or fats
c) avoid pungent, sour and astrigents
d) no alcohol
e) yogurt or lemons

"Anger sadhana means to consciously set aside even good reasons for being angry,"

Element: Fire
Kosha: Ego - Vijnanamayakosha
Key for Mastering: Resist Injustice if needed, but without violence or expectation


"Vererya or Courage is the Rasa of fearlessness, self-assurance, determination, heroism, valor, concentration and perfect control of the body and mind."

- "To become a real Verrya requires a lot of patience and training. Whether it regards real fighting, any other phsycial capability, or the mental power and balance needed in any endeavor, the required neutral patterns need to be developed step by step until they are real brain highways that can be taken without effort." PM

- "Maintaining any kind of discipline is veerya sadhana... Living perfectly as one knows how,"

Dominant Element: Water
Dominant Kosha: Vijnanamaya
Key to Mastering: Develop power and balance step by step and serve with humble confidence

SADNESS (KARUNA) - Supported Child's Pose

"Only that which is never changing is true, and, in maya, everything is continuously changing."
- The fact that nothing last forever is a source of much sadness/suffering
- Karuna also means compassion
- Personal bad luck or something disatrous happening to one's loved ones are the most common causes of sadness
- Ruled by water element and we see this with our tears
- Karuna sadhana means to convert self centered emotion of Sadness to compassion for others

"To directly counter any Sadness, we must first understand that Sadness may come but goes just as well."

Dominant Element: Water
Dominant Kosha: Ego
Key to Mastering: Kindly embrace both truth and ignorance


I chose this pose because it  stretches the front of the body, particularly the throat, chest, abdomen, hip flexors, and intercostals (the muscles between your ribs). It strengthens the upper back muscles and the back of the neck, which improves spinal flexibility and posture. As we open the throat chakra we can speak our truth and no longer be afraid.

"Fear is caused by ignorance. When something is unknown, the mind can only imagine what it can do and if the ego is not confident enough, the mind will only imagine fearful things."

- Worries
- nervousness
- Jealousy (fear loss of someones love)

"Fear can be overcome by inner strength, Love and truth. When we see only unity in diversity, there is no Fear."

- Fear sadhana need to make distinction between planning and worrying
- Stop from repeatedly going over a plan
- "accept that no of planning can ever forsee all potential obstructions"

Dominant element: Air
Kosha: Manomaya
Key to Mastering: Seek comapny and trust while doing your duty

DISGUST (VIBHATSA) - Supported Bridge - legs extended - one leg up - 2 legs up - Waterfall

I chose this pose because:
- Bridge goes over the water element (the element of this rasa)
- Opens heart, solar plexus chakra
- Bridges to ourselves, remove bridges to places and people we should not be involved with

- Disgust or Dissatisfaction with oneself and others
- "In modern times the pressure to perform and excel is so strong that Disgust comes from easily than in times in the past." PM
- We see disgust in depression, dissatisfaction, shame
-  paying attention to Love
- Disgust Sadhana = fasting from disgusting, words, thought or actions

Element: Water
Kosha: Manomaya
Key to Mastering: Ignore it and stop negative identification, whole turning to purification


Rasa Balancing Yoga Nidra.

Observe the feeling tone in your mind. Does your mind feel joy,sadness, fear, disgust . . .
See if you can recognize the emotions with you

Name it using mental noting if you like. Note it two or three times depending on the strength or duration of the feeling - happiness, happiness, joy, joy, disgust, disgust

See if you can locate the emotion in your body. What physical sensations accompany it? Doing you have butterflies in your stomach or a racing pulse

Are your eyelids heavy  and shoulders draw up?

If no emotions come up then keep following the breath

Listen to the tone of your mental noting. It is harsh or tense. - Disgust, Disgust.  Make an effort to note more gently.

Another approach can be when you’ve located the emotion in your body- when you’ve located the emotion in your body-if, for example, you find that anxiety has created a knot in your stomach-check the rest of your body to see whether some other part is tensing up. Are your shoulders hunching up in reaction to original response? Consciously relax this reactive tension in your stomach, It may then begin to relax on its own.

The very act of observance can sometimes dissipate stress, because we are not buying into the emotion, we are simply watching it. We’re not struggling against the experiences but taking an interest in whatever feeling arrives and passes away

If observing your emotions starts to feel overwhelming return to following the breath. You can do this at anytime during the meditation if you need steadying.

If you are distracted by physical pain, note the emotion generated by it, A twinge or ache might be accompanied by a flash of impatience, irrigation or panic. Observe the emotion, name it and allow it to leave

Return to following your breath. After a few moments, end the meditation and open your eyes.

Release any judgment, condemnation or projection into the future, remind yourself that it’s okay to be feeling whatever it is that has come up. Try letting go of those reactions as best you can, and coming back to direct experience in the moment:

Followed by Traditional Yoga Nidra Body Rotation and Breathwork if time Permits

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