Welcome to our September newsletter. Spring is here. We can wipe off our cobwebs and celebrate the early sun rises, the warm days, and the newness of life!

Asanas of the Month – Virabhadrasana 1
Article of the Month – The Folklore Behind the Warrior Poses
Embarrassing Question of the Month – Why do I get really frustrated when I can’t do a posture?
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
Upcoming Events: Spring Intensive, Bali Retreat
Previous newsletters



Asana of the month- Virabhadrasana 1
In this pose the chest is fully expanded and this helps deep breathing. It relieves stiffness in the shoulders and back, tones up the ankles and knees and cures stiffness in the neck.” BKS Iyengar.


iyengar teaching

Getting into and out of the pose

• From Tadasana jump the feet about a meter apart.

• Take the arms out to the sides with the palms facing up. Then take arms overhead until they are parallel to one another.

• Keep the arms straight and join the palms together.

• Obtain a symmetrical stance.

• Then turn left foot in 45 – 60 degrees and right foot out 90 degrees. Then turn the whole trunk to face the direction of the right foot.

• Bend your right leg to a right angle with the shin perpendicular to floor and the thigh parallel to the floor.

• Draw your thoracic spine inwards and open your chest. Then bring your head back and look upwards towards the hands.

• Keep the left leg straight and firm.

• Note: there are three directions of movement- forward in your front leg, backwards in your rear leg, and upwards in your torso.

• Then straighten the right leg, return to the centre, and repeat on the other side.


Actions of the hands, arms, and shoulders

arms up

• At the beginning, when you turn the palms up, stretch the shoulder blades towards the thumbs.

• Lift your arms from the outer armpits and the inner arms.

• Raise the arms before turning, and keep them symmetrical when you turn.

• Only place the palms together if you are able to keep the arms straight.

Otherwise keep them apart with the wrists parallel to each other.

• Use the lifting of your arms to create space in the torso.


Tips on the actions of the torso, hips and pelvis

• Once you’ve gained symmetry in the arms, square the pelvis, pubis, torso and head toward the front foot.

• Lift the chest, tuck the sacrum under, and draw your abdomen inward and upward.

• Bend the front knee, and direct your navel and sternum towards the centre of the forward thigh.

• If your lower back feels compressed lift the two front hips, and take your sacrum forward.

• Keep your pelvis level.

• Lengthen both sides of your torso evenly away from your pelvis.

• Use your arms to lift your chest, simultaneously descend the trapezius muscles down your back, and broaden your collarbones.

• Lift your sternum towards the ceiling and draw the shoulder blades into and down your back to assist the gentle backward bending of the spine.

• Lift the torso off the lower back.

• Keep your arms and side ribs lifting towards the ceiling, while you allow the legs and groins to descend downwards towards the floor.

• As you bend back to look at the ceiling, focus more and more on lifting your sternum and your arms higher.

iyengar teaching


Tips for the actions of the legs and feet

• Once you’ve gained symmetry in the arms, square the pelvis, pubis, torso and head toward the front foot.

• Have enough distance between your feet so that when the front knee is bent the middle of the thigh can be positioned so it’s parallel to the ground, while the knee is directly over the heel and ankle.

• Lengthen your inner front thigh from the groin to the knee in order to keep your knee pointing towards your middle toe.

• To minimize risk of knee injury, rotate the groin along with the leg.

• Lower the groin. The pose becomes instable when the groin is lifted.

• Keep the bottom of the groin of the bent leg passive.

• Retain the sensation of the inner and outer heel when you bend your front leg.

• Bring your rear hip forwards, without sacrificing the stretch of your back leg. • Lengthen the inner back leg, to allow the waist to turn evenly • Press your rear shin bone back to stop the knee from bending.

• Maintain your attention on the front leg and back leg simultaneously.

• Broaden the calf muscles of the back leg. Stretch down through the rear inner calf into your heel.

• Lengthen and broaden your feet.

• The centre of the ankle of the back leg should be lifted up.

• Open out the toes of the back leg.



Article of the Month – The Folklore Behind the Warrior Poses
Daniela Casotti


The name of an asana relates to the characteristics it develops in us – physically, energetically, and mentally. The Virabadrasana series are practiced to overcome our own weaknesses, develop strength, courage, balance, unwavering focus and determination to deal with life’s challenges.


Knowing the Indian folk law of Virabhadra, who inspired the name of the posture, adds another dimension to the way we practice the pose…


Once upon a time there lived a powerful King called Daksha who was very upset with his daughter Sati. Even though her father disapproved of her beloved Shiva, she still married him. Daksha did everything to destroy the marriage, but Shiva, the King of consciousness, was not disturbed. Sati, however, became more and more troubled by her father’s cruelty.


One day Daksha decided to make his disapproval known to the nation he ruled. He decided to hold a big party, and invited everyone except his daughter and son in law. This vindictive gesture was the last straw for Sati! Enraged, and carried away by her emotions, she went to the party to confront her father. All the people at the party, including her father, found this very entertaining. Infuriated, she was unable to control her inner fire, and exploded into flames.


Devastated by the news, Shiva yanked a handful of hair out of his head, and hurled it to the ground. This gesture gave birth to Virabhadra the most ferocious warrior of his time. Shiva ordered him to destroy the party and kill Daksha!


Virabhadra violently stormed the party, bringing death and destruction to everything in the way, and chopped off Daksha’s head. When Shiva caught up, anger was replaced by sorrow. He absorbed the warrior consciousness back into his own image, and was full of remorse. He found Daksha’s headless body and bought him back to life by giving him the head of a goat. Daksha saw past his ego, and with gratitude bowed at Shiva’s feet, giving him the title of Shankar- the giver of bliss.


It’s ironic that such a violent image should inspire the name of a yoga posture, especially when one of the principles of yoga is ahimsa- non violence. We practice Virabhadrasana series, not to honor the practice of violence, but to fight our own ego and ignorance.


Untamed, the postures can bring up frustration, anger and even aggression. We practice the posture to discipline this energy. The posture offers us a persistent tug of war between extension and compression, twist and backbend, internal and external rotation, and strength and flexibility. Experiencing these dual actions gives us ample opportunity to develop the right awareness to rise above them. Along the way, we learn to confront our physical, emotional and mental weaknesses. We develop the balance between determination and surrender. We learn, experientially, when to push and when to yield. The posture simultaneously makes us strong and open hearted!

Embarrassing Question of the Month – Why do I get really frustrated when I can’t do a posture?
This is a really common question that I hear from people who are achievement based and goal oriented in their approach to yoga. What ends up happening is that instead of approaching the posture with patience and curiosity, they end up approaching it with expectations and deadlines. When their expectations aren’t met, an uncomfortable emotion is experienced- like frustration, anger, disappointment and disillusionment.

More often than not our lives are ruled by the achievement based and goal oriented consciousness. The good news is that yoga gives you the opportunity to step out of this swirl of expectations, and find out what is real. Awareness kept in check; you can use your body as a safe ground to play out these emotions, and learn how to rise above them. A strong and stable sense of Awareness is essential so you don’t get swept away by the force of the emotion.

Awareness is the key. While doing the posture, detect the emotion as soon as you can, and see how it manifests in the body. Then realign the body, steady the breath and remain focused on alignment. This is how to use asanas to go beyond our physical, emotional and mental limitations. Being conscious of the rise and fall of different emotions, understanding them on an experiential level goes a long way towards confronting your day to day challenges.


Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
??????????????????? ????????????

Chapter 2 verse 26
vivekakhy?tiraviplav? h?nop?ya?||26||
The ceaseless flow of discriminative knowledge in thought, word and deed destroys ignorance, the source of pain” BKS Iyengar. Light on the yoga sutras of Patanjali pg 129



Quote of the month
Health is an energy usage which is sustainable
Dr Robert Svabodha


Upcoming events

Spring Equinox Yoga Intensive

16th – 28th September (except Sunday)
6 to 7.30am

With Maurice McCann

Transform the body and mind from the lethargy of winter into the clarity of spring. The classes are designed as a course, building up day by day, over 12 days.


This Intensive celebrates the Spring Equinox. After the dominance of darkness during winter, the spring equinox is the time in the earths annual cycle around the sun, where day and night are of equal length. Balance is achieved between light and dark. After that, days start to get longer, and light dominates darkness. Nature has its own way of restoring light. In the same way, we can use the natural rhythms of this time, to purify the dark aspects of ourselves, re establish and reinforce the light in our own life.


iyengar teaching


The course starts on September 16th, six days before the actual Spring Equinox. The first half of the intensive gives up the opportunity to shake off our winter weariness. The second half, through the deepening of our yoga experience, gives us the opportunity to establish ourselves in the benefits of our yoga practice, and the clarity it brings.


What makes this event even more auspicious is that the Spring Equinox is on the 23rd September at 6.44am- right in the middle of our class!


To book, call us on 0438 837 244, or email


2013 Yoga Room Bali Retreat

bali 2011

Our Bali retreat is next month – From October 14th – 27th.

For photos from previous retreats, click here!


If you’re thinking of coming along, flights are pretty cheap at the moment. So now’s a good time to book! To book, call us on 0438 837 244, or email us on info@yogaroom.com.au