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  • Ashtanga Yoga Plymouth

Samasthiti ~ finding our foundation

Updated: Jan 21

We begin every class by spending a few moments in Samasthiti (or ‘equal standing’) as pictured. It is the practice of standing with equal, steady, and still attention. It gives us time to put behind us whatever has happened before class and to start to connect to our foundations. Nowadays in this ever busy and distracting world we spend so much time in our heads that it’s more important than ever to spend a good amount of time grounding in our feet. All postures are built from the ground upwards, and we soon learn how important it is to feel the weight in our feet so our spine can lengthen and top of the head can rise. Just as a building needs a strong stable foundation, we discover over time how important it is to steady our feet, legs and pelvic floor (mula bandha) so that we can then build our posture on top of that firm base.

So even though it may look like we are doing very little here, we are actually subtly engaging many muscles, as well as taking the opportunity to start to interlock our body, breath, and mind in a meditative state.....which in turn starts to activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for restoring the body's energy, slowing down the heart rate, inducing a feeling of calm, and increasing digestive and glandular activity. It is known as the 'rest and digest' system and counteracts our adrenaline based sympathetic nervous system.....

And of course this is true whether we’re in samasthiti, downward dog or headstand, or anything in between. In fact, some would say every posture is a variation of samasthiti and it’s no surprise our practice concludes with (optional) headstand, inverting our samasthiti, utilising everything we’ve learnt along the way...


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