Tantra Yoga: The Dragon & Tiger Practice | Trinity Yoga

Tantra Yoga: The Dragon & Tiger Practice

tantra yogaDO THE GROUNDING VERSION – TIGER – IN THE SPRING & THE DRAGON in fall. Excerpted from Para Yoga Master Training – Rod Stryker

The practice – Dragon and the Tiger – a kriya practice that combines evolution and involution. The Dragon breathing fire, is the upward movement. The spine is the governing vessel. Channel moves upward. The tiger is the controlling vessel, it moves downward. The tiger prowls the earth. Before energy starts to move we need to balance involution and evolution. From Chinese medicine, the two meridians meet at the roof of the mouth and the root chakra. AWORHAN – THE CHANNEL THAT MOVES UPWARD AHAROWAN – THE CHANNEL THAT MOVES DOWNWARD In this kriya, we direct consciousness upward through one channel and down through another. The two channels are the spine and the meridian that flows in front of the spine. Prana can be directed up or down through either channel. For a more grounding effect, the spine is the downward channel and the front body meridian is the upward channel. Moving the opposite way is integrative , but more expansive. By activating the downward flow we become a spiritual tiger, strengthening our capacities in the word by channeling our life force into the lower chakras. The chakras in the spine spiral upward. The chakras in the front meridian spiral outward. Moodlahara and Bindu chakras are purely spinal. Swadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Vissudhi and Anja are both involution and evolution. (front & back). To begin, Center and begin ujjai breathing, deeping the breath as you draw your awareness inward. Depending on which direction you have chosen, the Dragon breath moves up the spine to Bindu, then loops toward the Anja chakra and downward. The Tiger begins at the root on the inhale moves forward to the front chakra meridian passing through all the chakras to cross at vissudhi at the throat to loop at the Bindu forward to Anja where it loops back downward at the throat to the spinal column on the exhale. Practice with an erect and upright spine, or lying down similarily. Add an OM on the exhale of the tiger practice when you reach the bindu as you move toward Anja – 3rd eye. Mary-Jo Fetterly TRINITY YOGA

Tight Feet

I came across a curious question today – “what is the symbolic meaning of tight feet”? This individual was also looking for a modification to Janu Sirsasana C.

In my experience, tight feet are unable to receive support from the earth. This tight holding blocks the feminine, magnetic, “earth” energy (which provides a sense of grounding) from flowing up and enlivening your legs and core. Your lower body is associated with the root chakra located at the base of your spine. Energy in this centre relates to physical survival and represents your connection with the earth and the magnetic essence.

Modification for Janu C (care of David Swenson): With grounding leg extended in front, “sit up straight and rotate the (bent knee) foot in a preparatory phase without placing it on the floor. If this is too extreme then repeat Janu Sirsasana A or B”.

Remembering the Feet

This article discusses the importance of building a strong and supple foundation in our lower body. Let’s begin by by bringing awareness to the fluidity and support of our feet.
Begin in Tadasana.

Bring your awareness into the bottom of your feet. Feel your feet touching the floor or your yoga mat. Feel where the metatarsals join with the phalanges (the toes). Become aware of the calcaneus (the heel bone). Notice how the talus interacts with the tibia to form your ankle joint. How balanced does it feel? Now move into Vrksana (Tree Pose). Notice how each foot is feeling, and how they are contributing to your practice – are you holding your feet with hardness, or is the lift through the arches of the feet happening with effortless effort, with a sense of nourishing ease?

Sustaining the arches with effortless effort and nourishing ease comes from the interaction of muscles and fascia. When the interaction of the muscles and fascia is functional, we are more able to feel the 2-way energy exchange between us and the earth. From us into to the earth, our energy can seep into and spread like roots in soil. From the earth to us, we can feel the return of energy back into our feet and through our body.The Key Players: Muscular Support from Below

Sitting on the floor or on a chair, take one foot onto your knee. Turn the bottom or sole of your foot over so that you can look at it. Take one finger and place it on your calcaneus, in the center of the heel. Draw a diagonal line toward your big toe. That is the medial longitudinal arch. Now take your finger back to the center of your heel. Draw a diagonal line toward your pinky toe. That is the lateral longitudinal arch.

The key muscles that support these arches are the Flexor Hallucis Longus and the Abductor Hallucis on the medial arch and the Abductor Digiti Minimi on the lateral arch. The Flexor Digitorum Brevis and the Quadratus Plantae support both longitudinal arches.

Still in sitting, place your foot on the floor, sole touching the floor. About 1/3 of the way between your ankle and toes is the transverse arch, which connects the two longitudinal arches. The primary muscle that supports the transverse arch is the Adductor Hallucis.

The Key Players: Muscular Support from Above

There are 2 primary muscles that support the arches from above, the Peroneus Longus and the Tibialis Posterior. Together, they are commonly called the “stirrup muscles because they powerfully pull upward. Each originate on the lower leg, with their tendons entering the bottom of the foot from 2 sides – the peroneus longus on the pinky toe side, the tibialis posterior from the big toe side. They both attach at multiple locations on the bottom of the foot, which enables them to give primary support to the transverse arch and secondary support to the longitudinal arches.