Archives for category: quick bliss tip



In Svaroopa yoga we describe students who can move into extreme angles as “hyper-flexible”. My students will often hear me talk about being really aware of not ‘hanging’ in your ligaments. Flexible people will tend to move to their extreme angle, because they can!  However, this is not worth the long term consequences and issues later in life. The propping Svaroopa yoga provides (for not only hyper-flexible students but also those with limited flexibility) combined with precise body angles reaches into the tight spots while protecting and supporting the joints, tendons and ligaments – starting right from your tailbone and progressing all the way up along your spine.

Click here to read this great article about protecting your joints.

Less IS more.
Listen to your body.
Open your spine.
Calm your mind.
Find your bliss.

Come and try a class. Spinal release feels amazing!


Do you?  Me too.

If you don’t (yet), here’s  a few reasons why you could really learn to love it 🙂

This pose lengthens your lumbar spine (that’s the spine through your waist).  The traction from your back leg reaches through your hip and into your spine through your waist area.   The front of your thigh and hip crease are lengthened.   For this reason, in Svaroopa(R) yoga we don’t go into a deep forward bend directly after this pose as some other styles of yoga may do.   Lunge also qualifies as a very gentle backbend for your lower spine.

The weight of your head as you lean your head forward (which can weigh as much as a small bowling ball),  creates a traction which lengthens through the back of your neck and upper spine, decompressing your spine from your neck downward, relieving your neck and upper back tensions.  And doesn’t that feel great?

Lunge also lengthens your torso.   May release tensions through your pelvis.  There may also be possible release along your spine through your lowest ribs and into your sacrum and/or tailbone.    So, properly aligned and well supported, you could release your whole spine in this pose.  Wow!

When I say “properly aligned and well supported”, I mean that your belly stays on or over your thigh.  If your belly slides off your thigh, you can overstretch the ligaments in your hip, destabilising your hip joint.  Especially those with hyperflexibility (loose joints but a tight spine to hold it all together); a tendency to go to your extreme range and “hang” into your ligaments, overstretching that which is probably already overstretched.  (Contemplate the fact there may be a mental/emotional pattern attached to that).

If you’ve ever been to  a Svaroopa(R)  yoga class you will know there are certain steps in the setting up of  Lunge.  All for good reason 🙂

In this pose, often LESS = MORE.

Svaroopa(R) yoga teachers are trained to be meticulous about the pose angles and other body alignments.  Blocks, blankets and props provide support to keep you safe and to create the most effective opening for your spine.


Lunge relieves fear.   It’s a great counterpose to other forward bending poses.  In fact, it’s a great counterpose to life!

When you open your spine, you open your mind.

See you at yoga.


“Peace comes not from doing,

but from undoing;

not from getting,

but from letting go.”

Swami Satchidananda

from Master Yoga Foundation – home of Svaroopa(R) Yoga

Bliss Bit – Ease Your Head Back

Do you ever get ahead of yourself? You may be living with your head pushed forward ahead of your heart. This shortens your neck and (worse!) compresses your brainstem. It reinforces your tendency to live in the future while it cuts off the flow of inner bliss that is always flowing up your spine.

How to do – Sit on a few folded blankets in an easy cross-legged position, or sit in a chair with your legs side-by-side and both feet resting solidly on the floor. Place your hands on your knees or thighs while you soften both arms and allow your shoulders to soften down and wide. If you are standing, bring your feet in underneath you with your big toes touching (or almost touching) and soften your arms and shoulders.

Imagine that you have vertical seams on the sides of your neck. Ease those side seams slowly back, which will move your neck and head will gently backward. Don’t force your neck back. Ease it back as far as it will comfortably come without straining or tightening your breath.

You may be able to align the top of your head over your tailbone. If so, you will find that the weight of your head releases spinal tensions all the way down to your tailbone. Take a few easy breaths with your head in this position.

Soften into this angle in order to cultivate a natural, easeful position. Your neck and head may rest easefully in this new alignment or they may come forward a little, but perhaps not as much as before!

Benefits – This lengthens your neck and decompresses the base of your skull, including your brainstem. Learning to live with your head over your heart will quiet your mind. Most importantly, your mind will be saturated by the fountain of bliss that is ever-flowing up your spine!




Bliss Bit – Sit in your seat.

from Master Yoga

home of Svaroopa(R) yoga


You spend a lot of time sitting … in your car, at your computer, on your couch, eating, and even when you are doing yoga.  It’s time to really sit in your seat.  It releases tension in your spine and gives you an opportunity to experience your Self.

How to do:  Level your weight into both sides of your seat and allow the surface beneath you to fully support you.  As you settle into your seat, you will lean more deeply into the chair, cushion, blanket or sofa beneath you.


Take a few slow, long breaths.

Ease your neck and head back slowly, and allow your throat to hollow inward.  Give yourself a few more slow easy breaths.

Minimum time: As long as you are sitting.

Maximum time: As long as you are sitting.

Benefits: Your body relaxes, your breath opens up, your neck softens and lengthens, your mind calms down, you feel more present and more able to do whatever comes next.



Bliss Bit

from Master Yoga

home of Svaroopa(R) yoga


Bliss Bit – The Yogic Sigh

Renew your relationship with your own breath, refresh yourself and quiet your mind in a fast, direct and effective way.  It only takes a breath!

How to do – Take a long, slow inhale without straining.  You can even allow your chest, belly and back to expand as you breahte in.  Now exhale with a long, smooth, gentle sigh sound.  This is not a sigh of exasperation, but a blissful sigh of satisfaction, with a sliding pitch that starts high, and then slides down to a lower note as you exhale.

Go ahead do it again.  Let that graceful sound out!

Notice the pause at the end of your sigh.  See what is there, in the pause.

Repeat two more times for a total of three “Yogic Sighs”.   Notice how you feel.

Benefits: Refreshes and relaxes your body and mind.  Provides a deep sense of satisfaction, joy and letting go.  Gives you a taste of the bliss of your own being (svaroopa).


Bliss Bit – Ear to Shoulder

from Master Yoga Foundation,

home of Svaroopa(R) yoga

Lengthen your neck! This practice comes from the Pawanmuktasana Vinyasa (series of poses), which moves every joint of your body in every direction.

How to do – Sit on a few folded blankets in an easy cross-legged position, or sit in a chair with both feet landing firmly on the floor.  Place your hands on your knees or thighs with your elbows bent and your palms facing up.  Soften both arms as fully as possible.

Lower your left ear toward your left shoulder.  Keep your nose pointing directly forward, so you are not turning your head sideways.  Don’t let your chin push forward.

Soften both shoulders downward as you let the weight of your head slowly pull the side of your neck long, with your ear leaning slowly closer and closer toward your shoulder.  Take a few easy breaths.

Moving out – Slowly move your neck vertebrae up, stacking them one at a time from the base of your neck, upward.  See if you can find all 7 neck vertebrae!

Other side– do your other side! Take your time with it and continue with easy breathing throughout the process.

Benefits – It feels great! this asana relaxes and lengthens your neck, with the traction possibly reaching down through your neck vertebrae and into the vertebrae behind your heart.  Ultimately this opening is for the purpose of opening the pathway between your head and your heart.

For more info on Master Yoga Foundation and Swami Nirmalanda,

please visit