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Apana 's gathering

katgi2010-07-05 07:23:58 +0000 #1
I was wondering if anyone could help me with a case. One of my students, female, no health problems, usually during yoga sessions senses a lot of heat gathering from the belly and moving towards the feet. I assumed that it has to do with an apana gathering but I don't have a clear view on it. She practices beginners hatha yoga, easy pranayama exersices, not too much time in most of the asanas.She often complains after deep relaxation about this sense of fire at that area. I have also thought about surpressed feelings and anger towards sexuality. it is something I can tell from her energy expressed. do you have any ideas on this or do you have any proposals on how to approach gently her case through yoga?
Nichole2010-07-05 07:30:28 +0000 #2
Hello Katgi,

I am trying to get some clarity on what your student has actually expressed as her experience. Would you mind offering a bit more info? Here are a few first-hit questions that I have:

1. Has your student expressed interest in doing yoga therapy or using yoga to approach and work with emotional and psychological aspects of herself? I understand that yoga is multidimensional and therefore plays out on the subtle bodies, but has she acknowledge clearly to you that there are issues that she has in mind that she would like to work with using yoga?

If the answer to this is more or less, "Yes, she has clearly requested this work and I have the training and she has other support (therapist, doctor, family, etc) to work with these types of issues", then please, if you don't mind, answer the questions and let's see what we find together.

If she hasn't expressed her interest in this type work or this is a classroom-only student of yours, then I think it should stop right here. I say this not in judgment of your skills, your commitment to your student or your compassion for her, but because it it not appropriate to do this scope of work without her clear agreement to this work and to do this work with you.

My training has been such that I only work on what the client (student) has brought as their personal agenda for yoga therapy. This ensures that the client is aware of the issue, has in place the faculties to address the issues in a constructive and healthy way, has the faculties to pace the work for their highest benefit or to stop the work if not enough is in place to support them. There is more to it, but I believe this gives enough to illustrate my point.

I have learned from Mukunda that even if a client walks in with their left foot facing backward (merely another illustration) that unless they tell me clearly that they want to address this issue, I don't address it because then it becomes about my agenda for their yoga and not the clients. We are not having the same experience. I may ask if there is anything that they would like address together regarding the legs and feet and if they say "No." then I stop and I stay clear of it until they are ready.

We must trust our own higher wisdom and that of our clients (students) to approach this scope of yoga therapy when it is the most beneficial for them. As yoga practitioners, we must be so careful not to push our time lines on to their bodies or their yoga.

Dear Katgi -- You are obviously a conscientious and compassion teacher because you have come here for help for your student. I am only trying to be clear and to offer what could be useful to you or others reading this. Please use what is helpful and let the rest roll.

So these are the other questions:

2. Her age?

3. During what portion of her sessions is she experiencing the heat shift? For example: Does the heat sensation build in the belly during asana and then move while in savasana? How does she describe it?

4. Could you be precise about where the heat finally rests? You said "toward the feet" so does it rest there in her two feet or complete move downward and out of the body through the feet?

5. What is leading your thoughts of "suppressed feelings and anger towards sexuality?" Has she offered anything besides the heat as her experience?

Has she talked about anger or frustrations in relation to the heat experience?

6. Are the sessions that you have together private or in a class with others?

I don't mean to bog you down with questions but it may help you, and the rest of us, get a more complete picture of your student's experience if we "talk it out" together.

katgi2010-07-05 07:34:52 +0000 #3

thanks for answering. I've already stated that I am a midwife and that I own a yoga centre in Athens, Greece. My Groups are mostly made of 3-4 people.I've been teaching yoga for 6 years and my yoga approach goes beyond asana to pranayama and to self-realization. I work on phsycological issues through yoga, reiki and pranic healing, as well as phsychic counselling on birth and conception issues.

On this case I am talking about a 25 years old girl who has come to me,to solve issues on menstruality for a start. She 's been with me for a year but she claims that she has overcome the PMS (premenstrual syndrome) from the first 3 months of practicing.Anyway, she is now staying with me because she feels that she needs yoga to feel well. From my humble experience, I know that students who stay with one yoga teacher, know that they have more issues to be solved and when they are ready they move on to another to take new life lessons.

Don't forget that we are talking about doing yoga to a prenatal yoga centre,not in her neighbourhood and with no interest to have a baby. So I guess there is something else in that. Note that her co-students are not pregnant either.

My thoughts have to do with the fact that she gets this apana energy creating heat not during asana,but while deep relaxation. there, for my education is that we all absorbe our benefits from the asana part. This is why I was wondering about what can happen during a practice to raise up this movement. She describes it as heat moving towards to her feet. I was

surprised to see that it is something she experiences often and sometimes bothers her to relax.I would like to hear others opinion about it because I am certain there is no bad alignement to poses (in order to block energy channels and create this fire sensation). I never go to my students and ask them to face stuff,I always allow them on their pace and since I feel that she is about to face something already surpressed, I am asking for other yoga teachers opinions to see if there are interpretations of apana movement caused by certain poses in the way she describes.

Knowledge means asking to learn... I am open to all views and after all we always meet up the best tutours in our students, right?
Nichole2010-07-05 08:30:13 +0000 #4

Thank you for the additional info about your student and your background and training. It makes for a more direct and specific exchange about your student when we are all aware of her intentions, your training and therefore your insights into what could be happening. I reread your initial post and again did not see where you mentioned that you are a midwife or your location. I do not read individual profiles so perhaps you shared that info there? Having that info would have saved a lot of typing last night Glad to have it all now...thank you.

The information you've now included, that she came to you regarding "issues on menstrucailty" gives us a significantly more complete picture of what you are working with and your insights on "anger and sexuality."

I would have considered the PMS a recent health problem. Through the work you have done together, she is out of her pain and overcome her PMS. You have made a connection with each other and she trusts you with her pain. This is huge statement of confidence in what you are doing with her. It is wonderful that you have earned her trust through your good work and she wants you to help her with more. I think you are reading that very clearly.

I have a few thoughts on the heat and the apana vayu, but I want to consult my notes and Ayurvedic colleagues to be clear on it before I add more to your initial question. I am also interested in what others have to offer here.

Best wishes for you day.

InnerAthlete2010-07-05 08:55:33 +0000 #5
I do not know the difference between "deep" relaxation and the normally relaxed student.

But my question is about the practice of asana relative to the "deep" relaxation mentioned. The student is only experiencing this belly issue during deep relaxation. So that means if there is no asana and the student moves into a deep relaxation the belly issue is replicated? If it is not then I'd like to know about the asana sequencing and it's variance.

As a yoga teacher I consider dualities. Perhaps it's energetic (as a case can be made that everything is energetic) but what is the student's belly health in general? What is the student's diet? perhaps it was asked and I missed it?

You also mention gentle pranayama. Which ones please?

Does the student have a regular menstral cycle at this point in time?

Is she experiencing the same belly issue when she is menstrating?

Savasana is an apana pose. So it's not unlikely for a student to find an apana quality in the pose. Is this the position you are doing "deep" relaxation? have you tried placing the student in Supta Baddha Konasana instead?

I look forward to your feedback.



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