Editor's note: The following is an excerpt adapted from Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom by Colleen Saidman Yee. Atria Paperback Books.
In this sequence we are incorporating all categories of poses; we are trying to find balance between forward bends and backbends, closed twists, and open twists, inhalation and exhalation, internal rotation and external rotation — all of which are the balance of downward wind (apana), and upward wind (prana).
We practice the subtlety of relationships by keeping the recessive action alive while engaged in the dominant action.
Most Eastern modalities aim for the equanimity that lies somewhere between male and female, Yin and Yang, dark and light. The translation of Hatha is “sun and moon.” So Hatha yoga involves the heat of the sun coupled with the coolness of the moon. This practice leaves you with a residue of both, which creates a feeling of equanimity.