How To Teach Sphinx Pose (Bhujangasana) Using Symbolism: Includes Sphinx Yoga Class Theme To Make Your Class More Memorable


Sphinx: Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology the sphinx is a winged monster of Thebes, having a woman’s head and a lion’s body. It propounded a riddle about the three ages of man, killing those who failed to solve it, until Oedipus was successful, whereupon the Sphinx committed suicide.

Sphinx: Egyptian Mythology

A figure in Egyptian myth having the body of a lion and the head of a man, ram, or hawk.

Sphinx Symbolism 

A great way of bringing something special to a class is to weave “imagery” into it.  The list below will give you some ideas for a memorable yoga class theme.

  • Courage of a lion
  • Facing the truth
  • Heart of a lion
  • Lion hearted
  • Monster
  • Mysterious person
  • Oedipus Complex
  • Puzzling person
  • Secrets
  • Self Discovery (Egyptian sphinx discovered under tons of sand)
  • Riddle

Sphinx Yoga Class Theme

OK…time for an example.

After looking through the “Sphinx Symbolism” list above, you choose the “Facing the truth” theme.  Facing the truth can be a supremely difficult task.  It’s a lot easer to see the illusion and takes courage to seek the truth. The Egyptian sphinx was discovered under tons of sand.  That can be the basis of your theme.  At the beginning of your class you could say something like…

“Today’s theme is Facing The Truth and our Peak Pose is sphinx.  The Egyptian sphinx was lost for centuries under tons of sand.  Maybe at the end of this class you’ll uncover something in your life where you subconsciously bury your head under the sand to avoid the truth.”  



Lie on belly.

Legs together.

Firm tailbone toward pubis.

Buttocks firm but not clenched.

Legs active.

Tongue, eyes, brain quiet.

Set elbows under shoulders

Forearms on floor.

Lift upper torso and head away from floor into a mild backbend.

Bring awareness to lower belly.

Draw belly away from floor.

Hold.

Slowly release to floor.

Turn head to one side.


Sanskrit
Bhujangasana

Bhujanga = “snake” or “serpent”
Asana = “posture” or “seat”

Benefits 

  • Strengthens spine
  • Stretches chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen
  • Firms buttocks
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Helps relieve stress

Modifications

  • Release tension with each exhale

Precautions

  • Back Injury
  • Headache

Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit 
This tip is from the Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit. Over 1000+ yoga teachers worldwide are using the Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.  Are you?

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George Watts

BWY Yoga Teacher at George Watts Yoga
This post was lovingly morphed into reality by BWY yoga teacher, George Watts. If you're looking for a treasure trove of yoga lesson planning goodness, take a quick peek at Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.
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