This shall be the beginning of a short series where I write down my current knowledge of the body parts and their role when I practice Ashtanga yoga.
The face is relaxed. Always. I remember an exercise that I did decades ago in a yoga class: we engaged all facial muscles and then released them. It can be a good exercise to feel the difference.
The front is not frowned also not when I look up. One of my mistakes is that I look up to the sky while the drishti is the third eye like in upward dog. It's easier to keep the front relaxed when looking only at the third eye.
The lower chin is relaxed too. The teeth are not clinching. Yeah, I realized that my teeth touch when I jump forward.
The tongue touches the palate softly.
Yoga has the potential to calm the mind. We calm the mind by focusing.
The eyes are not wandering around, a dristhti is given. Some yoginis close the eyes, but in Asthanga yoga the eyes are open and they are looking at a dristhi. To keep them steady, calms the mind. There is a rapid eye movement when we think. When we keep the eyes fixed at a point, thinking becomes calm.
I always breath through the nose (never through the mouth). When I'm so out of breath that I have to breath through the mouth, I take a break. This scarcly happens with me, but it can happen for bloody beginners.
The ears listen to the uddjay breathing. This is calming as well in my opinion. This sound of the breathing that reminds me of the waves of the breath is the focus of the ears.
Pretend as if, I read somewhere and facts will follow. Pretend as if you are relaxed and you will soon feel so.
I am convinced that practice becomes easier when we relax the face.
During my next practices I will observe my face when exhaling. Relaxation, I will think. Let go.
Oh I forgot to mention: To have relaxed face off the mat is a good exercise, too.
Yoga Mala by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (2010): (there is a new edition on the market, interesting):
It's a classic for all yoginis and yogis: click and buy, thank you.