Sit for a few moments, allowing feelings and emotions to arise. See them as flavors or colors of the Self, threads in the weave of your consciousness, details in the tapestry of the great consciousness. Notice that when you become the spectator at the emotional dance, the dance becomes interesting, even beautiful.
Try doing your yoga practice with awareness of the rasas. Then sit in meditation for a few minutes and let it all subside into the shanta rasa, the flavor of peace.
1.Lie on your belly, legs side by side. Firm your tailbone toward your pubis and lengthen it toward your heels. Then, rotate your thighs inwardly by rolling your outer thighs toward the floor. This helps broaden and lengthen your lower back and sacrum (the downward-facing triangular bone at the back of your pelvis) to protect it in a back bend.
2.Reach actively through your toes to the wall behind you. As you move into the pose, be sure to continue lengthening your tail toward your heels to protect your lower back. Your buttocks should be firm but not clenched. While your legs are active, your tongue, eyes and brain should be quiet.
3.Now set your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms on the floor parallel to each other. Inhale and lift your upper torso and head away from the floor into a mild backbend.
4.The final step to building a solid foundation in Sphinx Pose is to bring awareness to your lower belly, the area just above the pubic bone and below the navel. Lightly draw it away from the floor to create a dome that rounds up toward your lower back. This is very subtle—no sucking in, hardening, or rigidity required. This belly lift supports and distributes the curvature of your backbend more evenly along the length of the spine, soothing your lower back and awakening your upper back.
5.Stay for five to 10 breaths, then exhale and slowly release your belly and lower your torso and head to the floor. Turn your head to one side. Lie quietly for a while, broadening your back with each inhale, and releasing any tension with each exhale. Repeat once or twice more if you like.
Just as we’ve always been advised NOT to take life too seriously, we should also approach our yoga practice with a playful attitude. By adopting a cheerful, open attitude towards life and our practice, we become more courageous to explore our boundaries and are more openly forgiving should we fail.
Twist away the tension March 30, 2010
Only twists can effectively stretch the deepest layer of back muscles: the small ones closest to your spine. The more you practice twists, the more you realize they don’t just release tightness; they also dissipate the frustration, anxiety, or fear that’s often behind physical tension. On many levels, twisting is more about what you let go of than what you accomplish. Twists come in many varieties—standing, seated, reclining, inverted, and arm balances—and each twisting pose is powered by a slightly different balance of physical forces, gravity, and the muscles of your arms, legs, waist, and back.
1.From Adho Mukha Svanasana(Downward-Facing Dog), exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning the right knee over the heel. Then lower your left knee to the floor and, keeping the right knee fixed in place, slide the left back until you feel a comfortable stretch in the left front thigh and groin. Turn the top of your left foot to the floor.
2.Inhale and lift your torso to upright. As you do, sweep your arms out to the sides and up, perpendicular to the floor. Draw the tailbone down toward the floor and lift your pubic bone toward your navel. Lift your chest from the firmness of your shoulder blades against the back torso.
3.Take your head back and look up, being careful not to jam the back of your neck. Reach your pinkies toward the ceiling. Hold for a minute, exhale your torso back to the right thigh and your hands to the floor, and turn your back toes under. With another exhale, lift your left knee off the floor and step back to Adho Mukha Svanasana. Repeat with the left foot forward for the same length of time.