October 7 Restore Series
My yoga teachings this week have followed last week’s posting of grounding through the Vata season of Fall. The rooting through the feet, the longer exhalations, and engaging our mula bandha from the navel area. I hope that each of you have been able to practice this in some unique places and times. One of my unique practice times was last weekend while we were apple picking. Situated in the beautiful hills of Boyertown is a wonderful orchard, Frecon Farms (http://www.freconfarms.com). The sun was out, the wind was blowing, picture a gorgeous Fall day with just the right amount of chill. Now notice my daughter in purple.
So not into being there. I wanted to fly off the handle with some of her attitude, spin with the wind so to speak but as a few apples fell off the tree near us, I was reminded of the ground underneath my feet. Firmly planting my feet in the earth, I took some deeper breaths. lengthening my breath out and felt my core. But I wasn’t rigid which would have exacerbated the situation. We both felt the shift and off she went with her older sister to explore the rest of the orchards and release whatever she was holding onto like those heavy apples. Celebrate your own release from whatever you hold onto that doesn’t serve you and feel the ground hold you up.
Sat Nam Meditation
The Elevator Breath is a simple, yet profound breathing technique. You can do it just about anywhere.
Inhale to a count of four. Then exhale to a count of four (same count as the inhale.) Go at your own pace. No strain. Smooth and easy.
Then inhale to a count of five. Exhale to a count of five.
The breath can be held in or out for a moment in between the inhale and exhale. If that doesn’t feel okay then keep your breathing continuous.
Then Inhale to six. Exhale to six.
You can use the word “inhale” or “exhale” instead of the number one if it’s helpful, like this:
Inhale two, three, four, five, six.
Exhale two, three, four, five, six.
Inhale two, three, four, five, six, seven.
Exhale two, three, four, five, six, seven.
Continue for a few more rounds. You may increase the count to further lengthen the breath if you can remain comfortable. The number you count to doesn’t matter; there’s no goal of achieving any particular count. It’s your breath, your body.
Now release all control of the breath. Observe the breath as it self-regulates.
And notice how you feel….physically….emotionally….mentally.
Childs Pose Variation (Extended)
Props: 2 bolsters, blanket rolled up, block with neck pillow
Benefits: Gently stretches the lower back, relieves shoulder tension and quiets the mind. Give a sense of security. Feeling support and release. Gently lengthens the legs.
Extras:sandbag for sacrum
Place bolster on the mat lengthwise and lay a blanket over it. Make a smaller roll for the ankles and place at the other end of the mat. Also place a block at top end with a neck roll or eye pillow on top. Begin on all fours and lower your upper body onto the bolster. Settle the tops of the ankles on the smaller roll and adjust the body so that the tops of the thighs rest on the edge of the bolster. Lay the forehead on the cushioned block and place the arms to the side, shoulders dropping from the ears. Soften your jaw and let the body sink into the supports and the floor.
Reclined Bound Angle
Benefits: opens the hips and groin facilitating blood and energy flow to the urinary tract and reproductive organs. Opens the chest and abdomen benefiting breathing problems.
Props: 2 blankets, bolster, additional blankets for warmth and support
Again we changed this a little to make it lower, more grounded. Place bolster horizontally on mat or floor. Stack two blankets on top of each other lengthwise. Recline head, upper body onto blankets. Bring feet together in bandakonasana with support under the knees. Arms can rest by your side with an eye pillow over the eyes and any other support under your neck. As we have entered the windy fall, allow a blanket to hug in your body warmth. Stay for 10 minutes, breathing into sensation.