Have you ever watched the Ted series of talks.  I’ve checked out some of the more “gone viral” ones like the woman who had the stroke and was experiencing it with her right side of the brain or Jillian Pransky’s Tedx Talk on Metta Meditation (You Tube) but today I came across this talk on Gratitude.  Beautiful visuals to accompany the beautiful passages shared by the speaker, a child and a person of age.  Enjoy and maybe at the end of the talk, journal about what you are grateful for.

The Breaths
Hugs with Breath
In either Tadasana and Sukhasana (Seated post), on your inhale swing arms up overhead and on the exhale bring them into your body with a hug, then swing arms on the inhale out to the sides and bring in with a hug on exhale, two times.  Lastly, inhale and bring arms down by your side and exhale hug in. Repeat if necessary to open the chest, shoulders and feel the connection between breath and movement.  Repeat as needed for self-love.

Inhaling and Celebrating the Season

We were picking the colorful leaves up and flinging them into the air with this one. Exhale to pick up the leaves, inhale fling them up into the sky with wild abandon.  Now go outside and try this with some actual leaves.  Add a just raked pile of leaves and jump into them with all the joy of a child.

The Poses
Mountain Brook

Props: 2-3 blankets, neck roll, two bolsters
Benefits: counteracts the slumped position of our posture from sitting, computer use, driving, everyday activities. Opens the chest to help breathe easier. Improves digestion, reduces fatigue and can lift your mood.

Just like a babbling brook with boulders (soft ones!), imagine your body like the soft rushing waters laying over those boulders, smooth, flowing.  It will allow the natural curves of the body to be held up gently and the breath to flow.

On your mat, place one bolster where your knees will be and another where your lower legs can rest, one blanket rolled up where the bra line is (base of scapula), and a neck roll for the cervical spine.  Shoulders rest on the floor, arms to side with palms facing up or come into Goddess arms.  If ankles need support, use rolled-up blanket or dish towel.  Eye pillows can lightly rest on eyes or even be used on forehead (useful for headaches) or even on shoulders (wherever you need to release tension). To begin with stay in pose for 10 minutes working up to 20 minutes.  Great to use in savasana. Feel the heart open, the strain from holding yourself up all day evaporate.
Variations: Feeling cranky in the lumbar spine? Place blanket to fill the curves.  Want to feel more grounded while still opening the heart? Place rolled up blanket against wall and soles of feet touching blanket.  Need to feel cuddled? Swaddle your head in a blanket cradle.

Supported Forward Fold (or Seated Childs Pose)

Props: bolster, blankets
Benefits: gently stretch the back, hamstrings, ankles, decompressing and grounding, may aid in digestion, feel connection to breath

Fold over one blanket to sit on and slide a bolster or stack of blankets under the legs at the knee joint. Placing enough blankets on your top legs so that your head is supported with room to breathe through your nose.  Bring your arms to a comfortable position.  Stay with breath and let your body melt into the floor and supports.  10-15 minutes. Stretch your body anyway that feels good afterward.

Savasana – Yoginis Choice

Al rocked this one against the column.