Thursday, August 27, 2015

FOLD / building a practice

How do you build a practice? 
The answer is one pose at a time. 

This weekend I got to practice in a room of 75 yogis as my dear friend, Mary Beth LaRue led us in a juicy intentional flow while her friend, DJ Glenniest, mixed us some powerfully soulful Erykah-Badu classics. MB's flow was built to move us towards a crescendo, a continuous flow, but to move through flow, we must start with a single pose, in a singular moment, with a single breath. It all starts with one.

There was a really lovely man on the mat next to me. He jovially told MB that this was his first yoga class. As we began the flow, I was instantly aware of the open heartedness exploration that he brought to his practice. He really inspired me to move through each pose as if it were the first time, reminded me what it felt like in those first few classes, trying to breath and move and twist myself into the unfamiliar. This is what I love about a studio practice, a community that is willing to be vulnerable for an hour, to breath next to you, to help fill you up.

Today, just start with one. Child's Pose [sanskrit: Balasana] is often referred to as our home base. It's that pose that hold us, grounds us, protects us, and brings us back to our breath. It's that place to instantly connect with the part of us that yearns to release, unwind, and surrender.

Start by bringing your toes to touch, gently spreading your knees wide. If this this is difficult for your knees, place a folded blanket underneath them. Gently slide your hips back so your bum rests easily on your heels. If you cannot sit comfortably onto your heels, place a folded blanket underneath your bum to help support you and create ease. Reach your arms towards the front of your mat and find a place to rest your head. The forehead connection with the earth, a block, or a blanket, invites our sympathetic nervous system to calm our mind, find a center, and listen more intentionally to our breath. If reaching your arms out wide feels strenuous slightly bend at your elbow or bring the arms to rest behind you next to your knees. If you want a little more power in your pose, reach the arms out in front and dome your fingertips, pressing down as you extend and create length in your spine. Find ten long inhales and exhales, count to four as you breath in and four again as you breath out. 

After ten breaths, slowly rise back up, sit tall with a long spine. Bring your hands into your heart space and thank yourself for starting here.

"I think people who vibrate at the same frequency, 
vibrate towards each other."
Erykah Badu

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