“Don’t wait for an auspicious day to do something. Instead do it now and make today’s day auspicious.” –Shreyas
Weekly Focus: Sutra 1:1 atha yoga anusasanam — “now begins the practice of yoga”
The New Year is a marker of new beginnings for many — before you start your auspicious journey, it is important to understand the force behind your actions. What is bringing you to your yoga practice NOW?
As we reflect on the first and likely most well known Yoga Sutra, atha yoga anusasanam, consider diving into everything that happens before the NOW. Historically, students had a long intellectual and spiritual journey to take before officially arriving at the start of their yoga practice. It was pronounced by your guru or teacher — now you are ready to begin the practice of yoga. Yoga — seeing the union in all things — what does it take for one to be prepared for this journey? Is an asana practice yoga without an intention? Is it always yoga? I don’t have the answer, but it is important to consider WHY we decide to step onto the mat each time. So as we begin a new year, let us arrive with curiosity towards our potential — to listen, to observe, to learn with a mindful awareness, acting in the present moment.
Passive Pose of the Week: Savasana — corpse pose
Allow yourself the chance to start fresh with this symbolic posture of death and rebirth. Come to lie on your back. Allow your hands to rest in a comfortable position and for the legs to extend long. Now take a moment to check in before you settle in. Is there anywhere along the body that could use more support? Perhaps a rolled towel behind the back of the knees, or a blanket behind the head would assist in rest. We want the body to feel at ease so that the distraction of sensation leaves the mind. Consider this off of your mat as well — where can you offer yourself more support in other areas of your life? To be observant and aware, is to practice yoga in every moment.
Active Pose of the Week: Tadasana — mountain pose
Take a moment to set an intention and consider the WHY behind your practice NOW. Come to stand with the feet about hips width distance apart. A good approximate measure-up is to bring your two fists between the arches of the feet. Stand up and consider — do I feel comfortable and stable here? If not, sightly narrow or widen the feet to your comfort level. Allow your arms to hang by the side, with the shoulders softly opening away from the face. Close your eyes and scan the body, perhaps visualize or imagine the curves, the structure, and feel yourself existing in space. THIS simple act, is a great practice in yoga.