YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 02.26 – 03.03

“Be both soft and wild. Just like the moon. Or the storm. Or the sea.” —Victoria Erickson

Weekly Focus: Chandra — the moon

The moon is representative of our emotions and moods. How do we find ways to release, relate, and feel our emotions in healthy and beneficial ways, so that we might move forward to more contentment?

Chandra, or the moon, holds space for emotions — it is also a watery symbol, representing beauty and softness, and carrying with it the qualities of nurture and care. For some of us, truly feeling our emotions and letting them flow comes naturally (any other pisces in the house ✌🏻?). For others, we may feel resistant or hard towards our feelings, blocking them up and hiding them away. It could be said that neither overly-expressing or holding in our emotions is ideal. In Yoga, we always work towards balance — so how do we find cathartic release of these emotions in a healthy and balanced way? Winter is an excellent time to work through these powerful feelings through introspective action such as meditation, journaling or conversation with a trusted friend. These activities may provide a release to allow things to find movement and flow, especially in this cold and dry time of the year when we may feel stuck. In what ways do you allow yourself to feel and express?

Passive Pose of the Week: Supine Twist

Add whatever support you need to make this pose more restorative, something you can hold to allow release of your muscles and your mind. Start lying on your back, bend your knees and allow your feet to plant on the floor or to hover. Drop your knees over to the right, and let your arms come to a “T” on the floor. Here are some delicious suggestions to really extend comfort in this pose:

  • Try supporting the head with a folded blanket
  • Place a small pillow, bolster, or blanket between the knees
  • Pad your bottom knee and the hips with a blanket
  • If you have a heavy item, like a sandbag or a weighted blanket, drape it on the hips to add a bit of comfort and grounding
  • Try playing with the position of your knees, you can pull them closer or farther from the belly. Perhaps the knees stack one atop the other, or you stagger them.

Active Pose of the Week: Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutation)

Honor the moon this week with this fluid and watery flow sequence. Allow yourself to flow through your emotions. Perhaps you try this flow in the evening, where you can get a nice view of the Moon in all her glory. Follow the steps below to try a Moon Salutation on your own:

  • Stand to face the long edge of your mat. Reach your arms overhead, bringing the palms together. Take a side bend in each direction.
  • Step your feet about 2-3 feet apart. Bend your knees and sink your hips for a Deviasana or Goddess squat. Arms can come to a goal post position, or anywhere that feels comfortable. Take 3 breaths here.
  • Straighten your legs. Turn your right toes to the right, keep the back toes pointing forward. Both legs stay straight as you lean your way into triangle pose. Take 3 breaths.
  • Lower your top hand to the ground and re adjust the feet for Pyramid pose. Let all 10 of your toes turn forward and step your feet a little wider. Fold into pyramid pose and take 3 breaths.
  • Bend your right knee and drop the left knee to the ground. Lift your arms overhead letting the torso rise for anjaneyasana. Find 3 breaths. 
  • Pivot to your left. The right knee will bend as your left leg stays straight, Skandasana. Your hips will drop low towards the floor, think squat. Take 1 – 3 breaths.
  • Use your hands to help you shift to the other side of the mat to find skandasana on the left, 1-3 breaths.
  • Reverse all the poses now to the back of your mat! Turn to your left, let your right knee touch the ground, and lift the arms and chest for your anjeynasana. 3 breaths.
  • With hands on the floor or a block, lift and straighten the right leg for pyramid pose. 3 breaths.
  • Pivot your right heel so that the toe point to your right, let your hips open as you find triangle pose. 3 breaths.
  • Lift yourself up and turn to your right with a wide stance. Bend the knees again to repeat Goddess squat. 3 breaths. Step your feet together. Reach the arms up overhead and take a side bend to each direction once more.