YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 03.11 – 03.17

“The habits that took years to build, don’t take a day to change.” – Susan Powter 

Weekly Focus: Samskaras — habits or impressions of the mind

Samskaras are “mental impressions,” “habit patterns” or “recollections” but it is also defined as “a perfecting and polishing, a process of cultivation.” As we approach Spring we may start to think about freshness and clean starts. This is a great time to review and clean up some of our old tendencies and habits. Refresh the soil of the mind with new compost, nutrients and fertilizers! When we think of habits, we may automatically consider our routines or individual ticks. Things like — daily schedules, biting our nails, driving the same way to work everyday. What about the habits that are harder to notice? The way we respond to feedback, the way we speak to ourselves, the judgements we hold. Within all of us there likely lives some habits we are not so proud of. It can be cathartic to purge and release, both physically and mentally. What if we brought the idea of “spring cleaning” to our mind and tendencies? Perhaps this spring we choose just one or two automatic responses that we wish to work through and eventually, let go of. What is a response you often jump to?

Passive Pose of the Week: Viparita Karani — legs up the wall

Redirect your flow to give a new perspective to your thoughts. Lay down on your side and scoot your butt closer to the wall. Begin to swing your legs up the wall so that the body makes an “L” shape head to feet. You might notice a tendency to want to stiffen the legs here. See if you can relax the legs and let them be heavy. Some nice options to add on can be to let the legs go wide like a “V,” or to bring the feet together letting them slide down the wall and opening the knees like a butterfly. This pose helps relieve tension and can also greatly improve recovery after an intense workout!

Active Pose of the Week: Marjaryasana / Bitiliasana — cat / cow

Do you take cats and cows the same way every time you get onto your mat? Consider your habits and give yourself an opportunity to try something different. From a tabletop position, inhale and allow your belly to drop, leading from your pelvis, into cow pose. Exhale, and round your back up, pressing into your hands for cat pose. Then, try switching up your inhales and exhales. Exhale into cow, and inhale into cat — how does that feel? Maybe try widening your knees or your hands. Make a few switched and take note if anything resonates with you.