YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 04.10 – 04.16

“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.” –Meister Eckhart

Weekly Focus: Kriya (action or clearing to create awareness)

With warmer weather, we take action — just as the buzzing throughout nature begins. We begin to clear away the winter muck weighing us down. A time to shed + release as we make space for something new. Just as in nature, from the decay of winter we rise up, charged + aware, ready to take action. Spring is all about “out with the old, in with the new.” To see the fruits of our intentions, we must be prepared to take action after planting the seeds. Bija is simply the beginning — clear your garden + nourish it, taking action to build a strong root system, a strong foundation in the Self. We cannot sit by idly + expect a garden to flourish, we must work with patience, love + dedication. The same goes for creating change in the Self + eventually, the greater collective + the world. Even the smallest of intentions require effort. Even the smallest of seeds can produce great amounts of fruit (like tomato seeds!) What do you hope for your actions to yield? 

Passive Pose of the Week: Supported Matsyasana (supported fish pose)

The arrival of Spring + heavy kapha (water qualities) may bring with it a lot of gunk in the body. Matsyasana opens the chest bringing a physical + metaphorical cleansing to the body. There are many ways to support this pose — blocks, a blanket, a bolster. Our favorite at home version is using a large bath towel. With the towel open, fold it in half, then roll it up into a firm “bolster,” about 18 – 24 inches long. Lay back on to the towel roll, with the small curve at the lower back folding right over the edge. If your head hangs off of the back, bring another firm pillow or folded towel behind the head to the same height or slightly higher, to support the neck. Lie in this position for 5 – 10 minutes, taking slow, steady breaths. Sit up slowly when you finish, and take about five breaths in a comfortable upright seat. How do you feel?

Active Pose of the Week: Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)

Twists help us to stimulate digestive fire, stirring residue + stagnancy in the body, just like pulling the weeds + rocks from our garden to create space for growth. As you come into this twist, focus driving the twist from the low belly rather than the neck. The urgency to go farther sometimes encourages craning the neck, rather than bring the full body into the twist. To do so, we can use our hands to manually move our belly away from the thigh to make space. From there, each time you inhale, grow tall, draw the navel in, THEN twist slightly on the exhale. If you notice yourself leaning back rather than sitting tall, try bringing a block on the lowest setting, or even a thick book beneath your supporting hand to encourage an upright spine.