YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 04.15 – 04.21

“He who has overcome his fears, will truly be free.” –Aristotle

Weekly Focus: Abhaya — fearlessness

This transient time of year might leave us feeling vulnerable and bare. We face the Spring with fearlessness, prepared to show up with a bold vitality towards our ambitions. Fears can weigh us down and hold us back. When we think about shedding in order to emerge this Spring, it might bring to mind the release of what is holding us back. There is a freedom we may experience when we face our fears — having fear is natural, important and reasonable,  but knowing how we can challenge and recognize our fears is a helpful tool in our emergence to Self. I will likely always be afraid of heights and experience certain limitations because of it — but in recent years, I have decided I don’t want this fear to hold me back from challenges I enjoy and wish to partake in. Am I going skydiving? — Absolutely not! But am I gradually challenging myself on the hikes I take because I want to see certain natural wonders? Yes, and all on my own personal timeline. The fear still exists, but I am doing my best to work with the fear. Is there a fear you wish to look at straight on?

Passive Pose of the Week: Ujayii – victorious breath or breath of the conquerer

Our breath can be a powerful player in the overcoming of fear. Allow this inspiring breath practice to help you draw upon your own strengths. This breath is taken in and out of the nostrils. To prepare, start by simply breathing in and out of the note softly, just focusing on the breath. Then, keeping your lips sealed, breath in through your nose. As you exhale, constrict the back of the throat and breath out of the nose. The sensation in the throat is similar to intentionally fogging up a mirror with your breath. You will notice and oceanic or “Darth Vader” sound to the breath. Try setting a timer for 2 – 3 minutes, closing your eyes, and breathing with your ujayii breath. Upon completion, you might journal down your thoughts or feelings, just seeing what comes to m ind.

Active Pose of the Week: Simhasana — Lion’s Pose + Breath

Lion’s are seen as symbols of courage and strength. Ask the Wizard (of Oz!) for courage as you put everything on display with this fierce breath. This breath comes complete with a pose to join it, creating a position of power and fearlessness! If you haven’t taken simhasana before, it is BOLD. Come to a tabletop pose. Turn your fingers back towards the knees or out to the sides slightly. You might even bring the hands a little closer to the knees and press your hips back towards the heels, finding a big stretch for the forearms. Take a very big inhale squeezing the eyes shut and scrunching the face — make tension. As you exhale, fiercely release the breath as you open the mouth wide, stick out the tongue, and open the eyes, perhaps even rolling them back. If you feel a little silly in this pose, that’s part of it! It take a boldness to emerge as you are, without fear of judgement. Try it in the privacy of your home where you can build that confidence on your own.