YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 08.01 – 08.07

“Have a mind that is open to everything, but attached to nothing.” – Wayne W. Dyer

Focus: Vairagya // Detachment

It is natural for us to follow the focus of abhyasa with vairagya, as both together help us discover our innermost Self. The process of vairagya — detachment — takes constant attention and practice. When we practice removing ourselves from our thoughts and feelings, we can recognize that our individual thoughts and feelings are very personal, they are a collection of our own experiences. Each one of us carries our own collection of experiences that subconsciously informs our thoughts. We cannot assume that we all see life through the same lens. We cannot assume that we understand or know how another person is existing. And so with practice, we detach ourselves from these thoughts so that we might see beyond the assumptions we make. 

Align/Flow Classes: Padanghustasana // Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose

This variation of Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose is a standing forward fold, legs slightly wider than the hips, with pointer and middle finger binding the big toe. Allow this deep fold to help shake the cobwebs and clear the mind of attachments. It is easy to get caught up in the look of this pose. Can you detach from the idea of perfectly straight legs? This is neither important nor accessible for many individuals — forward folds with generous bends in the knees are still forward folds! We often think about hamstrings in forward folds, but another benefit is the deep belly to thigh connection offered which can give a very grounding compression of our digestive organs. A deeper bend in the knees will make this belly compression more accessible. The mobility of the hamstrings and low back will greatly inhibit or help this pose, don’t be afraid to utilize straps or even a towel/belt at home to help reach your feet.

Stretch/Restore: Supported Padanghustasana

It can be fun to get creative in ways to support your padanghustasana. Here are a few ideas:

  • Sit on the edge of a chair and fold over your legs. If your belly does not reach your thighs, try putting a folded blanker in the hip crease as a landing pad. Reach for your toes and let your chin drop in towards the chest.
  • Lying on your back, lift the hips with a pillow or folded blanket. Draw the legs in towards you like happy baby. The lifted hips might allow your thighs to get closer to your chest.
  • Standing behind a folding/dining chair, pull the chair back in close to your hip crease and fold forward with a soft bend. You can even place a cushion/blanket on the seat to catch your head. Allow your arms to drape towards the seat.