YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 08.22 – 08.28

“Try something different. Surrender.” -Rumi

Weekly Focus: Isvara Pranidhana (surrender to something greater than yourself)

Whether we believe in a divine being or not, we can all admit that there is something out there greater than ourselves — Earth, the Whole of Life/Nature, Humanity, the Universe — we are but small individuals, just a dot on a map, that help create the bigger picture. When we can surrender ourselves to the whole, it allows us to live with more patience, kindness and compassion. The pull to make assumptions might melt away. Ultimately, we don’t have a lot of control in anything that happens, there are far too many factors contributing to every situation and experience. If we are able to release our grasp on the desire to control the world around us, it is possible that we may experience a lightness or freedom, previously untouched. In the words of the matching shirts worn by Jordan N. and Henika P. one Aerial evening, “let that shit go.”

Align/Flow: Anjaneyasana (low lunge)

Here’s a fun story: the mythology behind this deep low lunge comes from the story of Anjana. There are many stories around the origins of Anjana, but one thing is agreed upon — the essence of Lord Shiva was transferred to the womb of Anjana through Vayu (the wind god) in the form of milk pudding. If that’s not surrender I don’t know what is. While it may seem crazy to be impregnated this way, it does lead to her bearing Hanuman, the hero of the Ramayana. This pose allows us to surrender our hips down and to open ourselves to the possibilities of the world around us. When trying this pose on your own, think about building from the ground up. Bring your hands to the ground, or perhaps fingers interlace on your front thigh to find stability in the legs first, then begin to lift the arms and perhaps even the heart. Anjaneyasana has the possibility to be very active or very passive, depending on the flavor you are craving. What will yours be?

Stretch/Restore: Utthan Pristhasana (dragon pose, aka “groiner”)

As we bow forward in Dragon Pose we have the opportunity to surrender our Self to that which is greater.This very deep and very low lunge allows us to surrender to the sensations of the hips and to spend time finding release. You might keep it simple here , possibly adding the use of props to support the chest or head — place a pillow or blocks in front of you to give either your forearms or anywhere on the upper body a landing pad to help you surrender into the pose.