“Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.” – Dionysius Of Halicarnassus
Weekly Focus: Saucha (cleanliness; purification)
Saucha is the first of the five Niyamas (personal observances) and refers to purity, cleanliness or a clearing of mind, speech and body.
As we relate back to “not making assumptions,” we may realize that we tend to assume whether or not we feel that someone is or is not doing their best. Can we work to purify these thoughts and the way we speak to others in regards to their efforts? Through a consistent practice, we can clear not only our mind but also our word, being cautious of the projections we put on those around us. We work to find the ability to offer the same grace we give ourselves back into the world.
Align/Flow: Water Salutation OR Surya Namaskar C (Sun Salutation C)
Not familiar with a Water Salutation or Sun Salutation? Check out the following how-to’s below! Try taking these flows anywhere from five to twenty times in a row, moving with your inhales and exhales, and notice what happens to your thoughts! Don’t worry so much how perfect it is, if you mess up the movements now worries, it’s more about getting our of your head and into your body.
- Begin in a standing position and cross your right foot behind your left. Your feet don’t have to be touching, they just need to feel stable and steady.
- Bring your arms out in front of you, bend your elbow so your fingers point up, and press your palms and forearms together. Inhale to lift your arms up and gaze up while you press down through your feet.
- Exhale to fold forward and bend your knees. Step your right foot back to the outer left quadrant of your mat, a little over-crossed.
- Inhale to drop your back right knee, lift your heart, and pull your collar bones forward.
- Exhale to Downward Dog with crossed legs, stepping your left foot in front of the right. Take a full breath in and a full breath out in Down Dog.
- Inhale to lift your right leg high, and exhale to step your right foot to the top left quadrant of your mat over to your left thumb.
- Inhale, drop your back left knee and lift your heart forward.
- Exhale to Forward Fold at the top of your mat, crossing your left foot behind your right foot.
- Inhale to press your palms and forearms together, lifting and rising up to standing.
- Exhale to fold back down and switch sides.
Sun Salutation C:
- Standing with you feet hip width apart, inhale to lift your arms and gaze up while you press down through your feet.
- Exhale to fold forward with a soft bend in your knees. Inhale, lift yourself half way, pressing the hands into the shins and lengthening the spine.
- Exhale to fold forward and step your left foot straight back, lowering the knee into a lunge position. Inhale to sweep your arms alongside your ears, lifting the chest.
- Exhale to frame your front foot with the hands and bring the right knee to meet the left into a tabletop or plank position. Lower through knees, chest and chin, keeping the hips lifted.
- Inhale to slide onto your belly and lift the chest away from the floor, keeping the hands at the low ribs and the elbows hugging the body. Push into the hands and keep the pelvis grounded.
- Tuck your toes and exhale into Downward Dog. Take a full breath in Down Dog.
- Inhale your left foot to the top of the mat, lowering your right knee down. Sweep the arms up and alongside your ears, lifting the chest.
- Exhale bring your palms to frame the left foot, stepping your back foot forward into a forward fold.
- Inhale find a half lift, sliding the hands to the shins and lengthening out through the back. Exhale to fold again.
- Inhale press into the feet to rise up, sweeping the arms up so that the palms meet overhead. Exhale and draw the hands through heart center. Repeat the second side, stepping back now with the right foot first.
Stretch/Restore: Gentle Bhujangasana Flow (Cobra Flow)
Here we take a more gentle flow to find undulation in the spine and liquidity in our movement. These flow options can be a great way to gently warm up the body before diving into a deep yin practice or stretch sequence.
- Lying on your belly, draw the hands to the low ribs and hug the elbows to the torso.
- Inhale and gently press into the hands, lifting the chest, shoulders and chin to any degree. Keep the gaze soft in front of you, staring straight ahead to reduce strain in the neck.
- Exhale and gently lower down.
- Continue flowing through this inhale and exhale, lift and lower about three to five times, perhaps pushing yourself further from the floor with each inhale, building the pose. Or keep your cobra low and grounded.
Bhujangasana to Balasana Flow:
- Lying on your belly, draw the hands to the ow ribs and hug the elbows to the torse.
- Inhale and press into the hands, into your Cobra pose, like you are being pulled from the scruff of your neck, chin is the last thing to rise.
- Exhale and push into your hands, lift the belly from the floor, rounding through the back and press back to Child’s Pose (knees wide, big toes touch, hips press to heels).
- Look forward, and use the inhale to slide forward onto the belly and up into your Cobra.
- Exhale, press into the hands and round the back towards child’s pose, tucking the tailbone as your move.
- Continue to flow through this movement for three to five rounds.