YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 11.06 – 11.12

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, the truth.” — Buddha 

Weekly Focus: Satya (truthfulness)

Inspired by the dropping of the leaves + the nakedness of the trees, we open ourselves to being truthful, exposing our vulnerability. The truth can feel cold, harsh or raw, but we practice to stand strong as a tree, with the capacity to bend with the wind. Satya is the second of the five Yamas (restraints). It is derived from the root word “sat” meaning “that which exists, that which is.” It guides us to act, speak + think with integrity. Satya goes much deeper than simply not lying. It might mean noticing the moments when we find ourselves embellishing, avoiding or transforming our thoughts, words + actions. For example, acting in accordance with the Self can be scary + vulnerable — how often do we avoid it it for fear of being outcast or shamed? We may find ourselves having thoughts about situations that we know are untrue, perhaps based on assumptions or fear. We may outright slant the truth with friends or family, to make them feel good, or to avoid confrontation.The truth is scary because it can leave you feeling exposed, but it also has the capability to help you feel lighter, and to forge longer lasting trust + communication with yourself + your community. 

Passive Pose of the Week: Supta Gomukasana (reclined cow face pose)

Close your eyes + breathe — this pose allows space to contemplate the truths we hold dear. Lying on your back, bring your legs to a hovering tabletop (knees bent, shins parallel to the floor). Cross one thigh over the other in a shoelace position. Reach your hands forward for your ankles or shins. Now, imagine you could pull the legs apart, almost like you are “tightening” the shoelace. Rock a little side to side, or forward and back as you breathe.

If the feet feel difficult or uncomfortable to grab, look for two straps, belts, scarves — whatever you have. Loop your extender around the foot to give yourself something to grab onto.

Active Pose of the Week: Standing Archer Pose Flow

Allow this flow to help you build courage and momentum to shed your fears + face the truth. Start with your legs in Warrior 2, right foot forward, left foot back. Reach your right arm straight ahead and draw your left arm back, as if you were stringing a bow. Bring your hands to a fist with the thumbs up (imagine holding that bow again!). Inhale and bend into your left knee and straighten the right, press the left arm forward and straight, like you are shooting a bow. Exhale and come back to your starting position. Flow between the two. Move slowly with your breath. There is a lot to think about here. This pose isn’t about building a lot of heat or heart rate, but feeling the positions and coordinating the body. It’s a little bit like patting your head and rubbing your belly.