“Teach us love, compassion and honor that we may heal the earth and heal each other.” –Ojibwa prayer
Weekly Focus: Sankalpa (heartfelt desire, solemn vow)
As we come upon the New Moon this week, we take time to recognize our deepest desires. At this time of year filled with abundance + gratitude, can we turn our desires towards sharing with others? What vows can we make to transform or to honor? At a time of year that speaks to abundance for so many, it can be easy to forget the privilege of abundance + gratitude. This is often a time of year where we give back through food drives, volunteering, 5Ks, etc. Autumn is a season of high potentiality — so we have here an invitation or opportunity to consider ONE cause we are truly passionate about, and to create a vow to make our best contribution to this ONE heartfelt desire. What is a cause that you deeply care for + why? How can you turn this passion into honor + action for the next year?
Passive Pose of the Week: Sailor’s Knot
Breathe into the back of your heart space and consider where you heartfelt desires lie. Lying on your belly, bring your arms in front of your face, one crossed over the other. Walk the hands apart for a deep shoulder stretch. For some of us, it may feel good to bend the elbows and let the hands wrap to the back. If the fingers reach the shoulders or upper neck, you can even firmly press the finger pads into the body for a very gentle massage. For others, Sailor’s Knot may actually be quite uncomfortable, and that is OK! To get the same benefits of this pose, come to any comfortable seat, cross your arms in front of you, and give yourself a hug. Once again, focus on breathing into the bag. The biggest difference here, try to lift the elbows and broaden the shoulders to enhance the stretch.
Active Pose of the Week: Parsvottanasana (pyramid pose)
Bow forward in honor of your most solemn vows. Stand with your feet 2 – 3 feet apart. Align your front toes forward and your back toes with a slight turnout. Hinge at your hips and bow forward over your legs. In Pyramid pose, we often talk about squaring the hips, trying to feel your hips even and balanced. You can check in with this by placing one hand to the low back and feeling any un-level-ness. We often see students practicing this pose with their legs in one straight line, now let us be clear, there is nothing wrong with that. However, if this makes squaring the hips or folding forward inaccessible, try widening the stance of your feet. Think hip width stance or even mat width stance. Play around with what feels best in your body. And remember — blocks to support the hands here are an awesome addition!