YOGA POSE + FOCUS 11.14 – 11.20

“Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.” – Hannah Arendt

Weekly Focus: Forgiveness

Forgiveness might feel like one of the most challenging obstacles to overcome. It requires not only compassion and empathy, but the willingness to let go of the past and move forward. When we do our best to forgive others, we not only give ourselves freedom from the binds of  resentment, irritation and grudges, but we also give the freedom for the other individual to grow and move beyond that action. While they don’t need our permission to make change, we might never see the good effort that others put forth if we cannot first let go of previous wrong-doing. We forgive not to forget, but to shift, to grow and to find freedom from constraint.

Align/Flow: Natarajasana // Dancer Pose

As we continue theming around an open mind and heart, we take a big back bend to feel the physical aspects of space and openness. Dancer pose asks us to be focused, steady, and adaptable — a balance of effort and ease. Be forgiving with yourself as you steady into this back bend, and remember — we can always take a step back and do less. If balance feels tricky today, try practicing near a wall or chair to remove the challenge of standing on one leg, so that you can bring more awareness to the back bend. You might even face the wall, using your front hand to push into the wall gently for leverage as you lift the back leg.

Stretch/Restore: Ardha Dhanurasana // Half Bow Pose

Come into this pose lying on your belly from a sphinx position. A strap here may help to grab hold of the foot, looping the ends around the top of the foot to give your hand a closer reach. With your opposite hand, choose to either push into the ground, lifting yourself up for a back bend, or perhaps you stay low to the ground, and draw your heel closer to your seat, engaging a quad stretch. If grabbing for the foot or strap feels awkward, take a breath, and try again. Be forgiving of yourself that arm length vs. torso length vs. leg length will greatly impact the availability of the stretch.