YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 12.04 – 12.10.23

“Surrender is like a fish finding the current and going with it.” -Mark Nepo

Weekly Focus:  Isvara Pranidhana (surrender to something greater)

The days continue to grow dark, animals + plants begin to go dormant. Can we surrender ourselves in the same way? Embrace this time of darkness as a time to grow + adjust. This is the fifth niyama (personal observances) coming from the root words Isvara (all-pervading consciousness, supreme being, Brahman, True-Self, ultimate reality) and Pranidhana (fixing). In essence, this describes cultivating a deep and trusting relationship with the universe, and giving our actions over to something greater than ourselves. Isvara Pranidhana invites us to commit action without attachment to result. It invites us to commit action in dedication not to the ego, but to a greater purpose. How will you surrender to the darkness this winter? In what ways can you practice flowing with what you cannot control?

Passive Pose of the Week: Ardha Mandukasana (half frog pose)

Allow your body to soften + surrender through discomfort in this juicy hip opener. Lying on your belly, drag one knee forward in line with your hip, making an approximate 90 degree bend in the knee. As you breathe, try to focus on releasing the muscles of the glutes, and relaxing through the toes. If you find uncomfortable pressure under the knee, bring a blanket or towel beneath the knee to pad and support.

Active Pose of the Week: Ardha Chakrasana (half wheel pose)

Find a sense of surrender + trust in yourself as you reach where you cannot see in this standing backbend. From standing, reach your arms overhead, lift up from your heart center and back bend, reaching your arms up and overhead. Don’t force yourself to bend back too far here. This pose can bring undo stress onto the low back when we over do it. Be sure to engage through the core and imagine laying to body over a big barrel behind you, giving a lift of the body and releasing stress form the low back.