YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 12.11 – 12.17

“Ritual is the passageway of the soul into the Infinite.” –Algeron Blackwood

Weekly Focus: Sadhana (daily ritual to aid in in detaching to ego)

The upcoming Sunday marks the Winter Solstice — the point at which we transition to Winter and note the movement of the Sun. This time of transience may leave us feeling detached, floating through life. We build our Sadhana (a daily ritual) to stay steady + firm in our practice, to help us find our fixed point. Sadhana refers to a daily practice that aids in our transcendence of the ego. This practice helps to forge a ritual connection to the universal consciousness. It allows us to continually realign, day to day. As we come upon a busy time of the year for many with social gatherings, obligations end of the year deadlines, we may feel caught in flight. We always have space to come back to our Sadhana, even when we feel it has been left behind. What is helping you stay aligned this time of year?

Passive Pose: Dirga Pranayama (3 – part breath)

Find a steadiness and align with your breath utilizing this pranayama practice. Take your breath in three parts. Breathe first into your belly, feeling it expand like a balloon (you might even feel the breath in the low back or kidneys). Take a pause, then breathe into the ribs, feeling them seperate slightly and expand side to side. Take a pause and breath all the way into the chest, feeling it lift and perhaps even broaden the upper back. Pause at the top, then exhale completely in one fluid breath. It can be a helpful practice here it bring one hand to your heart and one hand to your belly, to feel the breath as it moves in and out. Remember to only breath in to your capacity — the point isn’t to feel breathless, rather, we are looking to notice the breath and feel FULL with the breath.

Active Pose: Dandasana (staff pose)

Be steadfast in this sturdy seat. Come to a seat with both your legs extended straight in ahead. Take a moment to find a comfortable width for the legs. For many folks, something between hips-width and feet touching will feel comfortable, however you may like you legs even slightly wider than that. Bring your hands to the floor beside you and press down strongly. This is a pose where torso-to-limb ratio makes a big impact. If it feels too far to press your palms into the ground, grab some blocks to place beneath your hands. If those feel too thick, maybe just bring a book, or a blanket folded to elevate the floor. Use the pressure of your hands on a surface to help you push and find length in your spine.