YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 12.18 – 12.24

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” –Carl Sagan

Weekly Focus: Sahasrara (Crown Chakra)

 Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year (December 21st), allows time for quietude + introspection. Take advantage of this time to connect with Sahasrara and find your place within the Universe. Sahasrara is the seventh chakra located at the crown of the head. Sahasrara means “thousand-petaled” and is represented by a thousand-petaled lotus. It is connected to your sense of spirit, universal connection and Self-knowledge. The Winter Solstice is traditionally a time to celebrate new beginnings and rebirth, a chance to start afresh. How can we see ourselves anew through the lens of sahasrara? The longest day of the year provides a wide window to the universe — consider your place within it — do you see yourself as small and insignificant, or a key to something larger and more powerful? What is your place within the whole?

Passive Pose of the Week: Padmasana (lotus pose)

Take time for reflection in this traditional meditative posture. Come to a cross legged seat. Bring your right foot to rest in the crease of your left hip. Lift the left foot up and over the right ankle to cross over top and rest in the hip crease of your right side. Don’t take this pose lightly! Even though we frequently see images of individuals calmly resting in lotus pose, it is not an easy position to hop into. There is good reason that we commonly take a meditative position at the END of an asana practice. Give your hips time to open up. We like to take some good long holds in poses like pigeon, figure four, or any warrior 2 stance before hopping into padmasana.

Active Pose of the Week: Sasangasana (rabbit pose)

Activate sahasrara with the physical pressure of the crown of the head. From a kneeling position, bring the crown of the head to the floor several inches in front of the knees. Reach the hands back for the feet or heels. Begin to lift and round the mid – upper back (like cat back), letting the hips lift away from the feet. This rounding of the back can be odd or tricky to find here. Imagine a wall in front of you, and think about pushing your upper back towards this imaginary wall. As you move into this position, be aware of your neck. Do you feel any unwanted pressure? Give yourself grace to back out.