YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 07.11 – 07.17

“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” – Tuli Kupferberg

Focus: Samskaras // Mental Impressions

Samskaras rest within the unconscious mind and form the basic involuntary thought that influences and affects our future actions. As we consider how to avoid making assumptions about life, people, and circumstances, we might first recognize that most assumptions are rooted in routine thoughts or ideas. How do we work to recognize these habits and patterns? Do we notice that we allow formed and habitual thought patterns to create the lens through which we view life? Do we blindly perceive the world without consideration or reflection? Working through these subtle impressions and recognizing them for what they are can help us to avoid the trap of making assumptions. Sometimes, and quite often, we even feel relief when we realize that our assumptions were wrong!

Align // Flow Classes: Kapotasana Active // Pigeon Pose

Pigeon Pose can habitually be a passive posture, an automatic position to set up our bodies for a stretch. What happens when you challenge your impressions of Pigeon as only a cool-down or prep pose? When taking Pigeon in its active form this week, consider how this pose can also be a posture of strength! Think about your front shin and back foot pushing into the ground and from this place, find your spine lifting out of the hips. To keep the spine lifted, the core must be engaged, supporting the low back. You might try bringing blocks underneath your fingers to help you stay upright, or perhaps, you build up to reaching your arms overhead. Want to really spice it up? Maybe try some forward crunches from this position — but remember, the rooting of the legs is what keeps you stable!

Stretch // Restore Classes: Kapotasana Passive // Pigeon Pose

What assumptions do you make about Pigeon Pose? The “proper” alignment, what it should look like, how it should feel — any ideas you have here all come from somewhere. A teacher said it once, we saw it in a picture, we felt it in our bodies, we were told to feel a certain way. What happens when you throw all of that out the window and try something new? Perhaps this week you pick one habit you have in pigeon pose and challenge the habit, adjust the posture, see what happens. Maybe you will love it, maybe you will hate it, maybe it will be another tool in the toolbox. Thoughts: utilize props under the hips or the chest if you avoid them; allow the front shin to relax if you always go for parallel; back toes tuck rather than un-tuck; front foot points rather than flex; bring the front knee outside the line of your hip. You can try any of these or get creative and come up with your own adjustments!