YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 07.18 – 07.24

“Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.”  – Sonia Ricotti

Focus: Kriya Yoga // Clearing Practices

Kriya translates as action. There are three elements or actions of kriya yoga: tapas/purification, svadhyaya/self-study and isvara pranidhana/surrender to something greater than the Self. We learn and disucss these practices on the mat but how do we apply them in real time? Kriya can be utilized to help us clear and cleanse ourselves of samskaras (remember those mental impressions from last week?), which will help us to alleviate our assumptions. So can we pause — and through the practice of svadhyaya become aware of our samskaras, clear out these built-in patterns through tapasic practice, and then allow ourselves to surrender? We cannot always know what or why something is occurring — so how do we be OK with that? Gathering the tools for your toolbox is only the first step, we then must practice our utilization of these tools.

All Classes: Nadi Shodhana // Alternate Nostril Breathing

Kriya practices work to create a clearing or a surrender — one type of these practices is pranayama, commonly labeled as “breath work” or “mindful breathing.” Nadi Shodhana, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing, is just one of many style of pranayama. Alternate Nostril Breathing has so many benefits: clearing out excess, reducing stress and anxiety, balancing the hormones, balancing the mind, clearing the nasal passages and clearing respiratory irritants — many clarifying properties.

When practicing at home,

  1. Inhale through the left nostril. Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale gently, but fully, through the left nostril. Keeping the right nostril closed, inhale through the left nostril and deep into the belly.
  2. Exhale through the right nostril. Use the ring and pinky fingers of the right hand to gently close the left nostril and simultaneously release the right nostril. Exhale through the right nostril, pause gently at the bottom of the exhalation.
  3. Inhale through the right nostril. Keeping the left nostril closed, inhale once again through the right nostril.
  4. Exhale through the left nostril. Then again, use the right thumb to close the right nostril as you release the left nostril. Exhale through the left nostril, pause gently at the bottom of the exhalation. Continue breathing in this manner for several rounds.

**Pro-tip: keep a box of tissues nearby! This practice will release and clear the sinuses.**