YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 08.07-08.13

“Distractions ended. Thoughts began. Then thoughts stopped too, and the Universe entered.” –Misba, The High Auction

Weekly Focus: Citta Vrtti (mind chatter, distraction)

Citta vrtti is what we often describe as “monkey mind” — the thoughts that clutter the mind. These thoughts have a habit of becoming distracting. In much the same way, summertime can be full of distractions. Stay the course + take time to clear the mind, always remembering balance. We are exposed to SO, SO much. Filtering all of that information into what is useful, helpful, important, unnecessary, distracting, traumatic, harmful — can be really, really hard! As summer is full of pitta (fire, action) + and Autumn is full of vata (airy, sporadic) energies, this time of the year may often leave us feeling rushed from place to place, or otherwise flighty with low attention spans. Where can we look for moments of stillness to calm + quiet the mind. When we take the time to clear away the distractions and we remember to keep honoring the Self, rather than the pull of what’s around us. 

Passive Pose of the Week: Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Leg Forward Fold)

Get upside down + shake out the cobwebs in prasarita padottanasana. Stand with your legs 3 – 4 feet apart and fold forward from the hips. This pose is technically an inversion — your head gets below the heart and the knees here, flipping you upside down. Inversions are excellent for clearing space in the mind and “shaking things up.” In fact, we recommend trying out an inversion mid-day when you feel cluttered at work. Can’t think straight? Feeling stuck? Stand up, and fold forward. You can even bring your arms to rest on a chair so that the fold isn’t so deep. Take a few deep breaths and spend some time gently turning the head “yes” or “no,” sway a little side to side, and slowly stand up. Notice how you feel.

Active Pose of the Week: Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon)

Ring out what distractions you may hold onto in this deep spinal twist.The ability to ignore distraction and to focus is important in this twisty balance. Start in a grounded warrior three — balance on on leg and lift the opposite leg behind you, letting your hands come to blocks or the floor. Keep your torso parallel with the floor. If your left leg is lifted, bring your left hand to your hip. Slowly begin to roll the shoulder back, opening your chest towards the left. If this feels good, you might reach the left hand up towards the sky, but it’s not necessary. Try to move your gaze last, and move it slowly. We often lose the balance when we try to move to quickly, so stay focused, and take this pose one step at a time. Think leg lifts, hand to hip, chest opens, gaze moves, maybe top arm lifts. Do your best not to rush through it! Find the practice in the journey.