Quarter 1 Theme: Winter
Winter is a time of calm + quiet. A reminder to make space for self-reflection + consideration. We hibernate in the womb of the earth, nurturing + refining, not only the Self, but also our deep + intimate relationships. Forming meaningful connections helps us to stay balanced, so as we don’t drift towards the hermit, straying on a path to far from our center.
“Consciousness is only the surface of the mental ocean.” Swami Vivekananda
Weekly Focus: Citta (consciousness)
Citta, or consciousness — the full spectrum of all that can perceive, all that we take in. As winter invites opportunity for introspection, we allow ourselves the time + space to consider all that we can perceive. What do we know, what do we observe, how do we react? Deep winter gives space for deep thought.
As we enter the depths of winter, we are shrouded in darkness + the world sleeps — a reminder to allow stillness in ourselves. This pause offers the space needed to deeply investigate our awareness. Can we take the time to slow down + notice the subtleties, the details, the inner-workings of the world around us and our connection to it.
Active Pose of the Week: Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation A)
Use this moving meditation to help you find your flow state, sending you into a conscious awareness of your breath + body connection. Sun Salutations also build heat in the body, an important way to balance the cold of winter. When we practice presence on our mat, it helps remind us to find presence in the mundane, the every day. So often we drift through life, ignoring our awareness. Can you find yourself actively engaged this week?
Sun Salutation A:
- Begin standing in mountain pose, inhale your arms overhead, exhale fold forward from the hips
- From a forward fold, inhale draw the hands to the shins and lift halfway. Exhale and refold.
- Step back to a high plank (or tabletop) pose. Inhale, and exhale lower to the bottom of a pushup (or all the way to the floor).
- Inhale and press into upward-facing dog (or cobra). Exhale and press back into downward facing dog.
- Pause — inhale, exhale, inhale and look forward. Exhale to step your feet to the top of your mat, in a forward fold.
- Inhale lift halfway again and look forward. Exhale refold. Inhale sweep your arms to the side as you come to standing, reaching the arms overhead.
- Exhale draw your hands by your side.
Passive Pose of the Week: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Open your heart + your awareness with this back bend. Cobra can be as big or small as you like — stay low to the ground, engaging the muscles of the back, or put more weight into the hands and lift up higher (just be conscious of sensation in the low back). This pose keeps most of the lower body connected to the floor, creating a grounding sensation in the body — an important quality in the winter, when the thoughts can drift and we may feel disconnected. Bring an active awareness to the parts of the body pressing to the floor, feeling every tactile sensation and every internal adjustment.