“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
Weekly Focus: Gratitude
Now that we have skimmed away the excess of our minds, we might find the clarity to be more grateful for all that we have. Our gratitude helps us to see the world with a newness, a freshness. In honor of Earth Day/Month, we take time to appreciate the abundance of the world around us. Spring has a way of making this easy on us — the world is green, dewy + bright! New flowers blooming at every turn, baby animals abound, streams run full + fresh, a scene of pastoral delights! It may not have been long ago that some of us were grumbling about drawn-out Indiana winters, so how do we take time to find gratitude in our natural surroundings to counter balance? This appreciation for the Earth may inspire us to take action + responsibility in it’s care — not only for the Earth itself, but for ourselves + in turn, the greater collective. Mother Earth + humans, we are in union. What is good for the former, is good for the latter.
Passive Pose of the Week: Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold)
Feel rooted, grounded + connected to the Earth, feeling your body connected to the firm surface beneath you in this pose, allowing the breath to guide you deeper into the posture. A classic stretch, we sit with our legs straight out in front of us + fold towards our feet. To find your best position, start with your legs in front of you + bring to fists between the feet — this is approximately hip width distance. Now, readjust as necessary. You can slightly narrow or widen the legs so that you can feel rooted down, with the ability to lift your spine out of the hips. As you fold forward, try keeping your gaze beyond your feet, to encourage length in the spine. With each inhale, imagine creating space in the belly by pulling your navel towards your spine, with each exhale, allow yourself to soften into the pose. Try this three times before full settling in. See if you can hold this position for 2 -3 minutes.
Active Pose of the Week: Baddha Virabhadrasana (humble warrior)
Surrender yourself in gratitude to the Earth as you bow forward, opening the heart. This posture begins from a lunging position. You choose, you might try warrior two legs, warrior one legs, or a crescent warrior! Each position will pose different challenges for the balance + different opening in the hips. Once your legs are set, interlace the fingers behind the low back, take a breath in + fold forward. Again, think about looking forward beyond the horizon as you fold. Once you reach the fold, soften your chin to your chest, and imagine your head feeling very heavy, like a weight, dragging you towards the ground.