“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” — Mahatma Ghandi
Weekly Focus: Abhyasa (practice, effort)
We can see the world around us falling into practice. Seedlings grow, are picked + replanted. Baby animals are born, they watch, they learn. We put a practice into place to continue the process of growth. Practice is essential to growth. The patterns we form, the repetitions through practice, help us to shape how we see + interact with the world. We have the choice to adjust, to come more into our Self, but it takes a constant effort. Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes better. We don’t repeat + repeat because we want to achieve perfection — this only feeds the ego. We practice because we want to improve, we want to seek something beyond. Nature has been forming + shaping around us for millennia + still, it continues to return to it’s practice — never ceasing to change + adapt.
Passive Pose of the Week: Mandukasana (frog pose)
A pose that takes practice to lengthen our time in, practice to breathe + to stay steady. From tabletop, walk the knees slowly away from each other, then lower chest to or towards the floor. Try to keep your hips stay in line with knees. You may get into this pose + immediately feel called to leave it. Hey, that’s normal! This isn’t a position that most adults normally lounge around in, so it can take time to allow the body to soften here. This is a great pose to hold for several minutes, practicing a steady breath and making effort to keep your mind off any tension you may feel. To hold this pose, consider adding cushion beneath the knees, elbows, or chest, so that the body feels able to release.
Active Pose of the Week: Parivrtta Hasta Padanghustasana (dancing Shiva pose/revolved hand to big toe)
No matter how many times we practice this pose, on certain days it will still be a struggle. Balance is just one of those skills that can be greatly effected by any small factor. As you stand on one leg, twist towards your lifted leg. Reach your opposite hand to the lifted knee or foot, as the back arm stretches behind you. You may notice as you twist and reach for the bind of the knee or foot, that you start to hunch in the upper body. If you feel your chest collapsing and the back rounding, grab a strap to help extend the length of your arm! You may also notice that your balance can really start to go once you come into the twist. Let your gaze be the last piece of the puzzle. After you lift the leg, after you turn your chest, after you open your arms, then s-l-o-w-l-y turn the gaze to any degree.