YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 07.25 – 07.31

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

Focus: Abhyasa // Practice

“I went to one yoga class and learned it all. Now I am enlightened and good to go!” – said No One Ever (We hope). LIFE IS PRACTICE. Yoga truly is a lifestyle. We must have a determination to want to apply these principles over and over and over again. Yoga can become a practice that leaves the mat and follows us into the wild world. This dedication to take our actions and our yoga practices off of the mat and into our daily lives can serve as a reminder to keep going, to keep trying, to keep checking in. We will never be without fault, and that is OK — as long as we continually refine and chip away, we will work towards our greatest Self. And so the month comes full circle, because NOW, begins the practice of yoga. And now. And now. And now.

Align/Flow Classes: Suryanamaskar A // Sun Salutation A

You will likely recognize this series of postures as the segment of class often called out as “Sun A,” or perhaps when a teacher offers the chance to “take a vinyasa.” Sun A is likely our most basic flow series, one that many of us know very well, whether by name or not. We utilize this series to warm up the body, to reset the breath, and to generally connect to our mind and enter a flow-state. It is with practice and repetition that we are able to find these qualities within our Sun Salutation. Practice not only means repetition of form, it also provides opportunity to refine. Can you use this week to bring more awareness to your Sun A, and work to refine even the smallest, energetic qualities? This great focus and hyper awareness will help you to not only become more connected to your body, but to also become deeply entranced in your movement, offering a space of moving meditation and mindfulness.

Stretch/Restore Classes: Bitilasana Marjaryasana // Cat-Cow

Another consistent flow state and favorite of many — cat/cow. What is practice if we move without intention? Mindless movement might build muscle memory, but we aren’t learning much about our bodies and our needs. You have the choice here to make this what you want. It can simply be a good spinal warm-up yes, but what if we really thought about the movement while we were taking it? Try exploring your cat-cow this week in unique and unusual (to you) ways. Perhaps you use the repetition of this flow series as an opportunity to really feel your points of contact with the floor, and to notice every muscle that engages as you move. You might play with shifting your weight forward and back, noticing how this transfers stretch and strength. Bring extra attention to the connection of your breath and movement, how does this change the series for you? You can even linger in each shape longer than normal — who said you have to keep moving through these? Enjoy the invitation to explore your cat-cow thoughtfully and maybe it will take you somewhere deeper.

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