“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.” – Alan Watts
Theme: Yoga – Union
When we can look beyond our own ignorance, we can find ourselves in the world around us – in every person, every animal, every plant and microbe – we are made of the same “stuff.” This oneness allows us to see beyond what is right in front of us. We don’t take things personally because in reality, we are all suffering together, and just searching for a way out. When we can recognize our unity with the world, we can find our personal responsibility to taking care of the earth and each other, without considering it’s return on ourselves as an individual. Because if we work in union to be better, we all receive a return on our collective investment. It is important not to forget however that while we are all one with each other, our lived experiences are not the same – we are all on a different place on our journey.
Align/Flow Classes: Kapalabhati
We breathe in, we breathe out, constantly recycling and renewing the energy around us. Taking in what the Earth has to offer, we are one with and part of the Earth, part of a whole. Kapalabhati or Skull Shining Breath can be rather tricky, especially if you are new to pranayama. If you find pumping the belly challenging, try placing a hand over your belly to feel the forward and backward movement of the abdomen. You might also cut back the number of pumps to 3-5 exhales at a time, gradually building up to a large number as the rhythm feels more intuitive.
Restorative Classes: Sama vritti
Sama vritti or Harmonious breath can help us to find union with our breath and a deeper awareness of our internal subtleties. By evening out the counts of our inhales and exhales we gradually build a soft control and strength of this usually involuntary action. If a long sustained breath feels like too much today, you might start with a count of three first, then build your in and out breath to four, five, maybe even six. Don’t pressure yourself to increase the count if it feels uncomfortable or unsafe – take in the energy in a manner that feels controlled, gentle, and stable.