Weekly Practice 7 – Opening Up

” In summer, the song sings itself.”

The blue skies call for opening, striding forward and rushing through, don’t they?

If only the body would comply with that fearless spirit! If only we were younger, more flexible, if only we took dancing lessons when we were six, if only the back would not act up…. if ONLY!

Agh… nothing like a good dose of whining and useless regrets! I am so good at it!  Nothing like having  an eighty year old student in the class, and looking at all of us through his eyes! Our advanced 60s are merely  kindergarten years  for him, and anyone under 50 should not be allowed to drink, I guess.

Still blue skies call for opening, and still the body is not complying, so what do we do?

1. Step 1

Slow and patient

Please look at the photo carefully and recreate the setting. You can use a rolled blanket, or anything a bit hard, but not uncomfortable. Test the set up: if it is slightly uncomfortable, give it 10 breath cycles. If still uncomfortable, lower the upper back support (the roll). If comfortable stay there for another 10 breaths, or set a cooking timer to 5 min or so. Focus on breath,on relaxing and idly wonder around investigating various sensations … relaxed arms, soft face, soft lips, wide breath.

After each step/pose, lower the back slowly into the ground, and observe the different sensations… does it feel flatter? wider?

2. Step 2

Further up the Road

Your next step can be (a) a restorative twist (last photo)- both knees on the side, or (b)  you try this pose(above) with legs bent, or legs straight. Legs straight is more intense.

The blocks may be uncomfortable, and cutting in, so you can cover them with a sticky mat, or wait until discomfort subsides.

How long do you stay here? 10 breaths, and then re-evaluate it.

3. Step 3

Twist and/or  Shout

Here is the ‘Shout” part of the step… that is, you build on the previous poses, and create a bridge: it starts in your feet pressing down to lift you up, and in your collar bones reaching towards the chin.

Instead of staying in the pose, please try it  three times.

For the Twist part, here you are!

This pose closes your practice.

Try it today... take your well deserved, hard earned 5 minutes and plop on the floor. Find your “Warrior 2” spirit , draw a circle around you to protect your boundaries and dive into the breath, blue skies and quietness.

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