Yoga Moutain Pose
Finding balance in the midst of challenge is exactly what we try to achieve in our daily lives — and the practice of yoga is one that seeks to help us do it. One of the first things people notice when they bring their yoga practice outside, says Van Otten, is that unlike the flat surfaces we’re used to, the earth’s naturally uneven terrain presents its own challenge. You have to become more tuned in to where you’re putting your feet, with an eye out for rocks, tree roots, divots, and inclines. This constant conversation between mind and body keeps you mentally as well as physically engaged.
1. Begin in Mountain pose, bringing hands into prayer position.
2. Visualize breathing in the energy around you and breathing out love. The idea is not just to discard tension and anxiety but also to build reciprocal energy between you and your surroundings.
3. Reach your arms as high as you can, with heels planted and feet flat. Next, try reaching higher on the right side, then the left, three times on each side.
4. Round down into a forward fold. Hold this pose for five breaths with soft knees, hands flat on the ground.
5. Bend your legs a little, lowering your pelvis. Exhale as the knees bend; inhale and straighten. Do this three times.
6. Roll up slowly.
7. Stretch arms wide, then clasp your hands behind your back. Separate your feet to shoulder-width.
With a gentle backward bend, look up at the sky, drawing in solar, lunar, and stellar energy. Hold this pose for several breaths, then slowly return to Mountain pose.
To Experience the Earth
Practice barefoot. Do yoga on the grass; sense its coolness against your feet and palms. Imagine that the centers of your feet are over an energy spout — draw the energy up from the earth’s core, then let it flow out through the top of your head.
adapted from Wholeliving Magazine, July/August 2005 by Terri Trespicio
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