This is the season for turning inward—darkness surpasses light, animals begin to hibernate, and the natural world quiets down in preparation for the months ahead. Your practice can benefit when you align with the changing seasons. Take a break from striving on your mat by trying a forward-bending practice. “Forward bends are, by their nature, introspective and meditative,” says Boston teacher Barbara Benagh, who designed the sequence that begins on page 66. “Forward bends are calming to the nerves, soothing, and grounding. These poses teach us that yoga is as much about surrender as effort, if not more so.”
Benagh’s practice begins with reclining hip openers to relax your back muscles and warm your hip joints. From there, her sequence moves into seated forward bends that emphasize a passive stretch of the back muscles while providing a gentle abdominal massage. Set your Zen Timer for 5 inutes. Hold each pose for up to five minutes to give your muscles time to relax and your breath a chance to deepen. Also, be sure to practice asymmetrical poses such as Ardha Ananda Balasana (Half Happy Baby Pose) and Janu Sirsasana (Head-of-the-Knee Pose) on both sides before moving on.
A willingness to surrender is your greatest ally in forward bends, helping to quiet the mind and to release the stiffness that is an obstacle to enjoying the poses. In the spirit of introspection, be more curious about the process than the destination.
adapted from Yoga Journal, by Elizabeth Winter with Barbara Benagh
Use our unique “Zen Clock” which functions as a Yoga & Meditation Timer. It features a long-resonating acoustic chime that brings your meditation or yoga session to a gradual close, preserving the environment of stillness while also acting as an effective time signal. Our Yoga Timer & Clock can be programmed to chime at the end of the meditation or yoga session or periodically throughout the session as a kind of sonic yantra. The beauty and functionality of the Zen Clock/Timer makes it a meditation tool that can actually help you “make time” for meditation in your life. Bring yourself back to balance.
gentle wake up clock with chime, meditation timers
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