Wednesday, December 5, 2012

BambooMoves Owner, favorite grounding poses

The cold is here, even though it seems a little more like Fall. However with the leaves off the trees and the holiday spirit in the air, we feel the cold air upon us and know winter is here.  Upon receiving winter, the feeling of being ungrounded often is felt. Which is why I have a seasonal practice of certain poses that I incorporate into my regular practice to find a more grounding practice.

Like many of you, when I say I will do an asana practice at night, it very rarely happens so I start the day with gentle movement to ensure that I receive the benefits of the postures. Below are 4 of my favorite winter poses to stay grounded. 

 1. Child pose (Balasana) is great for setting ones intention of the day. I take a little extra time while saying my prayers or first round of a mantra to set the stage of how I hope the day feels. It also is wonderful for stretching the back, ankles, knees, and hips gently after a nights slumber.
 2. Downward-facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana);  As you can see the knees are bent as it gives the back a little more room to stretch after just waking. One may hold this pose as long as short as they wish, it is a very energizing and refreshing pose. In Adho Mukha Svanasana, let the belly relax, ground into the entire palm, fingers, and feet-even though they may be off the floor imagine them rooting down into the mat. See what feels comfortable to you.
 3. Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I) is great to active the legs and the area of the pelvic girdle, bringing our energy down to ground us. Some days when I feel airy or flighty, I keep my hands at the hips to enhance that grounding sensation. If one wants to work more with the shoulders, lifting the hands up would be good.

4. Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III) is great to activate the inner and outer thigh and to feel the strength and balance of the ankle and foot. Often times in the morning, I find my balance is difficult to find so I will keep the back toe on the floor and lengthen through the spine and lower back. It is a great way to wake up the mula bandha. 
 5. Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II) Is an active hip opener, plus one can strengthen the inner arch of the foot to ensure proper alignment for the day. I also enjoy this pose because of the openness in both the front and back of the chest. It allows one to start the day "open" and full of energy.
6. Sitting. This pose can be done on the floor or on a chair, whatever is most comfortable where you feel the body is able to be still. Which ever you decide, do it.  Sitting in silence is important to do daily to allow the mind to have space for letting go, being detached from things we take in and for the senses to go inward. One may find the mind takes off like a race car, but after practice and time the mind will slow with the stillness of the body. Starting the day with 1 min-5 mins. of silence gives one a strong base to find balance with dealing with others, daily tasks, and finding compassion on the self.

I look forward to sharing these poses with you in the coming winter, notice how they come into each class. Om Shanti- Suzanne 

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