Monday, July 14, 2014

Homeward Bound

Yoga Basics started in my home and in my personal home base: my physical body. I was homeward bound, as I was too young to drive myself to a class. Back in the 70's there were very few classes anyway. Most yoga practices were at home. A common goal: learn the body with it's structural limitations and work to deepen the practice. One way to deepen your posture is to bind.

Bound Side Angle Pose
The yoga bound poses, involve clasping the hands so as to rotate and open the shoulders and torso. Patience is a quality that must be developed, for binds require flexibility, strength of body and mind as well as balance. Resisting the temptation to react by either giving up or forcing it, are qualities that translate and assimilate into the emotional body as well. In order to deepen your practice, there must be a willingness to meet your edge, while disengaging from the end result and above all: listening to your body.

The yoga pose pictured above: side angle pose, is a good posture to play with.

Tips for Binding:

  • Warm up with sun salutes. This will loosen and open the chest and shoulders. 
  • Stretch the legs with Warriors and Lunges to open the hips and hamstrings
  • If you feel tight, listen to your body. Err on the side of doing less. You don't win when you injure yourself! 
  • Make sure you are opening your chest. Try spiraling your chest open. Draw shoulders back and down
  • Breathe! A slow mindful breathing pattern will keep you in tune with sensation.
  • Play. Remember this is just an exploration. Enjoy the process with beginner's mind.

For next steps: You may try walking your back leg in and stand, adding balance to the bind. For added flexibility, extend leg...and act like it's a piece of cake. 

bird of paradise prep: step 2
Bird of Paradise: full bloom! 

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