In yogic tradition the moon is associated with feminine energy with qualities of coolness, calmness, stillness and receptiveness.
This energy is something that we all have inside of us (no matter if you are man or woman).
To live a balanced life we need to allow this part of us to take equally enough space as its opposit; the active sun that constantly keeps us moving and allert.
Without the slowing down we won’t be able to ground down and see and appriciate the beauty of life in front of us. We will be striving forward without the ability to appriciate the now or knowing where we are heading.
Come along and salute the moon inside and outside of you with me on this weeks Sunday Yin Nidra - it will be a real treat for your body, mind and soul!
Adho Mukha Svanasana
DOWNWARD FACING DOG
Mukha = face
Svana = dog
Downward Facing Dog is a wonderful posture that is so much more than a transition pose and a nice hamstring stretch.
Downward Facing Dog BENEFITS:
Elongates and releases tension from your spine.
Opens the hips and shoulders…yup, yoga is pretty much obsessed with those hips and shoulders :-)
Stretches hamstrings, calves, ankles, wrists and hands.
Strengthens arms, shoulders, wrists, ankles and abdominals. Be sure to pull that bellybutton into your spine to get that pelvic floor engagement…yes, the pelvic floor is another one of yoga’s obsessions ;-)
Relieves, back pain, headaches, helps to reduce insomnia and fatigue.
Helps to relieve stress by calming the nervous system when used as a mild inversion.
Tip 1: If you have tight hamstrings you may experience a "pull" of the hamstrings when in down dog that tilts the pelvis backwards or down towards the hamstrings (retroversion). This pulls the back muscles causing the
lower back to lose some of its natural arch.
How do you adapt to these tight hamstrings?
Put a micro-bend in the knees to release the hamstrings and free the lower back.
Contract your Quads!
This contraction will help to tilt the pelvis forward or up towards the mid-back (anteversion) and will
help to provide a natural arch - this helps to draw the trunk towards the thighs.
The more you work with your downward facing dog the more starts to feel like a resting and recovery posture.
Posture of the month: Parivrtta Uttkatasana
Partvrtta = Revolved - Utka = Powerful - Asana = Pose
Revolved Powerful Pose or Revolved Chair Pose or Prayer Twist.
I like this pose because it helps me to feel grounded - hips and legs are stable and strong, feet are grounded into the mat - distributing my weight and helping me to find that lovely sense of balance where I can shift my weight back and stack the knees over the ankles.
Tip 1: Work to keep your knees in alignment with each other by sucking the thighs into their hip sockets.
All of this grounding, strength and stability in the hips, legs and feet allows for lightness in the spine and openess in the chest. The lightness in the spine allows for the body to twist. When you twist, look to your abdominal muscles to engage and rotate your torso along the lengthened spine.
Tip 2: Don’t rely the strength of your shoulders and elbows to force you body to twist. You need lightness in the spine to allow your abdominal muscles to engage, rotate and follow the twist of the spine. If you force the twist, relying on the large muscles in your back, chest and shoulders you force your spine to twist beyond its natural ability. If you force the twist you can’t lift the chest. If you can’t lift the chest the body falls forward - the weight comes to the toes, the heels loose their grounding and you miss out on that lovely sense of stability, balance and lightness.
Be brave, practice the modified version, work with the feeling of sending your weight back to your heels. Release the sacrum so the sit bones can head down to the floor. Resist the booty pop! Find the strength in your core to twist and lift. Allow the core to revolve with the spine - work with the limits of your spine today - maybe tomorrow your spine will feel different. Enjoy the sensation of opening your chest in the revolved position, gaze up and over your shoulder. Breath.
I am still processing my experience in Macedonia.