Namaste Friends ~ I trust you all had a peaceful Holiday Season and that you are now moving into this year with much joy and excitement.
I gaze out of my window and become very aware that winter is still here, there is this sense of contemplation and creation in the air.The Winter season is a transition from the old to the new, it is the perfect time to plant new seeds within. In this season our Yoga practice will nourish and support the growth of this new seedling bringing it into full blossom. In the winter months it is important to keep the sacred fire alive and standing postures offer us this inner fire, stamina and motivation, strenghetening body, mind and spirit.
We open our hearts this year with The Dancer, this form of Shiva which is not only the Destroyer but also the Creator. Shiva is the founder of Yoga and its male energy is worshipped in many forms, symbolizing the constant flow of energy ever present. Balance poses teach us will power and concentration, bringing harmony and balance in our bodies, mind and emotions, but also our lives. Starting the year with letting go of the old and preparing for the creation of the new Self, becoming a co-creator of the life you truly deserve. We express our self through this cosmic dance we are all apart of; awakening to the wonder of creation. In this posture we can see the drama, vitality and beauty that life offers in one wonderful posture.
Starting in Tadasana ~Mountain pose~ we take some time to connect our roots into the still earth, feeling our body rising tall and strong towards the sky. Take a moment to connect with the ever present breath, become aware. Balance poses teach us stability and strength, and should be given the time it deserves to become really present.
Take hold of your right ankle or foot as you bend your knee, foot close to your buttock. Steady yourself through breath and on your inhale stretch the left hand towards the sky. Tilt your pelvic slightly forward to release any congestion in the lower back, lengthening out of your hips, create space in your waist as you lift up through your centre, feeling your body tall, strong and upright.
Without letting go of your ankle/foot slowly begin to move the upper body forward into an arch, leading with your heart. Keep your standing leg strong, slightly lift the kneecap but don’t lock it, creating strength and stability to the posture. Keep your gaze on a point on the floor or in front of you that is not moving, keep the breath smooth and steady. Pushing the right foot into the left hand, keep the energy flowing equally through the body so that it strong but also flexible, lifting the right thigh so that it becomes parallel to the floor (or aiming for that).
Allow yourself to feel the liberating sensations through the upper body, the open heart, simultaneously as you are feeling the gravity pull from the earth which is the origin of this lightness and expressive dance. Keep your face beautifully relaxed with a soft smile. Hold the posture for 3-9 breaths, come back to Tadasana, Mountain pose, take a moment to feel the effects, and then practice it on the other side.
Move into a forward bend as a counter pose such as Uttanasana or Supta Vajrasana, child pose and feel the calming affect on the nervous system.
Inside our bodies we have this constant movement of nutrients and chemicals that are necessary to sustain life, this is called the metabolism, and it brakes down our food and energy to build our body systems to achieve optimum health. This posture strengthens the legs, spine and abdominal organs. As it brings a sense of grounding it also opens our chest and shoulders, supplying a fresh blood supply to abdomen and pelvic region.
The great God Shiva is the giver of wisdom within Yoga and life. Let your body become a temple, your source of discovery and renewal, the place of re-remembering our life force. Embracing also the many aspects of the feminine, strong as a warrior but also graceful as a dancer. Enjoy!!! Luxuriate in the warm heart of winter.
Wishing you deep love, joy & freedom to dance through your beautiful life Wenche xx