In child’s pose we look inward. We honor the light that shines within, finding love of self.
From hands and knees, bring the big toes together and extend the buttocks back towards the heels. Keep the arms extended out in front of you with your forehead touching the floor. As you root the hips towards the heels extend the spine from the sacrum to crown of the head. Breathe.
The wave-like movement beginning at the hips and moving up the spine opens up the channel of energy alone the spine. This mirrors the movement of sexual energy. As our energy centers open up, the whole body experiences the ecstatic movement of a whole body orgasm.
Start on hands and knees with the toes tucked under. The hands are under the tops of the shoulders and the knees and feet line up with the sitting bones. From a neutral back take a long inhale and start to tilt the sitting bones up towards the sky. The spine moves as a wave as you allow the belly to move downward and chest to move forward (the shoulder blades are together on the back). The head is the last to move as it looks forward.
As you exhale, scoop the tailbone downward through the thighs and allow the spine to move upward one vertebrae at a time. The head finishes the movement by bowing towards the heart.
Continue the movement with the breath. Let the movement be fluid.
The continuous movement of the body with the breath cultivates an easeful movement of the body. We allow the body to flow with the breath as we also warm up and strengthen the body.
Stand in Tadasana with the feet sitting bone apart and parallel. Inhale, stretch your arms up toward the sky. Exhale and swan dive the arms down to the ground as you bend at the hip creases. In Uttanasana or forward bend, inhale and lengthen the spine forward. Bend the knee as much as you need to place your hands on the ground shoulder width apart and step or jump the feet back to plank. As you inhale move your waistline up towards the ceiling and scoop the tailbone. Melt your heart towards the earth so that your shoulder blades easefully slide onto your back (you might choose to stay breathing in this position to strengthen your core and arms).
As you exhale, bend your elbows back alongside your body and bring the body back to the earth. Inner rotate your legs and scoop your tailbone towards your toes. As you inhale, lengthen the spine and the sides of the body and straighten your arms as much as you can while you keep the shoulder blades on and down our back into Bhujangasana (cobra).
As you exhale, tuck your toes under and lift your buttocks up toward the sky into Adho Mukha Svanasana or downward dog. You can hold this posture for at least 5 breaths.
At the end of an exhale, jump or step your feet towards your hands. As you inhale lengthen your spine forward and on an exhale dive deeper into Uttanasana. On an exhale root the tailbone down through your legs into the earth and lift your torso and arms up towards the sky. As you exhale bring yours hands down to Anjali Mudra (prayer position and the heart center).
In Baby Cradle we learn to create appropriate boundaries with our body to support the opening of our hips as we support our joints and strengthen our back.
Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Inner rotate the thighs one at the time with one hand on the inner thigh to push the flesh under the thigh, while the other hand is on the buttock cheek and pulls the buttock out to the side. This action will bring the legs to a neutral position.
Take the right foot with both hands and with an isometric action press the foot away from your body, as you pull back with your arms. As you do this extend the spine straight upward from your lower back to the top of your head. Keep this action as you bring the shin towards your chest. It’s important to have the foot engages in order to protect the knee. If your hips are not open enough to put the foot into the elbow crease while the foot stays in a neutral position (not sickled), hold the underside of the shin. Breathe. With each inhale emphasize the extension of the spine. On an exhale release.
Repeat on the other leg.
We can store old emotions in our hips, in Pigeon posture we “feel” an intense stretch in the hips that helps to open and release this area. Pigeon can guide us to learn to experience uncomfortable feelings with grace. We discover the transformational quality of appropriate stretching.
From hands and knees slide your right knee forward in line with your right hip. The back leg will straighten back behind you. Make sure that it is in line with the left hip. Tuck the back toes under to activate the back leg as you scissor your legs together to help square off the hips even with the front of the mat. Move the front foot as far forward as the knee if possible and keep it flexed. The foot can be closer to the hips if your hips are tight, in this case the foot will be pointed but keep the toes active and the foot straight. As you pull the right hip back, extend the spine forward from sacrum to top of the head. Breathe.
Repeat on the second side.
Zen Meditation and Yoga Retreat
A Day of Loving Kindness
A full day retreat at the Hidden Valley Zen Center designed to calm the mind and nurture the body. During this bliss filled day you will learn and practice Zen and Metta Meditation, do Hatha and Restorative Yoga, partake in Mindful Eating and enjoy the beauty of nature.
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