Change the Course – Create a New Direction

The crisis of COVID-19 has altered all of our lives.  It’s time to re-direct and configure a new path of action.  One with  a new awareness that helps us move forward and acknowledges changes are needed.  The same could be said of our latest national reckoning regarding systemic inequities in our society.   As we honestly investigate the problems can we create a better future?

An asana practice dedicated to twisting and growing tall, cleansing while culturing mental calmness can be one way we all commit to necessary changes.  When practicing yoga we always need to find stability to begin a pose, determination to develop the pose, and again re-stabilize any progress we have made.  We try to begin from a solid base, explore potentialities we haven’t tapped into, and settle again into a pensive mind.

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Practice Listening to Different Views

None of us want to turn a blind eye or deaf ear to the voice of the protest. The national conversation happening now requires us to listen carefully, without bias or a pre-set agenda. This is something we do in our asana practice every time we come to class or get on our mats to practice.

The sequence in this post is not very demanding. It directs us to repeat well-known poses but approach them from different viewpoints with each repetition.  Every asana is an intricate puzzle to solve, and many points of view are needed to gain clarity.  Within the architecture of any asana we can place our mind in a particular location, and then ask the movement of the breath to mediate the discussion regarding our internal acceptance or resistance.  It’s best to develop this more sophisticated approach when doing less advanced poses.  When we do advance poses that are difficult for us, we are rank beginners. When we refine the poses we know best we become more mature practitioners.

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Becca’s Opening Your Heart Into the Unknown

“Fear and fatigue block the mind. Face both, then courage and confidence flows into you” B.K.S. Iyengar

“When compassion, or warmheartedness, arises in us, and our focus shifts away from our own narrow self-interest, it is as if we open an inner door. It reduces fear, boosts confidence, and brings us inner strength.” The 14th Dalai Lama

Backbending asanas (Purva Pratana Sthiti) involve coordinating the movements of the spine to arch the back and lift, broaden, and open the chest area. This category of asanas helps build courage, alleviate depression, and overcome fear. They greatly benefit the mind by making it more resilient, humble, and alert. Although there are always uncertainties in life, we’re now confronting it head-on (whether we like it or not). This is definitely a scary concept for most of us. Although fear can be beneficial (like fear of touching a downed power line!), it can also be blinding and inhibit personal growth. Sometimes we need to literally and figuratively open our hearts to see if our fear is helping or hurting. Now is the time to be courageous so we can support and help those who need it most.

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