Homework: Gentleness in the Creation of Groundedness
Hey Dear Hearts,
It's a stormy day. It's beautiful and relentless in it's message to slooooow down. It screams, "be gentle, but progress. Move, but move with love. Sit, but sit with intent."
I swear, it's saying all of that, and in quite a bossy tone I might add.
So, to appease the universe in all it's demanding urgency, I give you a few simple, loving tasks to get moving in a way that reconnects you with your roots that bind us to the earth. Find your ground. With life being a constant whirlwind of both controllable and uncontrollable forces, it's blissful to know how to feel the earth; solid, rooted, connected, and stable.
Task 1: Gentle Movement
Start by going through the moon salutations.
The moon salutations are one of my all time favorite flows in yoga. It's stretchy and delicious. It allows your body to feel light and strong, while not building the heat and excitement of the sun salutations. It also speaks to the softer, more feminine side of a flowing movement. Complimenting the sukha, or grace and softness in each pose, that we often forget whilst straining, glaring, and muscling our way to a wishfully swift end to each pose;).
Next, spend some quality time in Seated Spinal Twist (Matsyendrasana)
Fold your right leg; cross your left foot over your right thigh at midpoint. Inhale - bring right arm around the outside of left knee. Grasp right knee or instep of right foot. Exhale - rotate your trunk to the left. Keep shoulders level.
Raise left arm up, around, and back, placing palm on the floor. Turn your head, gaze over your left shoulder. Hold for one minute each side.
When you twist to the left side repeat in your mind for that minute, "For all that has been, Thanks."
When you twist to the right, repeat, "To all that will be, Yes."
Bridge Pose - Setu Bandhasana
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Walk your feet back so that your ankles are right under your knees. Push through your heels and lift your hips, thighs, and back off of the floor. Keep grounded in your shoulders, neck, arms and feet. You can roll your shoulders underneath to bind your hands if that's comfortable/you want more openness in the chest. Breathe deep and right into your belly and chest. When you lower, do so one vertebrae at a time.
As you breathe in this pose (1-2 minutes) I want you to repeat the phrase, "I am vulnerable, I am strong. I am vulnerable because I am strong."
Finish with any other poses you need to feel complete body-wise
Task 2: Meditation/Pranayama
This is such a great meditation I use quite often. It combines 3 intentions to develop a strong and supple body, a clear mind, and a spirit filled equally with power, love and wisdom.
Sit comfortably. Close your eyes. Inhale and repeat silently,
"My body is strong and supple."
Exhale and repeat silently,
"My mind is clear."
Set the timer for 5 minutes and continue in this pattern.
Sit for 1 minute saying nothing, just noticing.
For the next 5 minutes, on your inhale repeat,
"My spirit is filled with power, love, and wisdom."
Exhale and repeat,
"All in equal measure."
Sit for 1 minute
Third and Final Task: Practice
I want you to make a list of benefactors in your life. People who you look to as inspiration, for truth, for a semblance of attributes you want to behold in yourself. I want you to not over think this, but usually it's not a super long list, just a handful of truly influential benefactors for you specifically.
Now, I want you to write in your journal or just on a random piece of paper the ways they are benefactors to you. Why are they on the list? Again, you can go into as much or as little detail as you want.
Next, I want you to either email, write a note/letter, or make a phone call to one of those people and express your gratitude. Being able to be genuine and grateful to people in the real world, not just in our hearts is a distinctly beautiful gift, and one that I think we don't harness enough in today's society. Go ahead, make the call! It might feel weird or cheesy, but I promise it won't to the other person