Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sutra 1.14

Sutra 1.14
Perfection in practice comes when one continues to practice with sincerity and respect for a long period of time without any interruption.

Welcome to 2018!  Have you come up with a New Year's Resolution?  You may want to base your resolution this year on Sutra 1.14, to develop a consistent yoga practice.  Some days you will find a million excuses not to show up to your mat.  Show up anyway. Some days you may feel you are too busy to practice, practice for five minutes; do a few sun salutations or sit for a five-minute meditation.  Some days you will have more time, and your practice will last longer.  More than anything, your commitment to come back to your mat regularly is what will make the most difference.  Our story this month is "A consistent yoga practice will bring strength to both the body and the mind".

You may even want to set an intention for 2018 rather than making a resolution.  Like a new year's resolution, an intention names something you're seeking to attain for yourself, but unlike resolutions, intention-setting focuses less on goals and more on the journey which leads to certain outcomes.  Intentions focus more on internal power and long-term change, whereas resolutions focus more on external and sometimes, short-lived rewards.  Make your intention for 2018 to improve your practice through consistency and remember to enjoy the journey:)

This  month's physical focus is a strength building practice.  One such pose, Crescent Lunge is a dynamic standing pose that utilizes and integrates the muscles in your entire body.  It stretches and strengthens the lower and upper body, while creating stability and balance.  Considered a balance pose and a backbend, Crescent Lunge helps the front of the body to expand, which increases energy and reduces fatigue.  Do not practice Crescent Lunge if you are currently experiencing high blood pressure or heart problems.  Also, avoid this pose if you have a knee or spinal injury.  Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.

Instructions:  Fold forward, bend your knees and bring your hands to the mat.  Step the right foot back.  Bend your front knee to 90 degrees, aligning your knee directly over the heel of your front foot.  Come on to the ball of your back foot, lifting your heel.  Straighten your back leg completely.  Inhale, ground your front foot and engage your abs as you lift up to standing.  With your back leg strong and active, gently draw your right hip forward as you press your left hip back, squaring your hips to the front of your mat.  Sweep your arms overhead with palms facing.  Draw your tailbone toward the floor.  Gaze is up between the hands.  Engage the abs to help stabilize your core.  Draw your shoulder blades back.  If you have a shoulder issue rest your hands on your hips.  Hold for up to one minute.  Release your hands back to the mat, step your right foot up between your hands and slowly rise to standing.  Repeat on opposite side.

Kathe in Crescent Lunge
Crescent Lunge can be a powerful way to build strength, balance, and concentration.  As you practice this pose on a regular basis, you'll breathe equanimity in all areas of your life.  Finding ease in Crescent Lunge will allow you to establish the qualities of balance, grace, and power, even off the mat!  Bring it on 2018!!!