Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summertime Balance Sequence

Well yogis and yoginis, it’s summertime!  Here in New York, it took us by storm.  A week ago it felt quite lovely, cool and sunny.  Now, it feels as if someone took Manhattan, poured gasoline over the streets, and lit a match.  The entire city is locked in a humid, hazy, and all together overheated state. For me, I feel entirely out of balance, which translates to cranky, judgmental and snappy.  Being a Pitta, (one of the three personality types of Ayurveda, pitta is a mixture of fire and water) summertime is particularly vulnerable for me and my potentially overbearing, controlling personality.  I have to be particularly careful in the summer to slow down, take time to rest, meditate, wear cooling colors, and eat cooling foods.  Not that I always do this, of course, but when I do, I feel my strung-out pitta unwind a bit.

Because I’ve been feeling so unbalanced, I’ve been working on a slower, more balance and grounding practice.  I’ve creating this all levels sequence to help us all reground, and I’d like to share it with you. Please let me know your thoughts.  This sequence is particularly fun and restorative to do outside, ideally on grass without a mat.

Summertime Balance Sequence

- Start in Suhkasana.  Feel your feet and sitbones ground into the mat as your spine gets long.  Circle your arms around and up, reaching for the sky, then release them down,  on your breath, about 3 times.
- Cat/Cow
- Extended Childs pose
- Downward Facing Dog (AMS)–-> Three Legged Dog à Cheetah -  lift R leg back and up, forward into plank, knee into nose, back to three-legged AMS back to AMS.  Repeat 3 times on each side.
- Walk or jump forward, uttanasana (forward bend) – take an extra long time here, allowing hamstrings to release
- Surya A 4x – focus on the legs in every pose; rolling the inner, upper thighs up in plank/chattarunga and cobra/up-dog, firming thighs back and hips in in AMS.  Play with lifting one foot at a time up in plank.
- In last AMS, step right foot forward, come to Vira II – emphasize front buttock rolling towards the back heel, and the back leg straight.
- Vira II à Trikonasana and back, 5x, end in Trikonasana
- Trikonasana à Ardha Chandrasana – play with not stepping back foot in and going straight from Trik to Ardha Chandrasana à step back with control to Trikoanasana, and then back à Vira II
- Prasarita Padotanasana A (PPA – wide legged forward bend, hands on floor in front of you)à walk fingers around to right foot, point right foot forward, step back to AMS
Repeat above starred sequence on left side, except replace PPA with PPC (fingers interlaced behind you.
Sunbreath with utkatasana 3x
Surya B – 2x – focus on firming buttocks under (it is bikini season, afterall!) – play with adding a standing split after vira I.
Vira I – get grounded
Vira III – float
Vira I – reground – do the above on both sides
Lie down
Supta bada konasana (lying down, knees bent, soles of feet pressed together.
Happy baby pose.
Supine twist.
Savasana in the grass.

I hope you enjoy!

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