It is so important to balance our bodies. So often we live completely in the fire, busy schedule, hectic work, power yoga practice. We forget that on the other side of the Solar is the Lunar & we must have both to be in balance.
So if you are feeling a little off or have been wondering how to bring more lunar into your life, here is a 15 minute restorative practice to help you begin…
I’m not talking about seances, or dancing around the fire with sticks…I’m talking about the daily ritual. We all have rituals without even realizing it. Think about it, you brush your teeth everyday, maybe you have a cup of coffee every morning or walk your dog every afternoon. All of these are rituals.
So what is the point of rituals?
Rituals hold a lot of power. When we do something everyday it can help to cultivate more peace of mind and can actually make life more enjoyable. Research conducted by Michael I. Norton, Francesca Gino, and colleagues found that rituals helped people feel more in control when dealing with loss or grief. Their research also found that those who performed a ritual before eating found the food more enjoyable.
Find more on their research here.
What kind of rituals do I need in my life?
Take a few moments to think about what rituals are already in your life. Notice what your rituals surround, food, personal or self care, care for others, spirituality/religion? And then take a moment to remember how you feel after these rituals. Now, ask yourself where you need more peace in your life OR what you would like to cultivate more of. Maybe you would like a more healthy relationship with food. Or to become more at peace with your body. Or maybe you just want better sleep. Now it’s time to…
Create your ritual.
Decide what ritual you can incorporate into your daily life that will help you cultivate what you are looking for. Maybe it is saying a prayer before bed, maybe it is consciously preparing your food from fresh ingredients, or taking time each morning as you get ready to tell yourself that you are beautiful.
Whatever the ritual, make the promise to yourself that each day you will add this ritual into your life as a symbol of peace for yourself.
One of the best things we can do for our health is to invert, to go upside down! And a great way to begin is with Shoulderstand, while an intermediate pose it is more accessible for most than headstand & has all the same great benefits!!
And some of the benefits of Shoulderstand are…
Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Stimulates the thyroid and prostate glands and abdominal organs
Stretches the shoulders and neck
Tones the legs and buttocks
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
Reduces fatigue and alleviates insomnia
Therapeutic for asthma, infertility, and sinusitis
So lets head to the mat & breakdown this pose-
P.S. keep your eyes peeled for my surprise giveaway!!!!
Once it’s in cyber space there’s no getting it back, it’s out there…forever. Think about Google. Google remembers each thing we search so that the next time it can make a more informed decision & come up with better results.
But does the memory of what you once wanted, thought, or were searching for get in the way of what you need now?
Our minds are like computers. They are like Google. All we think gets stored. Our mind patterns get stored on our mental hard drive, saved for later. Stored until we come to a similar situation, conversation, or confrontation and in that moment all that stored info comes rushing forward.
Think about it. The first time you thought a negative thought, like ‘I’m not good enough’ when you failed a test or made a mistake. That thought got stored, it left a trail in your mind. So the next time you make a mistake it comes roaring back with more fervor “I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH!” If we don’t watch out the Google of our minds can create an endless stream of negativity.
So how do we begin to change our thought patterns, to create positivity trails in the mind that lead to more conscious living & acceptance?
1. Pay Attention: Watch your thoughts. Notice what situations bring up reaction. In that moment remember when you first had that thought. Think about why you are having that thought now, trace the pattern.
2. Shift the Pattern: Once you’ve noticed the pattern, it’s time to shift it. Begin to replace the negative thought, “I’m not good enough”, to something more productive “I will learn from this and grow.”
3. Rinse and Repeat: Repeat the new phrase to yourself over and over. Begin to trace a new thought pattern, create a line of positivity. Next time you are in the situation notice what first comes up. Overtime, with repetition & practice & will, the old negative thought pattern will erase and the positive one will flourish.
So be kind to yourself, let your Google search of the mind reset. And believe that a change in attitude can bring a change in life!
In most yoga practices when you begin to work with arm balances you start with Bakasana (crow pose). Bakasana is a wonderful arm balance that many more poses sprout off of. So let’s talk about Bakasana and the steps that can help us fly into it!
To begin with, always make sure you are warm before you practice any pose. I suggest starting with 3-5 Surya Namaskar A rounds, or any other warm up flow you like.
Starting form tadasana, separate the feet hips distance. bow over your legs into uttanasana, take 3-5 breaths opening the hamstrings. Allow the hips to sink into malasana squat, hands at heart center press the shoulders firmly into the thighs, opening the hips.
From malasana shift forward place the hands on the earth. Straighten the arms and place the knees as high onto the arms as you can. GAZE FORWARD. Shift you weight onto your arms creating a shelf. Begin to lift one foot at a time. With both feet off the earth hold for 5 breathes, lifting from uddiyana bandha & the belly.
Tips for BAKASANA:
-If you are new to Bakasana start with your feet on a block. It will make the pose more accesible
-Think about lifting from the core, so that not all your pressure lands on your wrists
-Look forward! If you don’t you will do a somersault
-Give yourself time, arm balances are hard & they take a lot of practice. Don’t feel like you have to get this right off the bat
Benefits of BAKASANA:
-Strengthens arms & wrists
-Stretches the upper back
-Strengthens & tones the abs
Many poses grow out of Bakasana, it is the perfect arm balance to begin to build an intermediate practice. So take a deep breath, lift that core, and take flight!
*Yoga is not meant as a medical cure or treatment. If you have concerns about the practice make sure that you consult a physician to make sure you are healthy enough to practice. Jo Beth Richards Yoga claims no responsibility to any effects you may have resulting from this informational video. Listen to your body, if it doesn’t feel right–don’t do it!