Yoga is often associated with stretching and meditation. Today’s practice is aimed at combining these two elements so as to experience calmness and softness even when going into strenuous forward bends and other intense stretches.
The first half of the sequence will be dedicated to standing postures. Here we will look at the concept of anchoring ourselves through our feet and cultivating stability. This will help in the second half of the sequence: by stabilising ourselves we will ensure that we don’t drop into the poses but instead reach out evenly from our feet. Also, standing poses help to extend and warm up the hip flexor muscles and hamstrings, both of which are very important for forward bends and leg stretches.
In the second half of the sequence, we will look at seated postures and forward bends. Here, with our hamstrings and hip flexors warmed up, we will focus more on extending through our spine — this way, we will make sure our whole body gets attention. This is also where we will incorporate some meditation. Before folding into each of the forward bends, we will first sit up tall. Then, we will work on folding forward evenly. We will do this slowly, giving ourselves the chance to ask the body for the green light, so to speak. By paying attention to the body’s signals, we will be able to gauge how far forward we can actually go.
Guruji used to say that you should be able to go into any pose while keeping a Savasana face. This is our main goal today: to work with the body to discover and respect our limitations.