Day 9: A Little Bit Softer Now

On Day 6 I ran a “Yoga Playground” with lots of falling down in difficult binds.  On Day 7 we did an intense flow with lots of Warriors and Warrior variations.  Steam started rising from all the quadriceps in the room and my students were Ujayii breathing like racehorses and burning holes into the hardwood floors with their dristhis.

(My yogarians are INTENSE!!  I love them.  Every single one of them leaves it all on the mat.  It’s amazing.  Truly inspiring to watch, and humbling to teach.)

It’s been intense in the yoga room the past few days.

So last night I slowed it down and softened it up.  Lots of introspective forward bends, lots of cues to let go and drop inside.  Lots of space.  Lots of silence.  In short, a meditative posture flow, followed by nadi shodana, a five minute seated meditation and a 10 minute savasana.

It was sweet.

So here’s a little sequence for all you equally intense Virtual Challengers out there.  The idea behind this practice is to hold these poses until you begin to quiver and quake, then melt down and become very still and watch the ripples until they subside.

Meditative Posture Flow:

Begin seated and rock side to side like a pendulum.  Slowly add the arms, lifting and arching the arm over your head toward the side you’re leaning towards. (Repeat side to side motion 10 times)

Lean back on your hands, feet out in front and wide.  Windshield wiper your legs from side to side at any pace you like. (10 times)

Then grab the backs of your knees, lift your feet up and balance in Upward facing Boat.  Here’s where you’re going to hold for a long time.  Start with the arms parallel to your shins (5 breaths), then extend them out to the side like airplane wings (5 breaths), then lift them up overhead into a big V (5 breaths) then separate your feet 3 feet and lift your navel 3 inches (5 breaths) Then lift the corners of your mouth!  (AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!)

Now, melt down onto your back and just watch.  Become very still and very soft.  Watch the ripples.  Feel the echo of the pose until it is completely gone.

When it’s all gone, come into Fish pose.  Hold Fish for 10 breaths.  Come down and watch.

Come into Bridge pose.  Hold for 10 breaths. Come down and watch.

Hug knees to chest, rock, then do your favorite spinal twist, then rest in savasana.

This is a shorter version of what we do in the studio, but I think you will love it.  Let me know!

Have a great weekend, Yogarians!

4 thoughts on “Day 9: A Little Bit Softer Now

  1. Oooooommmmmm. April 9th; Day 9. 30 min. in the 10 pm hour (the latest yet but I had to do it!) Salutations, standing balance poses, moving to floor poses, twists, leg work with yoga strap/scarf, back stretches, etc. … a lot of returning to child in between sets – LOVE child plus thread the needle & happy baby. My plank & my cobra, among others, are much stronger. PS thanks for the great flow recommendation above; I will try it this weekend! But, for now … ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzen. Sweet dreams.

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  2. Tried the meditative posture flow this morning. I woke up a little later I had intended, so that was all I did — took about 30 minutes with savasana. Wow. Added a forward bend and side bends to the sitting with wide legs because I felt so tight. Mmmm. When I came out of my proverbially leaky boat and “melted down the back,” my sacrum adjusted itself in a way that any chiropractor would be proud! Haven’t felt it unlock like that in ages.

    I have to say, though, that at the end of it, I felt hungry for more, as if this was just an appetizer. Kathleen, I would love it if you could make further suggestions! And I am also still hoping one day for a podcast or two… 😉

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  3. April 10th … 10th day straight (and twisted!!!) … ooooooooooooooooooooooooo yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeah! … Today, to honor this 10th day, I just so happened to be in Tioga County, at home, on the family farm, celebrating with family … so, just before sunset, I dashed up to the top of our hill and did 30 minutes of total transcendent yoga & mostly meditation in the slightly breezy open space, embracing the fact that my yoga mat was very bumpy in the wide open green field, but the imperfection of that was completely overcast by the exquisite delight of being HOME … on the land where I grew up … sacred … blessed. 🙂

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