25 Minute Therapeutic Home Practice
The purpose of spiritual evolution is to remove the blockages that cause you fear. Use the little things that happen in day to day life to free yourself. Remind yourself regularly to watch the psyche and don't get lost in it. In yoga, the body is used as a tool to cultivate changes in flow of energy and shifts in the heart, which is what reminds you that you are the the pure beingness that's watching.
Begin this sequence by taking a moment to withdraw your attention away from thought and the chatter of the mind, and listen to the sound of your own breath. Close your eyes and bring all of your attention to the breath moving in and out of your nose.
Notice that you can attempt to control or alter the speed and the sound of the breath, but regardless of whether or not you bring your attention to it, the breath happens all by itself. And just like you can focus on the breath, you can focus on the nuances of life, you can worry, fret or fear. You can try to control life's circumstances or alter them to make you feel ok inside, but regardless of where you place your attention, life happens all by itself and you are already ok. Feel the unobstructed, still, silent, presence that you are. You are the pure beingness that radiates.
A yogi joins her awareness with life as it is. A yogi uses asanas (poses) to expose unmet tension, fear, anxiety, and resistance that has accumulated in the mind and in the body, and then merges her consciousness with that sensation/discomfort, so that it can be fully met, transformed and dissolved.
Throughout the practice, work to merge your consciousness with whatever sensation or emotion that arises. Remain the watcher of your experience. Do not fear the discomfort created from the poses, and do not fear the discomfort of not knowing how your life is unfolding. Keep joining your awareness with whatever is arising moment by moment. When you relax, soften, and let go into the tension and resistance, when you meet it with present awareness, it will naturally dissipate and dissolve on its own.
Maintain Each Pose for up to 5 Minutes
Cross the right leg in front of the left. Round the spine forward relaxing the head and arms down towards the floor. Soften the elbows and use the hands to modify the amount of pressure coming back into the hips. Maintain. To come out, roll the spine up, one vertebrae at a time, head last. Change the cross of the legs and repeat on the opposite side.
Variation for more flexible bodies: If you are not receiving any feedback or sensation from sukasana, then stack the front foot over the knee. Make sure you are not putting pressure on the knee with the foot, but that the foot hangs over the knee. The bottom leg should be parallel to the top of the mat. Fold forward over the legs and bring the palms or the fingertips to the floor, keeping the hands about shoulder distance apart.
2. Baddha Konasana
Bring the soles of the feet together, 2 palms away from the groin. Fold forward relaxing the head, neck, keeping the elbows soft. Imagine the hip joints flowering open, low back spreading, and space being made in between the vertebrae as you breathe into the back body.
Arm Variations for the Following Poses
Practice one of the three variations each time you practice the sequence.
Relax arms down by your sides.
Interlace the hands underneath the head and switch the interlock of the fingers halfway through the pose.
Extend the arms up and over the head keeping them shoulder width apart (for shoulder restrictions, injuries, take the arms out wide to a “V” shape.) Work to straighten the elbows. Press the backs of the fingernails into the earth while spreading the palms and extending the arms.
3. Supta Sukasana
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Cross the right leg in front of the left, lining the feet up with the knees. Press the lumbar column down, tilting the tailbone, and engaging the abdominal muscles. Take one of the arm variations from above. Maintain. Switch the cross of the legs.
4. Supta Baddha Konasana
Lying on your back, bring the soles of the feet together, knees open out wide. Press the lumbar column down, engaging the abdominal muscles and spreading the low back into the earth. Take one of the three arm variations from above. Maintain.
5. Vipirita Karani (Legs up the Wall)
Keep the low back about a foot away from the wall so that the backs of the legs open especially the knee joints. Choose an arm variation suggested above. Keep feet together, knees together. Relax deeply. Maintain. To come out, bend the knees, roll to one side. Take your time coming up right and relax/rest/sit for a moment before walking/getting up.
Rest, relax, let go.