21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Three. Balance.
Welcome Back to the Mat! Today’s practice is about balance.
As yogis, we often seek for balance. As humans, we tend to underestimate the importance of balance in life. When we take our practice off the mat and take time for balance, we make better decisions, gain a sense of calm, and start to get a better sense of the big picture again.
Begin your practice with Day One and Day Two. You can check the blog posts, or just look at the short version of today’s practice listed below. Before moving into Savasana, stay in Table Pose.
Here’s a description of how to perform Balancing Table (Chakravakasana also called Ruddy Goose ) today’s practice:
In Table, check that the creases in your wrists are parallel to the front of your may, shoulders above wrists, hips above knees. Look back under your body and hide your feet behind your legs. Keep your neck long. Spread your fingers, press your weight evenly into both hands. (If your wrists complain in this posture, move your hands forward so that the angle of your wrists is more comfortable.)
Keep your core (abdominal) muscles engaged throughout this sequence. Inhale, lift your right leg up behind you and bring it parallel to the floor. Flex your foot, point your toes down towards the earth as if your foot was pressing into the wall behind you. Find length in your lifted leg from hips to heel. Make space at the back of your knee. Lift up from the inner thigh of your lifted leg. Keep your muscles engaged. Breathe.
On your next inhale, lift your left arm up to bring it in line with your lifted leg. Stretch your fingers out in front of you, palm facing inward. Take your gaze toward your forward-reaching hand, as you keep all sides of your neck long and your shoulders broad (reaching away from your ears) and connected (strong).
Keeping your core engaged, find length from your lifted heal all the way through your body to your lifted hand. Hold for several breaths, then come back into Table and repeat on the other side.
Do each side at least once, more if you are so inclined.
Press yourself back into a comfortable seat. Notice how nice it is to have both sit bones balanced evenly on the mat. Breathe and absorb the work you’ve done.
Lower yourself back into Savasana.
Here is the short version of today’s practice:
- Take a comfortable seat
- Close your eyes, Bring your attention inward
- Inhale, lengthen the spine, Exhale, keep that length
- Notice deeply
- Continue in this way for 10 or 20 breaths
- Open your eyes and move to a kneeling position (sit back on your heels)
- Perform Kapalabhati for 20-50 breaths, Repeat (as you like)
- Come to Child’s pose, feel the effects of Kapalabhati
- Come up to Table, then move with breath: Table > Down Dog > Table > Child’s Pose…
Repeat Five times (or as many or few times as you like)
- Balancing Table (both sides)
- Take a comfortable seat