I like to start my practice with mantras + intentions and then move right into meditation. From there I either rest in Balasana, Child's Pose, or a full Pranam, laying flat onto the front side of my body with my hands in prayer, arms extended toward my altar, depending on how I feel. Then I breathe my way into Virasana, Hero's pose, and take inventory of my self for a moment before breathing my way into my first seated twist, Marichyasana C, a pose dedicated to the Sage Marichi.
Twists help temporarily decrease blood and oxygen flow to the internal organs when we are twisting and then they receive a flush of freshness of both when the posture is released. Continuing with twists, I breathe into Ardha Matsyendrasana, Lord of the Fish Pose, on both sides, then into Krounchasana, The Heron Pose, both sides.
Using Ujjayi Pranayama, steady, slow, rhythmic breathing, to slow way down, I feel my way to the floor in the supine position for Supta Matsyendrasana, then to Setu Bandhansana, the Bridge Pose, supporting my sacrum with a block, then to Ananda Balasana, Happy Baby Pose, releasing my back and hips.
I find stillness + silence in Savasana, the final resting pose and let myself go into active relaxation, where I am fully aware as my witnessing self. Noticing all that arises; thoughts, feelings, emotions, without getting drawn into any inner dialogue. Just watching, becoming the seer, merging into the energy of it ALL!
When I finally move from Savasana, I like to practice Kapalabhati Pranayama, Breath of Fire, to reignite my inner fire and get my energy rising again from that restful peace.
Nauli is a kriya, or cleansing practice, that tones and activates the digestive system by using rapid movements coordinated with the breath, to strengthen the abdominal muscles and regulate the blood pressure. It increases Jathara Agni, the digestive fire, to promote, ease and regularity in elimination. I save this kriya until the very end of my practice because it really helps move things right on out of the body!
Selfie, Tulum Mexico
- Photo by Cate Brown, North Kingstown Rhode Island