On 01/19/2017, I started a yoga sequence to help me adjust during this significant transition period for our country. Five simple poses to keep me balance and grounded. For months, I continued to practice in the mist of terrible waves of anger and fear, but also finding equanimity and tranquility with my new year resolution. It was surprising that by supporting my body, I was in return supported by it. The five poses are listed below with my experience for each one. If you want to know how to do them, you can search on google for detailed cues.
1. Mountain (Tadasana): In this standing pose, I am standing as upright as possible, my joints are aligned and my legs/core are actively engaged to support my body. I am rooted down into the ground and at the same time, I am reaching upward through your my crown. During this pose, I experience the inner stability that reminds me no matter what is going on around me, my body intuitively knows how to adjust and steady itself.
2. Tree pose (Vrksasana): This is a one-footed standing pose that challenges me to stay focus and balance while trying to be as grounded as possible. I, of course, loses my balance all the time but overtime I learned to wobble through it and embrace the nature way of how trees sway with flexibility and shift to meet its demands.
3. Corpse Pose (Savanna) : This is usually done at the end of a yoga practice and is one of the most important pose of the practice. In this pose, I am given the opportunity to rest, to teach the body to relax and release all muscle tension. It also helps me to slow down my breathing to a more natural, passive state, calming to an anxious mind.
4. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana): Pranayama (breathing practice) is another important component to my yoga practice. I do this to balance the flow of energy into my body and to stabilize and deepen the breath as it moves through the right and left nostrils. This allows me to experience the balance of the masculine energy (right) and the feminine energy (left), helping me to cultivate higher levels of awareness.
5. Chanting Chanting (Kirtan): I love this part of the practice. The chanting of mantras is both meditative and uplifting. It is my form of prayers, a powerful antidote to feelings of powerless and fear. It offers me a subtle yet transformative sense of peace. While there are many different mantras and ways of chanting, my favorite remains, lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu (“May all beings everywhere be happy and free”).