The first snow on Mount Washington, Mount Mansfield, at Jay Peak Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort, Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Sugarbush Resort, Killington Resort and Cannon Mountain (did I miss anyone?) inspires me to prepare myself for the upcoming snowsports season.
As skiing and snowboarding are dynamic balance practices, flow yoga and fluid movement meditation practices are useful and fun conditioning for pre-season and throughout the whole year.
This sequence is one potential of many.
If you have interest in working one-on-one or hiring me to lead a snowsports specific group yoga class, send me a message and check out the services section of this website to see some of what I have to offer.
Once again, sorry for the technology and cropping! I am working with what I have and learning as I go.
Are your arms, shoulders, neck, back and hips a bit tired and sore from Autumn activities like raking leaves, chopping wood and harvesting the bounty from the garden? On this rainy morning when maybe you are finding a moment of respite I wanted to share a possible eagle posture progression sequence designed to release some of this accumulated tension, perhaps allowing you to harvest the energy that was stuck in the tension back into the body to rejuvenate where you are depleted and prepare you to keep going with more ease in whatever activities you engage in next.
I often teach this progression in a chair to make it more restorative and accessible to every body, although the full pose is done standing. While this video is primarily focused on the seated posture I briefly show the standing potential as well.
Once again I apologize for the technology, and the video is not perfect…
But it works for now and I hope comes to you at a time when it is useful.
Postural meditation is part of how I remind myself of my strength in the face of adversity, part of how I attune to grace and agility in the midst of whatever else life is giving. I am grateful for the ability and the continued perseverance that allows me to do this. This was some of my practice today.
Essentially I am pretty private, and I like to present postural meditation practices in a way that makes them accessible to everyone. As a result I don’t tend to share posts like this. While gymnastic movement meditation practices can be intimidating, they can also be inspiring. It is in this vein that I share this sun salutation possibility, for those it may inspire.
I don’t often have the opportunity to teach people this kind of practice, but I would like to more. I tend to offer puzzle pieces of movement in simpler postures and then as ability allows put the pieces together into more complex possibilities so that by the time we get to the challenging posture you are already oriented to the parts that will make up the whole. If doing this kind of movement comes easy to you, I tend to break it down into pieces to bring in precision of alignment and body awareness into what you are already doing.
I do lead group classes yet find one-on-one instruction is a particular strength, especially for others who generally practice on their own rather than in a group led setting. If you are interested, be in touch. I’ll put a link the comments to my website for more information.
I apologize for the cropping, I am a bit limited in the technology department… I am working with what I currently have and learning as I go.
A little inspiration 🙂 If you like, flow with this to start, holding any postures as long as you want and/or moving through each one breath. Inhale expand, exhale condense. Remember – backbends happen in the upper back and lengthen the lower back and forward bends hinge at the hip socket instead of rounding the back. Adapt to this. You can mute the music if you want silence or your own music – although this is one of my favorites. And don’t worry, Joe the cat doesn’t stay in the frame for long.
To find some desire to want to practice Hannah Tosi suggested coming into a posture that you know you enjoy and experiment in it to feel what you like about it. And then I suggest let it lead you into whatever comes next. If you like follow a skeleton practice that includes – vinyasa (maybe sun salutation flow of some kind), forward bend, lateral/side lengthening, balance, backbend, twist, hips and if you like inversions. As an exercise you could write a list of different postures that would fit into each of these categories. And here are the sample practices that I spoke of that you can follow and/or use as a jumping off point.
Your mental drishti/focus point on feeling yourself in your body and how the subtleties effect the posture and your experience.
If you’d like to share let me know how it goes.
This closed hip/warrior one sequence helps strengthen and warm up the legs and joints to prepare for sports and physical activity, especially snowsports like skiing and snowboarding. Enjoy!
For more information, visit me at The Mountain Club on Loon for classes or retreats, or contact me for in person or online on Skype or FaceTime group or individual private instruction, including consultation to develop and maintain your own home practice, with optional customized photographic, written, video and audio reference.
Appropriate for beginner to advanced…
Sun salutations, the foundation of vinyasa flow yoga – basically, placing your attention with intention on moving the body in rhythm with the breath – focus the mind on what’s happening while its happening, helping us notice the subtleties of actions and their results, as well as warm up the joints and muscles to prepare before or reset between longer held postures. Sun salutations are a useful way to begin a practice, and can be great as a short stand alone practice anytime.
I came up with this sun salutation at first for people who couldn’t or didn’t want to do a downward dog, or before coming into a first downward dog in a yoga practice. At this point I utilize this sequence myself before my own practice most of the time and begin most classes with it for everyone.
If it is too much pressure in the legs, or anywhere, to come into child’s pose you don’t have to bring the hips all the way to the feet, and if it is tender in your back you could go back and forth between upward and downward facing cat on the hands and knees instead of bringing the belly to the ground for upward facing dog. If your knees are tweaky this may aggravate them, yet if you feel alright to try it, putting a towel for extra cushion under the knees can help and go really slowly through the transitions. And if you want to add a downward dog, one fits nicely between the upward dog and the forward bend at the end. If you have any questions, let me know, and enjoy!
With props to my videographer Philip O’Sullivan and his iPod touch 5… 🙂
Relaxing reclining sequence appropriate for all levels. Helpful for preparing the body for seated meditation, to calm anxiety, and as a restorative for athletes. Opens hips, It band, hamstrings, calves. I often begin morning or end afternoon classes with these postures.
When needed, keep a calm steady breath. When you can, let the breath breathe you deeply.
Recorded without music so you can practice in the silence or add your own music. If you are just watching the video for inspiration, the first leg is completed at 5:54. If you want to practice along with the video, I do the sequence on both legs.