Inspirations & Transitions from Warrior 2 into an Open Hearted 1/2 Moon

Orbs of light!

When it comes to sequencing postures that flow seamlessly out of my posture of the moment, Warrior 2, I'm a big believer in not planning it out to perfection while I practice alone or before I teach a class. Instead I begin each practice by releasing my lower body into the earth's constant embrace while I feel my upper body take in the sky's spaciousness. To slow my wanting to know "What's next?" mind down, I fix my mind on watching my breath move in and out. In between each breath and thought there's moments of emptiness where I slowly open up to tuning into my present environment. I take it in with all my senses.

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Here the air feels soft, A moment ago I saw a rainbow colored butterfly dance around me, the trees are full of chirping birds, occasionally on a breeze I catch a whiff of the nearby lilac flowers while I'm not craving to quench my thirst as I practice because the temperature is mild.

My 6th sense, which yoga calls our ajna chakra and 3rd eye intuitive center is located above and in the center of our eyebrows. Here the purple swirling mist of ajna's light is slowly opening to notice the universe's affect on my body's natural intelligence.

This is where nature ignites within my body the first spark of posture choreography.

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My feeling is to release the density in my tight neck and shoulders. After last Wednesday's total full moon lunar eclipse and another new moon eclipse on the horizon life's events have been on overdrive causing me to run here and there, more specifically finding a way to do everything differently. Haven't you noticed the same? We are being forced to change and charge forward. In the process of "Going Forth!" it is only human to clench your jaw and hunch your shoulders up into your ears when you're being swept away and trying to breathe and hold your ground with life's demands.

As I move into a shoulder opener my front ribs open and expand with my inhale. Here I start to receiving air, space, light and guidance.

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Feeling lighter and more breathing room in my lungs, I lunge into a Peaceful Warrior variation.

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As I connect to my warrior's power I transition into a classical Warrior 2 pose. Feeling breath in between my shoulder blades and the earth supporting my strength's growth.

I chose Warrior 2 as a posture focus during this period for many reasons.

First what comes to mind is way back on New Year's Eve a whole bunch of us made New Year's resolutions which I like to call New Year's dreams. If your dreams don't have a spark of light by this June then it is time to get moving and putting some feet on them. Now don't get me wrong I know that spirit has an enormous part in making our wishes materialize but if the best you can do for now is see your dreams in your mind daily then you're practicing like a Warrior and not a victim.

Second, the sun is hitting it's peak strength by way of it's longest day of light this coming Tuesday June 21st, the Summer Solstice. I've always found doing strong masculine solar postures in alignment with the weeks and days preceding the Summer Solstice gives us an extra shot of power because they are connected to the strengthening sun.

Finally and most importantly now is the time for me to go even deeper into my personal emotional healing. The topic of emotional healing is often skipped over in a basic asana/posture yoga class. I've had many gurus and the hippest yoga teachers say nothing on the topic of emotional healing. One said to a group of us years ago in New York City, the beloved Geshe Michael Roach, "Do the postures and meditate daily and your body's channels will open. From there your emotional healing will surface." He then said "It is up to you to notice them."

Practicing Warrior 2 postures and variations of this pose since late April has assisted in strengthening my inner and outer self. I need big doses of this now because I've come to realize I've been running scared and numb for years, afraid to speak up for myself and others I love dearly. Daily I'm seeing myself speaking up with a powerful strength coupled with a dose of compassion.

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Coming into a modified extended angle turns on my inner heat.

Expanding my arms away from my heart center on an inhale is somehow cooling and heating at the same time.

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Adding a 1/2 bind, I soften my front toes to release my muscles around my knees from gripping while I inhale space into my top ribs and shoulder.

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Feeling open and stronger I transition into a bound extended side angle.

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I love the stream of light here!

I back off as I transition into...

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1/2 moon pose.

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I prefer a block under my grounded hand but since I'm practicing nature girl style reaching with the opposite hand a little extra into the sky creates space in my shoulders like wings of a butterfly to fly and balance.

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To transition into my bow I place my extended hand onto my hip gaze down for grounding.

Keep your gaze down, this will quiet your mind a bit while bending the top knee and reaching for your outer ankle with your available hand.

Once you feel the ground supporting you, push down into the earth with your supporting foot, yield your heart center and gaze open upward towards the sky. Breathe.

I find it to be debatable on whether or not to point your foot or flex at your ankle while in this pose. What I have noticed through the years is Beginner students balance better by flexing their ankles and pushing the air away from their foot while the Intermediate and onward students benefit from a little foot pointing and flexing the toes back into what some call Barbie doll feet or Shiva feet.

I like the latter foot position because I then feel the air between my toes and space within my front ankle.

A good way out of this pose is to ground both hands onto the earth.

If the yoga angels allow you to fly up to standing follow their lead. When it comes to balancing on one leg some days you have it and others are a mess. What helps on the messy days is doing less of the pose, be glad you showed up and remind yourself that every cloud has a silver lining. That same corny wisdom is true of our pain and suffering. Although it stinks chances are you would never have practiced and stuck on the yoga path if your life was peachy keen. It is only human to have a nagging story line, an enemy coming from your mind, tight hamstrings and cellulite on your butt and thighs. Good thing there's harem pants and dark colored leggings to cover a bit of that up. :) In truth the physical stuff often gets us on the mat day after day but what keeps you a lifer in the yoga practice path is allowing the pain and suffering to surface in your emotional body.

Feel it.

Breathe it in.

Release it little by little.

Watch it mutate into something else... and wake up the next day to continue your healing process.

Isn't this why we incarnated into this form? To feel and heal.

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