Friday, January 28, 2011

Radiate & Shine

From January 20th through the 30th, Park City, Utah hosted another Sundance Film Festival. This event draws many independent film enthusiasts from film makers, actors, and movie-goers. As you stroll down Old Main Street, stand in line for last minute movie tickets, or enter the Eccles Theater for the closing night film, you may run across some familiar Hollywood stars. Yes, Sundance can be glamor and glitz, but it's an opportunity for up-and-coming artists to display their works for the chance to be recognized and become a celebrity.

Now, what does this all have to do with yoga? Well, have you ever thought about being a star and being recognized by your biggest fans? You may not be a Hollywood Star, but perhaps your are already a celebrity in your own realm.

Take a moment today to acknowledge your own talents, strengths, skills, abilities, and attributes. In what way do you get to display your gifts? Are you a school teacher sharing knowledge with your students? Are you a doctor that helps to heal those who are sick? Perhaps you're a parent who sees after the livelihood of your children. All of these, in my eyes, are Star-Quality Roles that YOU play everyday. Sometimes these roles, though, are under-recognized, but SHOULD be highly praised. You are a Star!

To celebrate your celebrity status, we will move into Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana). This pose reminds me of a 5-pointed star that radiates light and energy. Just as you serve others in your respective everyday roles, you, too, can shine like a star.

Begin your practice in Mountain Pose. Take a minute or two to find your breath. Calm and ease your mind to become more present with yourself. In your silence and stillness, call to mind all your talents and strengths. Let them come to the surface with each breath.

Inhale and raise your arms overhead to Extended Mountain Pose.
Exhale to Swan Dive to a Forward Fold.
Inhale, extend your torso/spine to Monkey Pose.
Exhale, return to Forward Fold.

From here, place both hands on the floor. Shift your weight onto your right foot so that you can now extend your left leg up behind you so that it is parallel with the floor. Continue to fully extend your left leg back as far as it will go. Likewise, extend your torso/spine forward so that the crown of your head is leading toward the wall in front of you. (It may feel like you're doing Monkey Pose, but just on one foot.)

Your grounded right foot should feel firm and solid on the ground. Try to straighten the standing leg as best as you can. As you extend your spine, you may find that you can lift your hands off the floor. But keep your right hand on the floor next to your right foot and reach the left hand toward the sky. This will open your body to the left side of the room. Keep the energy of extending your limbs in all these directions, just like the 5-pointed star. Also, rotate the body enough so your left hip sits director over your right hip. You are now in the Half Moon Pose. (Use a block underneath your right hand if you need less of a stretch on your standing right leg.) Hold the pose for at least 10 breaths. Repeat the pose on the other side.

While you hold the pose, experience your brilliance. With ALL that you do in your everyday life, feel how your energy radiates to others: your family, friends, students, co-workers, kids, and even strangers. When you allow your skills and attributes to rise to the surface, others see and experience your stardom and want to be in your presence. They want to feel your radiance and want to bask in your energy. That's the true sign of an adoring fan. Recognize and acknowledge the star that you are.

(May I have your autograph?)


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