In the last blog entry, I introduced to you Downward Facing Dog. It is a great pose that allows you to experience your fullest potential and power. You are able to experience physical power as well as emotional and mental power from practicing this pose.
This week, let's step it up a bit. We are going to take Downward Facing Dog to a new level to really test your power and strength physically, emotionally, and mentally. The pose this week is called "Turbo Dog." It is a term and pose borrowed from Forrest Yoga.
"Ana Forrest has been changing people’s lives for nearly 40 years. An internationally recognized pioneer in yoga and emotional healing, Ana created Forrest Yoga while working through her own healing from her life’s trauma and experience. With thousands of licensed practitioners around the world, Forrest Yoga is renowned as an intensely physical, internally focused practice that emphasizes how to carry a transformative experience off the mat and into daily life." (Taken from http://forrestyoga.com/about.)
The pose really embodies what Forrest Yoga is all about. We have the power and strength within us to sustain what life hands us. When life is demanding, we must remember that we DO have the resources within us to make it through the toughest moments.
Start on your hands and knees on your yoga mat. Set your intention here. Perhaps think of situations that are more challenging than your typical situations. In these moments, we are often needing relief or strength to get us through. The circumstance can sometimes feel so overwhelming that it feels like it will never end. Can you possibly endure this? YES you can. You DO have the strength and power to survive even the most challenging of life's moments.
Move your hands forward a bit on your mat, come up onto your toes, then move your hips up and back toward the wall behind you until you have come to Downward Facing Dog. We already know that this posture helps us to tap into our entire power and strength. Now, let's take it further.
Begin to bend your elbows as if you're going to place them on the floor. But don't place them on the mat! Bend them enough so you are just hovering over your mat. To bring more stability to the pose, imagine you are holding onto a block between your elbows that you cannot drop. Or even imagine you're holding onto a beach ball between your arms. This moving in toward your center creates great strength and stability in the posture. Whenever we move toward the midline - the spine - we experience greater control, self-assurance, confidence, balance, and strength.
Be sure that your breath is also strong and allow it to help you maintain the posture. Focus on the exhale: as you release the breath, engage your Abdominal Lock (Uddiyana Bandha - oo-dee-YAH-nah BAHN-dah
uddiyana = upward (ud = "up, upwards")
bandha = binding, tying a bond, fetter; putting together, uniting, contracting, combining; mundane bondage, attachment to this world.) This connection further taps you into your inner resources needed to hold in stillness in this pose. As you are able, hold the pose for 5-10 breaths. Finish by lightly resting your elbows on the floor then come to Child's Pose.
Coming to this resting posture is a reminder, also, of the necessary rest after something very strenuous. It is the time to take care of yourself after enduring strain and stress on the body. Yes, you have the strength to endure, but you also have the strength to nurture. That is the balance we all want to achieve.