A Blog Entry from Costa Rica
I write this blog entry from my quaint tropical bungalow on the sunny coast of Puerto Jiménez. It's a beautiful resort villa along the ocean in Costa Rica. The air is humid and filled with the sounds of nearby songbirds, the sites of butterflies, toucans, and accompanied by the nearby waves of the ocean rolling onto the beach. A perfect respite from the everyday routine of my busy life. I find myself moving slowly, speaking quietly, and sitting in stillness on my yoga vacation with the intention to grow anew. I want to take advantage of these quiet moments to move inside of myself. I'm here to practice presence and reconnect with nature. I come to this little piece of paradise to rejuvenate; to recharge.
I will not only take advantage of this beautiful locale, but will also immerse in the power of new moon. This is that time of the month where we can lay down the old and receive the new. As we step into this new cycle, we can take a moment to shed ourselves of what no longer serves us, to bury what is old and dead. Now is the time for rebirth and growth. The new moon this month is accompanied by a solar eclipse. The eclipse can represent the opportunity to invite new possibilities. Open your heart and mind to what is possible - open yourself up to your greatest potential. As you put to rest what is old, you can open yourself up to what is alive and new - within you.
Reclining Cobblers Pose
To take advantage of this super-charged new moon, try this simple home practice. First, sit comfortably on your mat. Perhaps have a couple of blocks or a blanket to help support your seated posture. Bring your hands to heart center, close your eyes, and bring to mind those ideas, beliefs, stressors, challenges, etc. that have laid heavy within you. As you bring these notions to mind, there is no need to add judgement to them, just notice what comes up. Your practice will involve releasing these ideas so that you can create space for Truths to emerge from within.
After a few moments of this quiet meditation, lie down on your mat. Again, support your body in any way that suits you best with your props. First lie in Savasana, then bring the bottoms of your feet together and up toward your pelvis. Your knees will fall naturally out to the side. This will create a releasing hip opening posture called Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclining Bound Angle Pose (often referred to as Reclining Cobblers Pose.) Extend your arms out to the side of you or even over your head. In this posture, you are opening the body in a way that now allows you to release those notions you thought of earlier.
The pelvic area stores a lot of emotional energy. In this pose, your hips are open. Give yourself the permission to free yourself of the emotional energy that has kept you weighed down. Likewise, with your arms extended outward, your heart space is open. As you experience release from the hip opening posture, receive and accept through your heart center. As you lie here, try this breathing exercise:
Exhale completely (breathe out through the mouth if that feels helpful). As you release the breath, imagine those no-longer-needed notions to stream out of you. Hold yourself empty for a few seconds; pause at the end of the breath. Then take a slow long inhale. Fill up your heart space with new thoughts of rejuvenation, power, energy, love, acceptance, etc. Fill yourself up with the new ideas and beliefs that will serve you better in this moment. Hold yourself full for a few seconds. Notice how the body feels as you resonate with this new life energy. Now when you exhale, experience those new thoughts, not leaving your body, but rushing internally throughout your entire being. Repeat this breath-flow by starting with an inhale to gather up any left-over no-longer-needed thoughts to release during your next exhale. Repeat this as many times as you'd like.
At the end of your yoga practice, perhaps simply lie in stillness. Notice your breath. Notice your re-charged body. Feel free to practice this anytime. You don't necessarily have to do this at the time of the new moon. Whenever you feel a need to be re-charged, moving into this pose (or a similar hip/heart opening posture) and practicing this breath can be invigorating and enlightening.