Monday, July 22, 2013

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Yoga Pose

Would you like to learn a balancing posture, modified tree pose, while balancing on a stand-up paddle board?

To come into tree pose, using the paddle for stability on the stand-up board:

1. Stand hip-width feet apart on the board towards the center of the board. Bend the knees and rock the board gently from side-to-side to notice how distribution of weight allows us to balance on the water. Place your paddle down in front of you and slide your palms upward on the paddle to bring your palms in line with your shoulders.

2. If you want to continue into tree pose, gently shift the weight to your left foot and begin to lift the right heel first and placing it at the base of the left ankle, using the foot as a kick-stand. If you want more of a challenge, lift the right foot off of the board and place the entire sole of the foot to the ankle, shin, or inner thigh, avoiding placement of the foot on the knee joint. 3. Press the sole of the foot into the left leg as much as you press the left leg into the right foot to find balance in opposition.

4. Begin to accentuate the inhales and the exhales, slowing down the breath. Feel the chest lift and expand on the inhale, and allow the shoulders to roll down the back. Activate the core on the exhale. Stand tall like royalty and focus on the breath and notice the external rotation of the hips.

5. Stay in the posture for 3-5 full rounds of breath, inhales and exhales and slowly come out and repeat on the right side. If you fall out, smile and laugh at yourself and try again. Allow this practice to be fun and light and let go of judgement, expectation, competition and ego. Every day our practice is different and our bodies and minds need and receive different things.
When we focus all of our energy, we focus our tapas, or focused energy on the present. With our breath and posture, we dive into a place of being and feeling in the moment. When we are able to build heat and energy in the body, we let-go of reliving events from the past or projecting into the future. The breath and a state of awareness is brought to consciousness as we concentrate, finding stability on the rocking board and articulation of the posture. If we focus outward and the mind wanders, we may lose our balance and fall out of the rhythmic stability of the breath, a lesson that can be practiced off of the mat and board as much as while practicing the poses. Yoga allows us to practice, learning from each experience as if we were rehearsing for a play. The final performance is when we get to practice what we learn in our daily lives, in relation to ourselves and others.

When we focus and concentrate on the present, we are able to let go of negative habits, thoughts patterns, and unwanted feelings like fear, anxiety and anger. Our focus and energy allows us to find peace in the turbulent moments, when the water becomes unsteady or perhaps someone or something causes uncertainty and fear. We can then come back to a peaceful state, and the perception of being “non-affected” by bumps on our journey. This takes constant practice, reminders, and daily diligence.

After practicing tree pose on the board, take a few moments to take-in the surroundings and elements of nature, the sky above, the water below and be grateful for the opportunity to play and practice. Notice how you feel after you balance, breath, and become mindful of the small movements that happen in the body to find stability. Make a commitment to practice being mindful and making small thoughtful shifts throughout the day, acting in a non-reactive and compassionate fashion.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Christi Iacono
In Rhythms Yoga- Contact for more info. Go to for class schedule and privates.

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