Week 1 – Meeting the Posture or rather this month the Breath
Alternate Nostril Breathing, or the sanskrit – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
As we continue our yoga journey together this month we are going to really change things up and work with a breath practice instead of an asana or physical practice. Alternate nostril breathing or nadi shodhana pranayama is a calming practice that helps bring balance to the body, perfect for this hectic time of year. Practice this anytime you need to feel some peace, or make this a regular part of your morning or bedtime routine.
No photos needed this month, but this might be the month to include some journaling with your daily practice to track how this breathwork evolves over the course of the month. Commit to practicing this breath everyday for the entire month noticing how it makes you feel each time you practice. Some days might be easier than others, just like in our physical practice.
Here is today’s mini practice introducing this month’s challenge….don’t forget to join the Facebook Group if you want to catch these classes live!
Week 2 – Pitfalls and Modifications
As much benefit as we can gain from our yoga practice, we have just as much chance to injure ourselves if we are not being mindful of the body in the poses. We can push our flexibility to improve and gain strength in more difficult poses, but we do all have some structural limitations and our bodies are not built to move in some ways. This is why our teachers give so many alignment cues for poses to help us with a few things: finding our body in space; learning to manipulate the body safely while maintaining alignment; and helping us to adapt the pose for our body and our practice level in that moment. Very often in class I speak about knowing the direction we are headed even if we arent there yet, the directions let us guide our body safely towards the way we want to go while allowing for the time needed to travel there. This month is a little less about what our physical body is doing and more focused on our breath but it is still important to maintain our posture.
Some things we wanna be mindful of while doing this practice are:
- Our seat – while we want to be comfortable we also want a good posture. Whether you sit with crossed legs or on the floor, on a cushion, or in a chair be sure to find a tall spine to allow for a full breath. Sit tall letting the lower body sink as the upper body floats.
- Hand position – let the left hand rest in the lap while using the right hand to manipulate the nostrils, in the video I demonstrate the breath with the first two fingers resting on the third eye, you can also practice this with those fingers folded down towards the palm; the thumb closes the right nostril and the ring and pinky fingers close the left.
Check out this weeks mini practice …..