We awe at the power of the Earth’s elements: clouds, fire, rain, sun, thunder, lightning! This week’s lesson focused on SWA-HA! In Sanskrit, swa means self. This word is chanted when fire sacrifices are made. Our yoga practice can be a fiery, purifying, detoxifying experience.
The idea is to open to what your practice has to offer … to the purifying effects. Then line up, do your best, and “swaha” be done with it! Let go of the outcome, throw it in the fire. Let the practice wring out, burn off what you don’t need!
It’s ok if frustration surfaces. It’s a detoxifying practice, which mean “toxins”: things not so great in our bodies start to come out. And when they surface, it’s not necessarily pretty :), but they’re out!
I offered a visualization to students this week: Imagine a habit or tendency you want to shed. Picture it as a cloak that covers your body. Peel away the cloak. Drop it into the fire. Watch it dissolve in the flames. Repeat this visualization several times during practice until you feel an inward shift.
The yoga dove into twists and core work that were incorporated into many of the asanas . We started with a cat-cow variation in baddha konasana. Then into dog twist, sun salutations, building heat with standing poses, crow (with option into tripod), a playful dog pose of jumping outside ones hands for a great core blast, parsva konasana with a partner to deepen the opening in the ribs and chest, and then a deep plunge into side crow, with twist options along the way. Class concluded with pigeon, backbends, final twists on the ground & bicycle abs. May this practice support you on & off the mat!