Urdhva Padmasana

Urdhva Padmasana – one of my favorite postures, as it combines inversion, stretch and balance. The pressure at the thyroid brings my attention up and the posture as such allows some fine tuning in the entire body until feeling steady.

Each time you reach this state of steadiness and ease, it feels like arrived. The posture feels stable, easy and makes me wonder why it was such an effort to reach this state. It’s the same for most postures that don’t come naturally. The moment headstand felt like this, I thought, finally, I’m there. Wrong. Totally wrong. An injury threw me out of my practice and inversions moved far away. Once again. Nothing is for granted only because you were there once. Insecurity and mistrust in my body instead. I know this by now and I also know it’s just a matter of slowly getting back. Accepting the weakness through injury, building up step by step. No doubts, but patience. Consistency. Forgiving. Learning. Benevolence. Trust. Ease. And back you are.

Once the body is back, it doesn’t mean the posture can be easily accessed. And no way to push yourself. It’s the mind that need to follow!

Janu Shirshasana C

Janu Shirshasana C is said to help activate and balance the muladhara chakra as it can release any tension held in the legs or lower abdomen. It is also associated with stimulating the bladder meridian in Chinese medicine, which helps one to manage change in life.

For me it feels like a 3D version of Janu A and B, getting kind of consolidated or complete with this foot position. 

Rest

Rest. Oh. My. God. Once again I’m forced to rest. Not being able to move properly, but put down to rest, is the most difficult thing for me. There’s always something I have to do. I want to do.

It’s almost two weeks now, two broken ribs and obviously I can’t practice. Filled with painkillers, issues to sit, stand, lay down. Not even a gentle yin or restorative practice.

Well, it’s just broken ribs! Nothing major, it will heal. I deal with it. Honestly, it’s quite new for me to not overreact and be angry with the world. Instead, I’m very grateful that I’m healthy, it’s just broken ribs. 

As Yoga has become a life elixir, important for both body and mind, it’s a challenge to not be able to practice at all. Yoga is my choice to move out of my head and into my body. Now my patience gets tested. I know, I don’t have much of that! I have experienced these kind of tests quite a few times, but I feel this time is different. Maybe the practice works out. I feel somehow at peace, I can’t change anything, so I accept. And I will slowly go back into practice. Starting with meditation, followed by some gentle yin and extend wherever I can. Careful, mindful, grateful. 

All I have to do right now is to allow myself to expand into possibility, even if there are a few pains along the way. It might be more about spiritual practice at this time and learning to face resistance with kindness.

The picture shows a card of @the_moondeck

Props – yes/no?

When practicing Ashtanga, we usually don’t use any other resources but our body and breath. However, from time to time I find it quite useful to get some support. Never to force the body into something, but some help to get used to a certain posture.

It can also be beneficial particularly for rather stiff bodies, to simply extend the arms, which might enable them to get a better understanding of the posture.

Are you in Switzerland? I’m available for one to one teaching – book your slot and experience the difference!

Practicing while sick?

Well, I can’t give a clear yes or no, as I believe the most important thing is to listen to your body. It’s always crucial, but in that situation, mindfulness is mandatory. Never ever force anything only because your ego tells you to practice no matter what. Bullshit.

It’s that time of the year in this part of the world where we’re facing colds and flu and it hit me too last weekend. My body felt very weak, but same time shouting for some deep stretches. I listened and practiced gentle yin yoga. It felt good. Next day, no practice at all. My body was fighting and clearly needed nothing but proper rest. Today I’m feeling a bit better and asked my body what to do. I wasn’t sure. I went onto my mat, started a bit of warm up and stretching, followed by some sun salutations. I was surprised to have the energy and strength for it. However, there’s no point in overdoing! I continued listening to my body to figure out what it needs and how much. I ended up with yin again, so a bit of both and it felt perfect.

When practicing Ashtanga, it’s quite tough to decide for a different practice. Yogis out there, it’s important. Always listen to your body, not your ego. Only do what supports your health. Otherwise everything might even go worse. Another indication is your breath. If you can’t breathe properly, don’t practice anything that requires e.g. ujjayi breath. Better not practicing at all or gentle yin or just stretching, if that feels good. Maybe meditation is your choice of practice!

Are you using essential oils? They help me a lot, not only taking them internally to support fighting the cold, but also to breathe. I put two oils in my diffuser today while practicing: Air and Petitgrain. A great support for my breath! Text me if you want to know more about it.

Yogis, stay healthy and always decide and practice mindfully!