[Featured on SONIMA, August 2015]
A Yoga Practice for Elevating Peace
Move with intention and ease through these powerful postures to reach towards peace within yourself.
On September 2nd, I’ll be co-teaching with two of my first teachers, Colleen Saidman and Rodney Yee, for the Löle White Tour in New York City. Here is a little sneak peek of the sequence we’ll lead at the event. Inspired and informed by my work with Katonah Yoga, each posture helps create a stable structure, open us architecturally, and elevate us internally. As you work through the poses, remember to breathe, smile, and stay close to yourself and to those who fill your day with peace. Breathe three to five breaths in each pose and repeat on the opposite side.
Kneeling Rock Pose
Center yourself, welcome yourself. Land in your practice.
Cat and Cow
Create a frame with hands and feet. Inhale to round your spine; exhale to arch.
Bend your knees a bit, root your index finger knuckles, reach your seat high, and lengthen your spine.
Chair on Balls of Feet
Take opposite elbows with your palms, and frame your head with your arms. Lift your heels, bend your knees, reach your seat back, and smile.
Standing Forward Bend
Bend your knees, place your heels in your palms (like a ball in a mitt), and fold your armpits right onto your kneecaps until they’re connected. With slightly bent knees, keep those connections and reach your seat and pelvic floor high.
Triangle with Flipped Wrist
Turn the fingers of your bottom hand out to the side and all the way back. Note how that broadens that collarbone, and opens your bottom lung. Keep your arches high, and from your pelvis to your feet, stretch your legs long.
Half Moon Pose
Be sure your standing knee is aligned with your third toe, lift your standing arch up, elevate your kidneys, and expand from the inside.
Smile and lift your inner body up; arms at your sides. Enjoy a serene flight.
Bring hands to prayer in front of your heart for a moment of grounding, then lift your hands high up to hug your head gently with your arms. Breathe and sway quietly like a majestic tree.
Modified Side Plank
Press down into the perimeter of your palm; root your outer back foot down and lift the arch. Note how your inner body rises as you expand breath into your high hand.
Root the tops of your toes, especially your baby toes; elevate your back body and light up your heart. Soften your eyes and gently smile.
Revolved Bent-Knee Seated Forward Bend
Ground your bent-knee sitting bone and your bottom forearm against your lengthened inner leg; use that leverage to lift your organs, open your interior spaces and breathe deeply.
Bound Angle Pose
Draw your feet toward your hips until you feel a soft opening in your belly. Ground your seat and feel a quiet lift inside.
Seated Forward Bend, 3 Variations
Variation 1: Bend your knees as you did in your Standing Forward Bend; place your belly on your thighs, armpits on your knees. Gaze forward, smile with your whole face.
Variation 2: Reach your seat back, lengthen your front body forward, and lift your back body long towards your feet.
Variation 3: If you wish, reach your seat back even farther, press your belly downward and reach your hands for the mudra. Still smiling, breathe into the smallest spaces to create a widespread peace throughout your body.
Observe the pause at the end of each exhalation. Let your body, now more quiet, be filled with waves of peace.
Drop into a tranquil rest. Let your muscles relax completely, and as Colleen says in her book, Yoga For Life, “Clean the slate.”
Photos by James Fideler