My missed blog posting from Week Sixteen completely escaped me until I read a three day old email from home asking about it. My work here, organizing and leading a Strategic Planning Retreat had me so fully engaged in mind, body and spirit that the time flew by without my realizing it. I hope no one was disappointed or worried about me.
At the end of the retreat, word came of tropical storm Erica increasing in intensity with the possibility of hurricane status and heading toward the Bahamas.
Senior staff here have experience and amazing presence in the face of natural challenges. Once it was shared that a plan was in place, and assignments were given out for help with boarding and preparations, the rest of us were told to go about our regular routines.
My immediate focus shifted to getting as much wrapped up and done, as possible before internet connection might be lost and the evacuation was to occur. As a precautionary measure, guests were asked to return home by Friday at the latest and were reimbursed for expenses associated with the situation. Staff were told that we would leave the Ashram on Saturday for two days until the storm/hurricane passed.
As I write this, we have been assured that the storm turned and is no longer headed directly toward us. There will be thunderstorms and heavy rains likely, but we are out of harms way:) I have yet to check on the status of this storm myself, feeling very comfortable that those who need to know are fully informed.
To complete the series of basic Sivananda Poses, this week I am sharing poses, 10-12, plus the Final Relaxation Pose.
Part of the balancing series, Crow Pose looks to be mostly about strength and initially it felt that way to me too. I felt I wasn't strong enough to do it, and then when I was able to do it, I could keep my feet up for a second or two.
I still cannot hold the full minute that is suggested, but I feel pretty steady for about 15 seconds, depending on the day. I now can tell that balance is the focus of this pose, and the balancing actually strengthens the muscles of the arms and increases the breathing capacity.
Standing Forward Bend is one of my favorite poses because it feels so good to me. I'm glad to know that the pose is particularly good for the spine and reduces excess fat in the abdominal area, plus develops a graceful figure.
Triangle Pose is a great stretch for the whole side, but it is a challenging pose for me. I've learned this pose so many different ways, that it is difficult to do it in the Sivananda style. Keeping the hips facing straight forward, with the legs apart as I have them and then stretching to the side is not as easy as it perhaps looks. When I get a day with a really good stretch, as I come slowly back to standing, usually I will feel some spinal adjustments in my neck which feel fantastic.
I have some neck issues that are long standing from whiplash years ago, when I was rear-ended by a truck. It is my hope that yoga and my Ayurveda prescriptives will steadily improve my neck stiffness.
Final Relaxation, also called Corpse Pose, is taken very seriously in Sivananda Yoga. We do a number of Savasanas throughout the series of poses, and the final Savasana incorporates tense and relax moves, plus a teacher-led autosuggestion technique that helps to relax each point of the body, starting from the toes and working our way to the head.
The yogis believe that the energy created from doing the yoga poses or from doing other physical exercise should be distributed throughout the body for optimum health. Modern social life, food, work and even entertainment make it difficult for the the civilized man of today to relax.
In relaxation pose, we release any unnecessary tension of the muscles in the body and try to still the mind with slow, rhythmical breathing. The feeling is one of calmness and peace.
May you make time for calmness and peace in your life. It is a wonderful way to feel!
Sending You Love from the Bahamas,🌞
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