Tethered: Taking off the Harness with Twists
The winter time is nearing it’s end and the light of spring is warming our skin with it’s touch. We are coming out of the dark, depth, and deep reflection time. Having looked at our lives so much more closely, and perhaps come clearer on our purpose, we begin to make way into the season of planting our dreams, springtime. This is a special time, this gap, this time where it is no longer winter and not quite yet spring. It is a gap for us to remove all the barriers, clean our houses, and make way, make space for everything that comes with the season of the sun.
This week we are practicing twists. Twists wring the body out like a wash cloth full of dirty water, turned between two strong hands, and pouring out everything that was once filling its cells, pouring out the old and the stuck. There is a pause here, before the release of unwinding, where transition begins to happen, what was once old, is not new yet, but cleared of all blockages and there is space for the new to come in. This place is like the pause after the exhalation before the inhalation, a place of transition and space. When the wash cloth is released, new air, new water, new fluids come pouring in, filling it with potential.
Emotionally, it is time to clear the straps, tethers, scales, and armor around our hearts. It is time to remove all of our barriers to love so that we may step into our vision. It is time to use discrimination with negative thoughts or thoughts from our old patterns or beliefs. Negative and Judgmental thoughts of ourselves or of others are there to protect us, but that protection also serves as a barrier. These thought patterns were often created when we were younger to help us, but no longer serve us as we are older, they often get in the way of love, nourishment, expansion, our goals, relationships, and our Dharma.
“Our Dharma is our divine life’s purpose, that which nourishes, sustains, and expands us. When we bring our soul and our passion to everything we live, when we find it, all of the universe rushes in to support us. AND there is a surrender of the fruits… whatever happens, it’s fine… as in the Gita when Krishna says to Arjuna, ‘it is better to fail in one’s own dharma, than to succeed in another’s.” – Seanna Sherman
“Upon being harassed by negative thoughts, one should cultivate counteracting thoughts.” – Edwin Bryant
“Principles that run contrary to yama and niyama are to be countered with the knowledge of discrimination.”
- After each twist do a wide downward dog or a wide uttanasana, Feel the release of the contraction and create space with a moment of expansion in your body. Broaden your poses for the new fluids to rush in to the space you are creating.
- In twists we can become stiff, because we flex all of our muscles to get in, but this flexing of the muscles causes a barrier to actually going deeper. Find a way to use your breath in parts, inhale into abdomen, exhale twist abdomen, inhale into ribs, exhale twist ribs, inhale into upper-chest, exhale twist upper chest. Feel your torso fluttering, moving, watery, expansive, each rib moving with the dexterity of fingers.
- Our emotional barriers to love, our contractions, and negative or constriction thoughts are held physically in the chest, the rib cage, the neck and throat, shoulders and upper back. Use your breath, to remove the tethers, the straps, one by one, but very gently, like removing them from a horse, with utmost care, connection, and endless gratitude.
- Supta Tadasana with block under chest and under head – wide legs and wide open arms – feel the expansion
- Virasana – Aum
- Downward Facing Dog – Classical
- Downward Facing Dog – Wide – take feet as wide as mat and hands as wide as mat, feel the openness of the abdomen, the ribs, the lungs, the low back, and floor of pelvis
- Downward Facing Dog – Skinny- take hands together and feet together, feel the tightness, the power, the strength, the tippinesss, the length of the outer seems of the body
- Downward Dog Classical – feel the balance of expansion and contraction perfectly balanced in one.
- Uttanasana: wide legs, bend knees a little and drape ribs down legs, separating the ribs from the pelvis and creating length in the torso
- Vinyasa: Tadasana –>Urdhva Hastasana – Wide feet and Wide arm –>Uttanasana –>Lunge Twist: step right foot back, place right hand on ground left arm up, twist –> Wide Downward Dog –> Chaturanga –> Wide Bhujangasana –> Wide Down Dog — Repeat on other side (x2)
- Crescent twist (first one keep knee down, second one straighten back leg)
- Sun Salutation A
- Sun Salutation B (for Utkatasana twist, elbow to knee and hands in namaste or with straight arms–one on floor and one reaching up to sky)
- Parsvottanasana x 2
- Parivritta Trikonasana x 2 (Wide Down Dogs between)
- Parivritta Parsva Konasana x2 (Wide Down Dogs between)
- Prassaritta Padottanasana (hold opposite heel with hand and lengthen and twist)
- Tripod Headstand from Prassaritta – legs together (compression) and legs in upavistha (expansion)
- Parivritta Janu Sirsasana
- Bridge Pose – blocks under pelvis, supported, feet wide and arms wide: breath into your chest, and use your breath to remove all the tightnesses in the ribs, shoulders, throat and upper back.