Well…it’s that time again. That crazy space between summer and fall. It’s a powerful energy shift in many of our lives; school beginning, traffic changing, new learning, new schedules, a change in the air creating upheaval internally and externally. Transitions can often surface sensations of discomfort, avoidance, fear, excitement, and eagerness.
In the Ashtanga practice the transitions are marked by the vinyasas between the asanas. The 3 vinyasas are: Exhale – Chaturanga Dandasana, Inhale – Urdvha Mukha Svanasana (Up Dog – Inhale), to exhale – Adho Muka Svanasana (Down Dog). I often find that these transitions are uncomfortable for many and therefore there is an urge to move through them quickly, avoid them, or not really learn to break them down.
If you have been practicing for some time but still struggle through these transitions, take advantage of the energy around you to slow down and connect inside these breaths and movements. Perhaps allowing space for proper evacuation on the breath in your chaturanga while staying grounded through your hands, and integrated through the rest of your body. Setting yourself up in chaturanga dandasana sets up the heart center and core up nicely for urdvha mukha svanasana.
If you are beginner and still finding friction with these transitions or have been avoiding them, now is a great time to take the opportunity to break down these poses and perhaps start working on gaining strength and start cultivating a relationship with them.
If you can begin to change your approach to transtions in practice, think about how that might apply to the rest of your life right now?
There are a number of videos on line with tips for these poses. I find that if Chaturanga can be aligned with both mind and body, Up Dog is a whole new ball game.
Tips for Chaturanga for Kino McGregor:
Tips for Up Dog:
Tips For Down Dog:
In the end – these videos are great – but they don’t replace applying the principles in your own practice.
Now is the time to be vigilant in your efforts – particularly in these crazy transitional times- be concious of all the new energy and perhaps opportunities that are coming along – move with awareness and intelligence – and be compassionate with any emotional rough patches or resistance to change.
Change is inevitable – learning how to be inside of it with equanimity is the practice.