This post is part of Sadhana, a 26-week exploration of each of the Namaste Yoga sequences. It’s never too late to join! All that is required is to try a new Namaste sequence each week – and don’t forget to post about your experiences to be entered in our monthly contests. Read all the Sadhana posts here or connect with others participating in Sadhana on our Facebook wall.
"As is one's thought, so one becomes," ~ Maitri Upanishad
Have you ever been really, really angry, and had a friend or loved one tell you not to smile?
Get really mad, then put Extended Leg Balance in your DVD player.
Now, don't smile!
Everything, EVERY Thing (!) about this sequence fits and flows and moves so seamlessly! The music, the postures... beautiful and simple in their form mingle so seamlessly they create this clean, fluid, inspiring practice! From beginning to end, Extended Leg Balance will motivate, rejuvenate and by the end, have you overflowing with effortless calm and happiness.
There is so much grounding energy in the warm up segment. Kate embellishes her Cat-Bow to Cat-Lift loop with a gentle push up, then counters that with Down-Faced Dog. In a simple, four-step process that feels so comfortable, beloved and familiar, we explore our angles and our space so thoroughly!
Kate finds another inverse in the cat rolling postures by bringing you to your hands by rolling your through your forearms, then continuing that action through your spine, which carries you back to Child's Pose. The completeness of the motion makes you feel as though you've attained the incredible flow of a waterfall!
This fluid feeling will glide effortlessly with you into the main sequence. You feel yourself really extending out through your chest as you lower slowly into the Wide-Legged Forward Fold, then slowly, smoothly moving and turning your body, minding the position of your feet as you float up into Warrior I. At this point in Sadhana, you may have become so attuned to your body, that you are even aware of the difference in the feel of your fingers and their placement as you clasp them in Shiva Mudra!
Your mind flows continually over every part of your body. Feel the connection of your arms and legs as you raise them together in Extended Leg Balance. You realize you do not want to stop moving, and you don't have to! You can keep reaching through your fingers and toes; you can keep lifting from your chest! The movement is endless, the flow so smooth!
"Really smooth out the breath, the movement will become smooth too," Kate advises.
You become like water, smooth, fluid, synchronous. Everything flows together as your arms and legs move into Warrior III. Once they've escorted your leg out, your arms continue their journey to extend and reach for what's ahead. You are a river now, always reaching, always sliding over yourself to what's ahead... easily you are becoming a little longer, a little deeper, a little softer, a little stronger!
Back to a jubilant Warrior I! Stretching, reaching, being, becoming!
You're smiling, aren't you?
Kate brings you through Savasana, and your smile remains in place. She encapsulates the feeling of the whole practice in five words: "light, clear, cool, perfectly calm." Then, with the clarity of vision that is at her very core, she explains the lesson of this wonderful sequence:
"To be annoyed with our restrictions is perhaps natural. To not be annoyed by our restrictions, is yoga."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather Gregory is an avid Namaste yogini and has been practicing the sequences nearly every day for three years. We enlisted Heather to embark on Sadhana, our 26 -week journey, and blog about each sequence. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org