Supporting Your Practice16 Mar 2017
Supporting Your Practice- by Fiona Shepherd
As we move into spring we’ll be starting to lift the energy of our yoga practice, introducing more standing postures, balances and twists. With the practice of spring we will be rooting down into the ground, focussing on the foundations. As with each change in the season we will be moving into these postures gradually – we’ve been working low down on the mat with long held postures through the winter and as we move into spring we look to what is happening around us – the shoots of spring flowers gently coming up through the earth. If we were planting a new tree we would give it support until it had firmly rooted down. So we can bring that idea into our practice and utilise some support from blocks, bricks and also a wall.
I love balances as they give you a clear indication of where your mind is – when the mind is steady it is much easier to achieve steadiness in the posture but when we have lot going on in the mind it can be more difficult to find that steadiness and we are wobbling about all over the place. The challenge is therefore to cultivate the stillness in the mind to allow the balance to happen – putting aside any internal chatter and creating a focus. That takes time and practice and so during this early time of spring having additional support to gently ease into the balances is a great help. Utilising the wall is a good place to start – having it there just to lean on if you start to wobble. Sometimes just knowing it is there is all you need. You can then gradually move away from it as you build confidence. For a posture such as vrkasana (tree pose) it can help you build confidence in moving the foot higher up the inside leg or taking the arms up higher.
The wall is also a great tool to use for finding alignment and opening up in postures, particularly trikonasana (triangle pose) or ardha chandrasana (half moon). Having the support of the wall behind you helps you discover where you can move to without any fear of toppling over.
These lessons we can also take off the mat, ensuring we have the support we need around us. That support can help us achieve more than we thought we could and as with the wall, sometimes it’s just good to know it’s there in case you do need it. So, be gentle with yourself, ensure you have the support system you need, utilise it if and when you need to but don’t become reliant on it.
I’ll be exploring some of these postures and others in my seasonal sanctuary sessions during April:
Seasonal Sanctuary - Spring 8th April https://www.facebook.
Seasonal Sanctuary - Finding Stillness 30th April https://www.facebook.com/
or visit www.fishepherd.com for further details