We have experienced cold & warmth, snow & ice, not knowing what each day will bring us... it IS winter in Alberta. As we transition through the end of February, winter can be getting a bit long in the tooth. When will Spring come? March 20th the calendar says, but we know, the feeling of winter may last much longer.
Don't despair or curl up in a ball & not do nothing. Instead, find a way to create space, to allow your inner energy to expand & to shine through the darkness.
To break through the cold winter & to feel empowered, move more, take some deep breaths & meditate on what Spring will be like when the temperature matches the season.
Our yoga practice helps us connect to that lovely sun energy that Spring brings. Picture a breath that radiates from your inside through your body & shines out into the world. As if you can feel this energy massaging you from the inside out, till you feel more open, strong, awake & alive.
See the article below to explain a bit more about this radiating breath.
Radiating from the inside out in asana practise
The six limbs of the body ( head, tail end of the spine, the two arms, two legs) connect to one another through the core of the body. The initiation of movement through the core to the limbs and from the limbs back to the core is called "navel radiation" - Donna Farhi.
Here we are taken right back to the embryo where as a fetus all the nourishment and elimination happened through the umbilical chord a bit like the starfish which radiates outward with its sensitive extremities extending and feeding back into its central mouth.
And now dear reader it is time to be introduced to Navel Radiation as taught by Donna Farhi a well known yoga teacher and writer and other greats, both in yoga and dance.
It is a pattern of breath, movement and energetic connection starting at the belly centre and radiating outwards to any one or a combination of the six limbs as mentioned before.
It is movement flowing in undulating waves from the centre to the periphery and back again.
As you read this allow your eyes to flutter shut. Drop the awareness to the navel and check if the stomach is clenched or soft. If it is clenched let it go lose/soft.
Now visualize the breath as it begins at the stomach as an inhale and spreads into the six limbs, feel the gentle movement this causes, a sort of inflating of our body shaped balloon. With the exhale find a gentle drawing back motion or deflating. Alongside get aware of the lengthening of the spine with each inhale and a dropping back into place with each exhale. This in a simple manner is navel radiation to my understanding and awakens the dormant energetic connection within the entire body.
Applying this to an Asana, dear reader we would have to use a three step process to guide us into any asana.
1. Checking every now and then that our core is mobile and breathing, as opposed to being held taut.
2. Check that this mobile core area is connected/aligned to the periphery or the six limbs.
3. Allow the breath to gently move the body, as against holding our body stiff. Being aware of the air moving through the whole body and its gentle inflating-deflating movement, like a tide that ebbs and flows.
Anne Cox E-RYT 500