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.
"Yoga is everywhere," says Kate Potter. "The center is the center, no matter what abounds. The idea is to create a sense of beauty and wholeness, wherever we might be."
This philosophy is embodied in the challenging Crane Sequence. Can you stay centered in this sequence, feel beautiful and whole, even as your balance and strength are challenged?
"I like this sequence for the progression of opposites," Kate shares. "First opening the chest in Yoga Mudra Forward Fold, then opening the back body in the Full Crouch."
Crane balance requires both the front and back body to work in harmony.
"Try it now, maybe without the toes leaving the floor," Kate suggests. "If you can really even out the sensations, the muscles work together as a whole to lift up and balance on the prop of your bent elbows. When you are ready, press down with the hands and make the arms more straight."
Kate reveals the real challenge of Crane Sequence lies beyond the pose itself. To fluidly move through three balancing poses all executed on one leg requires strength, balance, and focus. A few tips from Kate won't hurt either!
"If you allow the waist to shorten, or the tail to tuck under on the Extended Leg Balance, you will have lost the strength of alignment," Kate instructs. While all of the Namaste Yoginis execute this segment correctly, she suggests viewers study Namaste Yogini Evangeline in this particular portion of the sequence. "She really understands the concept of a 'long waist' and puts it to practice in the Breath Body Links, to gain core strength before venturing forth."
Kate feels the last balance is the most difficult, and suggests keeping the tail slightly back as you energize your legs and make your waist as long as possible.
"Feel just how much more control you have, and yet the periphery moves with such freedom!" Kate says, "This is really key. Lengthen to gain control, in order to let go. So fun!"
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