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.
"Learn to be gentle with others, and with yourself," ~ Swami Rama
Our world is a wonder, filled with creatures that share similar traits, and yet are completely different in everything from appearance to behavior. The differences make every single element of our environment suited to unique tasks. A stone that is big and heavy is useful when building something or to sit on. A stone that is flat and smooth might be good for stacking to create neat edges or to lay along the ground to form a path.
Then there are those small, paper-thin, perfectly smooth, flat and gently rounded stones. Most often we look for these treasures when walking near water. The purpose, after we celebrate the cool, smooth feel and delight that something so hard can feel simultaneously soft, is to take advantage of the aerodynamics of the stone and watch it skim the surface of the water. We wonder at the flight of the stone; and how, even as it touches the water so gently, it creates ripples that extend hundreds of times wider than the diameter of the stone itself.
The Seated Twist sequence is a moment to explore our own composition, and reflect on how our actions create ripples that extend farther than our deepest reach. Beginning with the Heart Opening breath body link, you can imagine the smoothness of the water that lies ahead of you. Untouched by your thoughts and emotions. The inhale breath allows you to revel in the calm of your future, the exhale calls you to draw that calm into your present.
Extend into your future with Cat Lift Pose. As you lift your head and throat, you can feel the promise in what may be revealed to you in this sequence! Moving into Down Faced Dog is a moment to find your perfect stone. Find your energy source here. What kind of energy will you choose to put forth across this water?
In the smooth, level motion of flowing into Swan Lift, you cast the stone across the water. Your folded, front leg is the leading edge of the stone. In Swan bow, notice how smooth and flat you feel along the length of your spine and down the whole length of the back leg! Just as though you are barely skimming the surface of the water.
You can survey the effect of your skimming as you come into Seated Twist pose. Look all around you as you reach back, then return to what lies ahead. Though you are contained in this small shape, the ripples of your actions are all around you. Bring your uppermost leg into Half Lotus Forward Fold, and mind Kate as she tells you to "calm the body with the breath." Make sure you keep your seat connected to the earth, lest you become unbalanced and sink too soon!
The rise into Plank Pose reminds you of your commonality with the stone: strong, solid and smooth. Down Faced Dog is the final rise before dipping into the most reflective and restorative Savasana. Now it is time to let the water wash away any worries or cares and go forth with only positive energy to cast across the rest of your day.
"We can learn to cultivate truth by really listening to one another, without the need to defend our own point of view," Kate says.
As the stone to the water, actions are louder than words.
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