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.
A raging wildfire is all consuming. It ravages with its heat and chokes the life and oxygen out of everything it touches. It is greedy in its quest to conquer everything around it, and without mercy as it burns. A wildfire has the potential to blister and scar everything it touches without remorse.
Isn't it odd to realize there is an undeniable beauty to such a monstrosity? Though we watch with horror, we cannot help but to be in awe of the powerful brightness and heat, and the untamed beauty of the flames.
Now imagine a candle. The light is still beautiful. The ability to burn? Still present. In this instance, however, the flame is controlled and directed in such a way that it can now be useful and not destructive. The candle has the power to illuminate dark places, and as such, be a source of not only beauty, but of comfort and inspiration. Elegant, graceful, trustworthy. It may not be the first thing you see, but there is beauty in the fact that it does not overshadow and engulf everything else near it.
This idea of harnessed energy can be applied to the Third Eye sequence. The flow is not flashy, it is controlled and steady. The more you practice this sequence, the more control you gain on the mat. It will inspire you to carry that mindset off the mat and attain that same control and focus over every aspect of your life!
The point of the Third Eye Sequence is to move slowly and smoothly from one posture to the next. Beginning in plank pose immediately brings attention to your center. Engage your core: you will find strength and steadiness. Keep your focus forward. Don't hang your head or look at your belly! The minute you do, your mind turns inward to any discomfort you may feel. Look out, look ahead. Be confident in your ability to maintain this pose!
Turning into side plank is slow and controlled. Keeping your center engaged will help you move into this position. As you bring your extended arm down and back up again, remember to maintain control over your body: don't let the rest of your body collapse with the descent of the arm, stay strong and steady. It will take more than a gentle breeze to blow out your flame!
Return to plank, and slowly lower down. How slow can you go? This may be difficult for your arms. Good! If you can move smoothly to the ground, try going even slower! This simple motion builds immense strength in your arms, shoulders and back. Don't tense up! Keep your shoulders down and your abdominals tight. Controlled intensity, just like the candle.
Push into upward-facing dog and notice how happy it feels to lift your chest after that hard work! Breathe deeply and enjoy the moment. Downward-facing dog seeks to bring the celebration to your back. Allow any tension to drain away through your feet and fingers.
The swan poses provide a shining moment in the sequence. The heat of your core has burned off any dullness you may have felt. Do you feel radiant? Remember to keep the flame contained as you sink into child's pose. There is power in restraint. Child's pose reminds you to keep your flame well tended.
"Truth is what stands the test of experience," ~ Albert Einstein
Savasana feels so smooth and easy. You can relax when your energy is harnessed and directed in positive ways. Enjoy the feeling!
How slow can you go? Tell us about your experience with the Third Eye Sequence!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather Gregory is an avid Namaste yogini and has been practicing the sequences nearly every day for three years. Her favourite part of Namaste is the opportunity it affords to find her calm, collected center and carry that forward through each day. We enlisted Heather to embark on the 26 -week journey and blog about each sequence. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org