The last combination for our #namasteNewViews journey is just right for anyone who needs to shake up their practice! Both among the most challenging of the Namaste Yoga series, Water Light and Dancing Shiva is a study of both vertical and horizontal. A test of core and balance, strength and serenity, breath and focus. If you are ready, this is a truly profound experience! As we have had so much time to explore the practice from a solitary perspective, what if this time we bring a friend along?
When we introduce friends to yoga, the idea often is to bring them to it gradually... start small. This seems logical, so as not to overwhelm a newbie with complicated poses and implant them with a preliminary mindset of "can't." The drawback to starting small is that a new practice may not gain the consistency and evolution that takes it to those incredible challenge poses! While it is vital to be able to see beauty in simplicity, seeing something awe-inspiring is also crucial motivation for moving forward along a path.
Moreover, seeing a friend NOT executing a challenge pose perfectly... being unafraid to share your struggle and your journey humanizes a practice. What yoga teacher ever mastered every challenge pose on the first try? How often are we allowed to see the tuck-and-roll that follows an overshot crane balance? How often do your friends see you wobble? How often do you get to see yourself through the eyes of another?
When you can, treat a yoga date like any other adventure with a friend. You want to go someplace nice, maybe someplace you or they have never been before. Perhaps you would like to mimic the well-groomed yet serenely natural vibe so well captured by the series. Where can you take your practice? A state park may fit the bill nicely! No matter where you go, it's wise to download your sequences in advance so you can simply turn up the volume on your mobile device, place it between your mats and prepare to share an inspiring practice.
As these sequences are quite challenging, choose your setting with care. Rolling into plough pose in the Water Light sequence can be hard on the spine. If this is your difficulty, be sure to choose a forgiving surface. If balance in the advanced tree variation of Dancing Shiva is a point of uncertainty, look for a more solid, even surface.
Dancing Shiva is a difficult sequence on its own. When you move into it fresh off the heels of another, you may find your legs tire more quickly than normal! This is an excellent moment to really use your breath to maintain your composure and focus on the work at hand. If you find your legs beginning to shake when in Forward Fold, feel free to deepen in and out of the fold with your knees a little bit to release tension.
Have you inspired your friend? How did your friend inspire you? What was their take-away from your practice? What was yours? Be sure to ask. The answers will expand your awareness, and possibly deepen your friendship too. We'd love to hear what you've learned and see what you've seen. This is the last week for our #namasteNewViews adventure, so be sure to share a picture with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the #namasteNewViews hashtag in your comment. We'll give away one more Namaste Yoga mat at the end of this week.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather Gregory is an avid Namaste yogini and has been practicing the sequences nearly every day for nearly four 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 share her #namasteNewViews as she explores the practice with our iTunes downloads, and blog about her experiences. You can contact her at email@example.com