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Grounding and Connecting with the Earth

Updated: May 28

Adapt and Adjust - Finding Your Edge

Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra (90 minutes)

Hello, dear friends

I am Angela from LalaYoga and I invite to a Yin Yoga class for grounding and deepening our connection with the earth, followed by a Yoga Nidra session on the same theme.

 

I will shortly remind you the three main principles of yin yoga:

1.     Find your edge in the pose, find that expression of the yoga pose that allows you to hold the pose while maintaining a sense of stretch, find that perfect balance between tension and relaxation.

2.     Remain still. Once you found the appropriate expression of the pose, just stay there, using your breath as an anchor. Of course, if you feel sharp pain or burning sensation, adjust the intensity or just wait for the next pose.

3.     Hold the posture for a while. Time will allow the body to go deeper into the pose and will allow the mind to go deeper into the stillness.

 

This class is designed to present ways to find that edge mentioned in the first principle, introducing a lot of adjustments, some of them meant to relax the classical expression of the pose and some meant to deepening the practice.

 

Having said these, let us start. You might want to bring closer a folded blanket, and a strap. If you have a large pillow, like a couch pillow, would be great, otherwise you can use a few folded blankets. I always keep close my yoga blocks, but if you don’t have them, no worries, small pillows can replace them.

 

 

1.     Centering: Seated, right hand on the floor, left palm on the heart, right hand down on the earth. 3 min

2.     Half Butterfly left side – 6 minutes:

2 minutes torso facing down over the stretched leg,

2 minutes left hand to left foot and opposite arm arched above the head or resting behind,

2 minutes hold the left leg with right hand, grabbing the foot on the left side.


3.     Wind Shield in between sides 1 minute:

4.     Half Butterfly right side 6 min (2+2+2)

Adjustments for Half Butterfly:

-       Yoga brick / small pillow under folded knee

-       Rolled blanket under the knee of extended leg

-       Belt for extending the hand towards the foot


Other options available here:

-       Instead of arching your arm above the head, bend it from elbow and rest forearm on your back / keep your both legs extended


-           Keep your both legs extended




5. Shoe Lace left knee on the ground - 3 minutes

6.     Dandasana (rebound) 1 min

6. Shoe Lace Pose, the other side (3 minutes)

Variations for Shoe Lace:

  • If achieving the symmetrical expression of the pose is difficult, place the upper foot in front of folded knee

  • Or extend in front of you the leg closer to the ground

  • For a more intense expression of the pose, extend the arms in front of you and bend forward

  • You can add a gentle spinal twist

8.     Dandasana  1 min

9.   Grounding through your roots: Dragonfly, choose your favourite variation, for 3 minutes

Or you may opt for Resting Elephant

10.     Sphinxgrounding through your heart 3 minutes

11.     Child’s pose, extended – grounding through your mind 5 minutes


Adjustments:

One fist over the other, supporting the forehead

Yoga brick under the forehead

Rolled blanket behind the knees


But favourite adaptation of all, is child’s pose on two chairs – great for protecting the knees:

Child’s pose is always a good pose to start and to end asana practice. But I like to have prepared some extra poses – just in case. Depending on attendance, the class may flow in different ways. For my regular students, I just name the pose and maybe one or two alternatives and the time between two postures is not too long. But if there are new students, it takes longer to introduce a pose and variations.

Another reason I might need these extra poses (again, depends on attendance): if I have 2-3 students that I know they don’t have to bend forward in seated poses – which happens when there are issues in lumbar spine – I will skip Half Butterfly and Dragonfly. I have noticed that even I suggest them to rest into a relaxing pose and wait for the next, they sometimes struggle to do (and keep) the harming poses.


Extra poses I have prepared

(just in case):

Half Frog for 3 minutes on each side. During the last minute the students may opt for Extended Half Frog.

Those who do not like Half Frog due too some sensitivity in the hips may choose to practice Crocodile Pose (Makarasana) instead

  Knees to Chestgrounding through your spine 3 minutes

Alternatively, place your palms on the knees, use a belt to connect your hands, or connect your hands underneath the knees.

Supine Twisted Roots left side 3 minutes, rebound in Savasana for 1 minute, then right side 3 minutes


Adjustments:

-       If you feel too much tension in your shoulder, relax the angle between extended arm and torso

-       Place a yoga block or small, firm pillow underneath your knees

 

-       The most relaxed expression of the pose: keep your knees together, do not cross them. You may use a larger prop, like a bolster, to support the knees.

Meditation – Prithvi Mudra – thumb against ring finger - 5 minutes

Yoga Nidra

 

Turn off your phone, lye down on your back in Savasana, cover your self with a blanket if needed. You may want to place a rolled blanket underneath your knees and a small pillow to support your neck.

Find the best position and resolve to remain aware and still.

Be aware that towards the end of the practice your will hear bell sounds.

 

Now, allow me to guide you through this relaxing meditation.

 

Breathing in the navel area.

 

Sankalpa:  „I honour the Earth, I honour my physical body, I acknowledge and honour my roots.”

Rotation of consciousness

Relax your forehead etc. ... Relax your toes

 

Rotation of breath: Prithvi Dharana

Breathing through the spine – Inhale at the base of the spine, up through the spine, to the crown of the head, exhale from the crown of the head, down through the spine, through the base of the spine.

The breath cleans our energy channels, the breath heals and calms.

 

Breathing in, imagine you absorb the grounding energy of the earth, breathing out, allow this energy to sink in your being.

 

Bell: Release the breathing along the spine

 

Imagine your self walking through a forest. Sense the smell of the forest, sense the humid ground, the leaves, the old roots under your feet.

Seat to the ground, resting your back on a tree. Notice through your spine the energy of the tree, feel a sense of stability and in the same time, a certain amount of flexibility. Sthira and Sukkha. Strong and relaxed. Firm and gentle.

 

Now bring your attention to the ground that supports you. And imagine roots emerging from the base of your spine to the centre of the earth.

And through these roots, feed yourself with a sense of deep stability.

And through these roots, feed your physical body and your energetical body with vitality.

And through these roots, if it feels natural to you, connect to your ancestors and with your home land.

And through these roots, absorb the abundance of the earth.

And through these roots, feel safety and know that your material needs will be met.

 

And now just relax into the sense of well being and security.

 

Bells

 

Sankalpa:  „I honour the Earth, I honour my physical body, I acknowledge and honour my roots.”

 

Gently come back.

Through the senses: notice the smell of the room, touch the palate with the tip of the tongue, gently rub your thumbs around the other fingers, rolls your toes, then stretch them. Without opening your eyes, visualize the room you are in. Hear the sounds of the room. Hear the sounds of the street.

Move your head.

Stretch your arms and your legs.

Hug your knees to the chest and roll to the left, to the right.

When ready, bring your self into a seated pose, hands in front of the chest, being grateful to the Earth and being grateful for the practice. And to yourself, for being present for the practice.


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