Lean Back

February 1  2014

Happy New Year and welcome to our community of practice!

Over the next 28 days, we embark on a journey of practice as we kick off the new year with purpose and intention.  These practices are meant to meet you where you are, on or off the mat, so find the expression that works for you.  

This lunar year, the Year of the Horse, has a ton of forward thrust and it is easy to lean into the flow. Which can make for great speed and momentum, but when not focused can lead us down the wrong path, or worse, lead to burn out.  So our practice is vital to steering our path and building capacity for all that we still don't know.

Often at the start of a process or the beginning of a journey, we have a tendency to "lean in".  To set goals, to create expectations of what we want to manifest and how we want it to look and play out. Visioning and planning in this way is not bad, but when not met with a fierce practice of being can distract away from what is already emerging. 

And so while the world is telling us to lean-in in this moment, I am feeling called to a new stance.  As a text-book “doer”, “activator”, “manifestor”, “fixer”, my transformational practice has become to lean-back as I face out on a new path.  While it often feels counter intuitive, it is the very thing that allows for clear seeing, right pacing and faith.  Leaning back in this way also reminds me of everything that is at my back: my history, my lineage and everything that has gotten me to this place in my life.  When I lean back in this way, I am grateful.

So, this is our first practice...to lean-back and look out on the great mystery that is before us with awe and adventure.

ON THE MAT

Come onto your back with either knees in or knees apart in supine butterfly.  Bring you hands onto your belly and just feel your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Let the rocking of your breath cradle into this moment. 

Now bring your attention back and acknowledge your connection to the earth. Notice how you are being supported; how you are not required to hold yourself up or hold it together. Rather lean back into the knowing that you are held and allow your breath to expand into the front body. Continue to drop down into the earth, breath by breath, and consider the things in your life you trust. Take inventory. What do you have already that reminds you that you are safe and supported. Let that give you permission to soften back further.  

Either stay here in this meditation of leaning back. Or move into the following poses.  These poses will serve to calm the nervous system as you wake up your being. They are also really accessible hip and hamstring openers for those of us who have back problems or may have fractured their sacrum.

Supta Badda Konasana 20 breaths 

Supta Pandangustasana 10 breaths each side [A & C]

Supta Matsyandrasana 20 breaths each side 

Savasana 10 minutes

OFF THE MAT

I dare you…make no plans this weekend.  I know, I know. It’s the weekend and you’ve had such a crazy week.  You have things to do. People to see. You mustn’t waste a second. You have to optimize every minute of your “day off” to ensure that you feel complete with your time and space. 

But, what if you leaned back? What if you and your planning got out of the way and let your day unfold on its own?  What if what it has in store for you is beyond your imagination? What if the most amazing experience is not within your conscious grasp but is ready to move in and meet you when the space is made? Can you lean back and make space for the more beautiful thing that you don’t know is possible?