Are you stepping forward or backward?
The idea of stepping farther into the unknown, willingly, into the risk of getting your clothes soaked and splashed by an unsuspecting wave (heaven forbid!) is such a great metaphor for the challenges we face on a daily basis in our adult lives. We so often are presented with opportunities to step forward and instead unconsciously, or consciously, hold ourselves back.
Where this shows up in our practice is in the all too common transition of stepping from Downward Facing Dog into Low Lunge.
I see many of my students struggle with this transition, and yes, there are some physical aspects that need to be addressed — strong core, flexible hip flexors — but for many of us we just aren’t in the right mindset to step forward successfully.
Step FORWARD into low lunge from Downward Facing Dog
When you’re going to step forward into a low lunge you can’t half-ass it. When you do, your body won’t get to where it needs to be to set yourself up in nice alignment for the upcoming postures. Then, you’re faced with the ungraceful and challenging task of figuring out how to muscles and rearrange your body to get your foot where you want it to be and it often takes you out of the “flow.” It can be frustrating.
To get your foot in between your hands from Downward Facing Dog in one smooth swoop, the entire body has to be on board. There is forward motion not just in the leg but in the shoulders, the chest, the other leg, the heart, the brain, the eyes, EVERYTHING. Are you whole-heartedly — body, mind, and soul — stepping forward? Or are you afraid that you won’t quite make it, don’t have what it takes, or are unsure of what you’re going to find when you get there and it’s easier to just stay safe where you are instead?
Today’s video talks about the mindset shift I want you to take from now on when you step your foot in between you hands. And like I said, there may be some physical limitations that will make it necessary for you to customize the transition for a while until you find the right balance of strength and flexibility in your own body. I’ve added in a few postures you can do to help you build strength in the core and flexibility in the psoas.
Remember you won’t do anything unless you first believe that you can do it!
Here’s to you stepping forward gracefully on your mat and in your life
By Ashley Josephine
I started practicing yoga to stay in shape and release stress. What I learned was how to love my life. How to have faith. How to find your community of people who support you and love you unconditionally. How to get back control. Today, it is my mission to help busy Type-A overachiever women like me gain back control of their lives, live pain-free, and love the life they want to live through yoga lifestyle practices. Visit www.ashleyjosephine.com to get free yoga lifestyle tips to help live healthier, happier, and pain-free.
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