Kåna Yoga Week 3

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By Gilayna Santos, Franceska De Oro, Kat BarnettScreen Shot 2019-03-16 at 10.10.53 AM.png

This week, the challenge is to embody Respetu yan Hulat maisa.  In the following postures, continue to observe your body and constantly ask yourself what your body feels like, scanning lightly for any sensations that demand your attention.  Observe where your mind goes when it is feeling discomfort and try to stay connected to the breath.

Yoga Sequence

Peak posture: Goddess pose or Utkata Konasana. We nicknamed Goddess pose “Tao” pose because it reminds us of ancient CHamoru cave art; read more here.  In CHamoru, “Tao Tao” means “person”.

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1. Tadasana (with arms up)- Plant the feet deliberately, placing them hips width distance apart.  Lift the toes and spread them, then consciously place them down– feel your toe knuckles press into the ground as you feel your kneecaps lift.  All of this comes with an activation in the calves, the backs of the thighs, the glutes, hip points and core.  There’s a lift in the heart or your sternum (the midpoint where both sides of your rib cage meet) and shoulder blades are drawn towards each other/ down away from the ears. There’s length  in the back of the neck as you reach your arms up, feeling kåna through your fingertips.
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2. Chair – Keeping that lift in the sternum, take an inhale and on the exhale sit back, as if you were going to sit into a chair.  Go as low as you want, explore the posture, while trying to keep the legs strong, activating the inner thighs together as if you were holding something in between them. Use your core by activating the muscles in the lower belly to support you.  Keep breathing and maybe look up with a soft gaze towards the area in between your palms
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3. One Legged Tadasana to Warrior 2 – Shift your weight to your right foot and find a focal point (your drishti or gaze)  to help you keep your balance as you lift up your left foot bringing your left knee in line with your left hip. After a few breaths, see how slow and steadily you can swing your left leg back, catching a quick crescent lunge (see week 1) and then pivoting and planting your left foot down for Warrior 2 (see week 2).
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4. Extended side angle- After setting up your Warrior 2,  take an inhale to find length in the spine then shift the hips back in the direction of the left foot as you reach your right hand/ upper body forward; feet and legs stay put.  When you can’t reach any further, release the right arm on top of the right thigh, continue to keep the legs strong, activating the thighs and core to support you, and try to put as little weight as possible onto that right thigh.   
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5. Reverse Warrior-  Lift your body back up, using your core, to  Warrior 2 and drop your left hand onto the left thigh.  Flip the right palm up towards the sky and reach up– stack the right fingers over the the right shoulder, and send energy from your right hip crease all the way through the fingertips.  Take a breath and feel an expansion in the right rib cage, open up the heart towards the sky and reach over the head with the right hand; left hand puts little to no weight on the left thigh.  
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6. Wide Legged Forward Fold- Move back up through warrior 2, release the hands to the waist and pivot the right foot so that it is parallel to the left. Take an inhale and lengthen through the crown of the head, bend the knees to protect your lower back and fold.  It might help to pigeon toe the feet as you catch your mat with your fingertips. Play with shifting your weight from the heels to the toes to see if you can give your spine a little more space to release.
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7. *Goddess/ Tao Pose – Pivoting the toes outwards, wider than the heels, roll the spine up vertebrae by vertebrae.  Bend the knees in the same direction as the toes, tuck the tailbone slightly, activate the core and stack the shoulders over the hips.  A bend in the elbows stacks your wrists right above the knees. Lastly, keep your palms open, squeeze your shoulder blades together and feel your heart open up.  

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