Asana Practice Element through June 30:

Rising Rooted

This asana study will sequence: 

 Mountain Pose (Tadasana, Urdhva Tadasana) 

Tree Pose (Vrkrasana) 

Standing Thoracic Extension (Back Bend from mid-rib-center of shoulder blades)

The informing of the Anatomy of the Foot Meditation will bring the practice suggestions and illustrations of Rising Rooted alive in both how you might thinking about these postures and in how you feel them as an experience of yoga. 

Standing in the Four Corners and Arches of the Feet: 

Tadasana (Mountain) 

Feel into these connections: 

Big Toes to Pubic Bone, to Naval, to Breast Bone, Manubrium, to forehead and crown. 

Inner feet to Inner Legs 

Medial Arch to Pelvic Floor (similar shapes as well). 

Outer feet to Heels, lateral and back of legs, to back of pelvis and sacrum. 

Heels to sacrum, sacrum is spinal path, to back of heart to crown of the head. 

Move arms in Sun Salutes and feel the weight of the body move through the connections of the feet to pelvis and rib basket(front/back) to vertebral column (back) and head (front and back). 

Play and explore. Take your time, no rush. The foundations of the sensations take time to feel. Ujjaii breath can help with feeling into and exploring, sometimes known and the Breath of Exploration. Natural Breath works fine as well. 

Standing in the Four Corners and Arches of the Feet: 

Vrkrasana (Tree Pose) 

Feel into these connections: 

(Red line) Big Toes to Pubic Bone, to Naval, to Breast Bone, Manubrium, to forehead and crown. Rib basket connects the arms to the spine, and the arms to the spine and legs; ribs are vibrantly infused with energy from the supporting leg toes and ball of foot pressing down into the earth, as well as the inner heel of the supporting leg foot pressing down.....rooted to rise! 

 

(Yellow line) Inner feet to Inner Legs 

Medial Arch to Pelvic Floor (similar shapes as well). 

Bring center of pubic bone to center of medial arch of supporting leg. 

Feel the arches in the feet stabilize the posture with the earth supporting from below. Soft supporting knee. 

Outer supporting-leg foot to Heels, lateral and back of legs, to back of pelvis and sacrum. 

 

Back supporting-foot Heel to sacrum, sacrum is spinal path, to back of heart to crown of the head. 

Press sole of bent-leg foot to either center of lower supporting leg or above the knee of the supporting leg. The gentle press of the bent-leg foot (Big Toe to Heel) to the standing inner upper leg stabilzes the posture. Gently bringing naval in, and perhaps firming the pelvic floor also brings dynamic support to the posture from inside-out. 

Feel the weight of the body move through the connections of the feet to pelvis  ans rib basket(front/back) to vertebral column (back) and head (front and back). 

Play and explore, Ujjaii breath can help with feeling into and exploring, sometimes known and the Breath of Exploration. Natural Breath works fine as well. 

Standing Thoracic Extension

(Back Bend from Mid-Rib / Center of Shoulder Blades)

First, find the connections in Tadasana as practiced above. This poses has both feet on the ground. 

Bring the feet about 4-6 inches apart so the backbend can be a thorasic rather than lumbar exclusive backbend. (GIve it a try; feet apart brings more stability and mobility to the backbend experience). 

Establish a deeply supportive Ujjaii breath for several moments. You can have the arms over the center of the chest in Anjali Mudra or up with palms together overhead, as shown in image. 

Create axial extension (lengthening of spine) through the pelvic floor to crown of the head from inner heels, medial arches, and Big Toes pressing down into the earth. This is the center support of the pose, feel free not to rush this feeling. 

Intentionally bring ease to the lumbar. It will have a supportive role, but not be the initiator of the rest of the posture.  The feet and heart will be; inner feet and back of the heart. 

Then press the Big Toes down more, inner feet activate, toes spread as the front of the heart begins to rise. As the toes spread, the ribs expand and spread as well...press the palms and fingers together to bring further sensation and stabilization to the ribs. The press of the sides of your palms activates the lateral ribs. Exhales support the balance. 

Bring the back of the heart (the space between the shoulder blades) into the center of the ribs, as if the back of the heart were following the front of the heart outward through the ribs; this is the fulcrum of the thoracic backbend. Allow the lumbar to remain supportive, extending but not taking a curve as much as you can. Exhales are key. 

Inhale into the upper chest and shoulders as you take the last moments in the Standing Thoracic backbend. Find the directionals as shown in the drawing if you like; legs root down, spine extends up and down (axial extension), front of heart rises up (as back of the heart condenses inward to support the outward front expansion). 

Then exhale as you bring the rib basket back to vertical center over the legs. 

Lumbar remains supportive through out. Press down through the legs rather than clinch the glutes or lower back to come to standing. 

Take a few breaths as you feel into the Four Corners of the Feet. 

Repeat as you like, take this informing into other asana as you wish. 

References: 

Aposhyan, S. M. (2007). Natural intelligence: Body-mind integration and human development. Now Press.

Clark, Lisa. EmbodiYoga 500 hours Training. 

Morrissey, Becky. Personal Practice Notes (1989-2020). 

© 2020 by Sangha (Song-gah) Yoga/Becky Morrissey  

contact info: becky.morrissey.2017@gmail.com