As We Enter The Eye of Eclipse Season, Use “Yoga as Medicine” and Focus on “Work-In” vs. Work-Out
“There is no progress toward ultimate freedom without transformation, and this is the key issue in all lives.” ~B.K.S. Iyengar
These past few weeks of the summer have been transforming both in its physical energy and emotional. Have you noticed it? This July we are in the thick of the Eclipse Season. This is the time of year the rotational axis of the Moon, or the Moon’s orbit, is such that the Sun, Moon, and Earth become close enough in alignment and create an eclipse or a severe shadowing effect on the earth. This choreography of planetary dance repeats every six months pushing energies to shift, alter, and rejuvenate each time.
Last week as I was called upon for what my clients were calling a “yoga-emergency”, truly a modern interpretation for “yoga as medicine”. When each complaint and cry of discomfort worsened to pain and anger, I knew these yogis needed to travel a different yogic path. Jointly, we modified poses to accommodate their limitations, we backed up to basics to help areas of contraction and spasm to soften and relax. Together we reached new heights in health and comfort, pain management, and coping tools. We found new meditation in the actions giving relief and stress management to my yoga-emergency clients who realigned their practice to become calm once again.
Learning to back up a practice, change your routine, and find comfort in a yoga sequence is what some might refer to as using your yoga as medicine. But perhaps, even more necessary than the physical sequence is the result and emotional reaction that you emit back into your lifestyle. Similarly to the alignment of the sun, moon and earth, when rotated differently, we can feel and think more diversely. Perhaps casting a light on what we need to listen to in our own bodies.
No different is our own human axis than the moon’s, except our spine is more in our control. Each spine needs a shift every so often for optimal juvenation too. This past week of July, in the eye of the Eclipse Season I felt the shift of the moon’s orbit most through my clients’ challenges and energy shifts. Their need for a “work-in” far exceeded any work-out they may have been expecting from our yoga sessions.
And with trust and longer holds, supported poses, deeper, connective breath, yoga again had come to the rescue of everyday people battling from everyday discomfort. The moon shifts its axis to stimulate change; let that be a metaphor for your personal health and wellbeing. Change your routine every so often to stimulate change, restoration, healing, or just because the moon cycle does, is as good a reason as any other. Maybe your next work-in session will be more mind-blowing than your most invigorating vinyasa.
Movement Monday “Work-In” Vinyasa (gradual progression)
The key to any good work-in session is inward focus. Make sure your gaze is up and forward and or turned inward towards the end of your nose. Move through 4 to 6 related poses with grace and quietude. Land and take 3 breaths in each pose before moving through the air with deliberation to melt into the next pose and breath work. The Moon series is a beautiful and peaceful practice that helps extract energy from the moon to assist with cooling and calming the body and mind down for evening rest. Chandra Namaskar, the moon series is for inspiring a shift or transformative movements towards self-improvement.