Feeling frazzled by change? Coral Brown offers a new perspective on transitions and a sequence to keep you centered through them.
Transitions are typically difficult, but if we can remain steadfast in our practice and committed to our evolution, then the continuous cycle of transformation is easier to bear. Through the continual practice of yoga, a journey that never truly ends, we learn how to take ownership of the transitions that choose us, as well as those we choose for ourselves. It also helps to remember that transition is a form of transformation, which ultimately brings us to the next beginning.
Grounding Sequence for Times of Transition
Use this grounding sequence to remain centered through this cycle of change.
To begin find a comfortable seat. Breathing evenly, focus your awareness on the earth beneath you. Visualize your body like the banyan tree with taproots shooting down from your sitting bones. As you burrow deeper into the earth, feel your crown rising skyward. Feel the infinite space above you, below you, and within you. Notice if an intention or focus for your practice arises.
Come into Warrior II with the right leg bent. Find stillness in this grounding standing pose. Root down through both feet with equal pressure, while radiating outward through your fingertips, crown, and tail. Stay here for 5 long, slow, full breaths. Shift into Warrior II over your left leg and repeat.
Bring your hands together in Anjali Mudra (prayer position), straighten both legs, and turn your heels inward slightly. Come into a high squat by bending your knees. As you remain here for 5 breaths, focus on the weight of your pelvis, visualize it as your anchor and your heart as your buoy. Invoke a feeling state of balance.
Pose Dedicated to the God of War
Transition to Skandasana over your right leg. Bring your hands to the earth and turn both feet slightly to the right. Bend your right knee and extend the left leg long sealing the outer edge of your foot to the earth. You can remain high in this pose, with your hips and shoulders level or bring your hips down toward the earth while rotating the toes of the extended leg toward the sky. After 5 grounding breaths, transition to the left side and repeat.
Come into Malasana by turning both heels in and bending your knees. Place your upper arms on the inside of your knees and lower your pelvis toward the earth. Remember the visualization of the taproots. Press your arms against your legs and lift your gaze as you inhale. As you exhale bring your gaze toward your heart and squeeze your legs into your arms. Repeat for 3–5 breaths bringing your awareness to the art of contraction and expansion.
Sukhasana with Nadi Shodhana
Easy Pose with Alternate Nostril Breathing
Finally, come to a comfortable seated position and enjoy a few balancing rounds of Alternate Nostril Breathing, called Nadi Shodhana.
Rest your left hand on your lap or touch your fingertips to the earth. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through your left nostril. Close your left nostril with your right ring finger and exhale through the right. Inhale through the right and exhale through the left using your thumb and index finger to toggle back and forth. Lengthen the inhale and the exhale as well as the pause between each. Use this pause to cultivate a sense of self-soothing and trust. Knowing that the next inhale is just a breath away reminds us that this time of change shall pass.
YOGA JOURNAL, OCT 2015