by Kara-Leah Grant
Welcome to the fourth article and video in this series of Yoga Explorations.
You’ve now learned how to spontaneously allow the body to move within the structure of a posture, as well as two breath pairs – the Ascending and Descending breath, and cultivating the core and radiating from the core breath.
This week, we start to put it all together even more, using these tools to work with a posture to find alignment.
In particular, we’ll be exploring Lunge and variations of Lunge. This is a great posture for opening up the pelvis and spine and building strength through the legs.
Lunge variations are a key building block for many of the standing postures. Master these and you’ve got a strong foundation for Warrior I, Warrior II, Extended Side Angle, Revolving Warrior and Revolving Extended Side Angle.
We’re also going to combine a body vinyasa with pranayama, which is a sneaky way of releasing held tension in both the hips and the throat – areas of the body which are intimately connected through the frontal fascial plane.
Open the front of the hips and the front of the throat often releases and vice versus.
The key to lunges is to maintain equal energy in all directions – which is where all the foundational work we’ve done on breath pairs comes into it’s own. If you can do this – be energetically present in all four directions at once, your entire yoga practice can shift. it means you’re coming completely into your body.
Usually when people are in a lunge, they lose presence through their back leg and foot – they’re completely in the front of their body. This makes for a weak posture. Learn to reach back and and up while you’re opening forward and down and you’ll master lunge.
Oh yes indeed, there’s much to play with! I could do lunges and variations for hours… and the beauty of a home yoga practice, is that so can you, if you want to!
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Video Exploration #4 with Kara-Leah Grant
Using Core Cultivation to Open the Frontal Plane of the Body
Now you’ve watched the video, here’s your Om-Work for the Week
Week #4 Om-Work: Take what you learned from Week #1 – Tadasana and Uttanasana, Week #2 – Plankasana, Chaturanga Dandasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and Week #3 – Downward Dog and Three-Legged Dog and add Week #4 to it – Lunge, Lizard and Twisting Lunge.
As we did last weeks, explore different ways of putting this flow together – make the sequence your own. Be playful. Have fun. Take your time.
Focus on opening through the front of your body in the Lunge and it’s variations using core cultivation.
Go slowly through each posture, taking time to explore and play, surrendering to the flow of breath and allowing your body to open and move as it needs. Do it this way for the first round, but maybe do subsequent rounds with just one breath per pose.
It’s your practice. Make it up!
Do this every day this week.
You may end up going on to do more postures. Or you may just go into shavasana afterwards.
Any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll respond. It’s likely that if you have that question, other people do too.