Follow the Flow, even if you’re not there yet

In this Warm Up, I was working with two ideas. The first idea is about being fully committed, even if what we are doing isn’t exactly ‘right’ yet. When we are on our way to a pose, we can make a full commitment to it, even before we get there. That is what it is to be Following the Flow. This sequence has some postures that require several extra adjustments to arrive into (6. Child’s Pose). And a pose that isn’t really a Full Pose, rather an in-between almost pose (9. Almost Table). I have always enjoyed being as efficient as possible about my movements. It is like a game. But, if I have to make extra movements, then I make no apology for it. I just do it. Students sometimes believe that they should miraculously be perfect, with all their parts in place. This Warm Up is a lesson in being content to make all the necessary adjustments to get where we are going, in a fully committed way.

The second idea is being clear about spatial orientation. When I taught this Warm Up for the first time, I reviewed the ‘names’ for the different facings so that the students and I would have a common language and understanding. For example: the front of the mat, the back of the mat, the long, right edge and the long, left edge. I also talked about the different diagonal directions.

1. Sukhasana:
Sit with your legs crossed, right shin forward.
2. Arms Up: Reach your arms out to the side and up overhead into a big prayer pose.
3. Lazy Jane:
Unfold your right leg slightly out to the side so that your right inner thigh nestles against the sole of your left foot. Bow forward.
4. Side Saddle Side Bend: Bend your right leg and turn it inward so that you are sitting side saddle facing the left edge of your mat. Lift your left arm up for a side bend toward your right, which is now the front of your mat.
5. Twist to Back:
Sit upright and lower your left arm. Twist to your left so that your right hand comes just past or onto your left knee, while your left hand reaches behind you on the floor. Your hips face the long left edge of your mat and your chest is turning towards the back edge of your mat.
6. Child’s Pose: Bring both legs underneath you for Child’s Pose facing profile to the left with your hands on the floor just in front of your knees.
7. Cow: Lift your face, then your throat, your chest and navel into an arch. Straighten your arms and lift onto your fingertips.
8. Cat:
Curl your spine round bringing your tail towards your head.
9. Almost Table:
Sit to the left of your legs, place your right foot flat on the floor and your hands flat down behind you with your fingertips facing forward. Lift your hips, while your left leg is still turned outward and is resting down.
10. Table:
Place your left foot flat now as you continue to lift your hips and chest high.
11. Table with Leg: Lift your left leg straight up.
12. Sukhasana:
Lower your buttocks to the floor to sit with crossed legs, placing the left leg in last. Repeat from 2. starting with left Lazy Jane and turning to the right for the Side Saddle Side Bend.

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