Standing Forward Fold

Standing Forward Fold

Much like Seated Forward Fold, Standing Forward Fold is a great pose for down-cycling and releasing the hamstrings. It also lengthens the inner legs, reduces stress and tension in the head and neck, calms the mind, and alleviates fatigue.

Begin with your feet planted on the mat, hips’ width apart, keeping at least a slight bend in the knee. Inhale as you lift your arms up overhead and exhale, crease at the hips to fold forward. From the folded position, allow your torso to be heavy and relax your neck. See whether you can lift your sit bones up toward the sky. With each inhale, think about lifting and lengthening the body; with each exhale, allow yourself to grow heavy and fold a little deeper. Maybe allow your torso to sway slightly from side to side, nod your head yes, and shake it no.

When you are ready, on an inhale, roll yourself up one vertebra at a time, keeping your head heavy and allowing it to be the last part of you to lift.

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FALL MOVEMENTS: LET GO

Yes, you read that right. We are going to use miming as a form of movement. You’re most welcome to dust off your bowler hat, but it’s not necessary. Miming may seem like an antiquated art, but even the late, great David Bowie was inspired by mimes. And it doesn’t get much cooler than Bowie. In case you don’t know, mimes are silent storytellers who use their body and facial expressions in lieu of their voice. Miming is also a wonderful way to tap into our imagination, creativity, and humor.

Fall can be a pretty windy time of year, and in the Ayurvedic tradition, it is associated with a lack of groundedness. Fall is a time when anxieties have a tendency to increase, and our energy feels scattered. It’s as if the wind creates an atmosphere of upheaval and uncertainty. So, for fall, the perfect mime exercise is to take on the wind to feel what it is like to face the wind, to move into it, to push against it, to show strength even in the face of its force, and to be reverent.

Imagine there is a great, huge, massive wind. A wind so intense that if you were to hold an umbrella, it would turn inside out. Now, stand firmly in the wind even as it blows. Push against the wind. Try to walk in the wind, imagining both its strength and the strength you need to walk through it. If you get knocked down, get back up and keep walking. Have a destination so important in mind that no matter what, you are going to walk through this tremendous wind to get there. Really get into it with you entire body: imagine the wind in your hair and the resistance the wind has on your torso and legs as you move them forward. What is the temperature of the wind? What does the wind sound like? Can you hear the trees rustling? Is your hair whipping against your face?

Imagine the wind is your worries, your anxiety, your fears. Push into it, move through it. Show strength in the windstorm of adversity. Now imagine the wind has stopped. It is quiet and still and calm. Raise your head up and look around imagining you have arrived where you need to be.

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