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Hello! Welcome to Body Moments ~ In the Moment with the Forward Bend!
September 25, 2011

In the Moment with the Forward Bend!
Issue #011 - September 25, 2011

The benefits of Yoga are many, and healing from within is Yoga's major focus. Even if you are unable to discern what is wrong in your life, simply by spending time in communication with your body, you will notice a shift. May you spend a few mindful moments with your body now, and encourage the shift toward peace and healing.

You do not have to be flexible or loose in the hamstrings to perform the standing forward bend. You can modify the pose and bend your knees and achieve as much benefit. If you can't touch your toes or the floor, go as far as is comfortable for you.

Never bounce, strain or do a movement that causes you pain. Pain is always a warning that something is wrong and is not to be ignored.

Mountain Pose, Tadasana

Mountain Pose, with Hands in Prayer Position

Take a few moments in the Mountain Pose standing straight, elongated and tall. You may place your hands down by your side if you prefer. Breathe here and center yourself and your attention on your breath. Feel your spine lengthening, as the crown of your head lifts toward the heavens and as you root your feet in the ground.

Focus on your breath. Feel it deepening. (I use the breathing technique that I taught you in the April Issue of Body Moments.)

When you are ready, raise your arms over your head in a smooth sweeping motion. Reach for the sky and with a flat back, bend forward at the waist, slowly and smoothly until your chest is close to your knees.

Standing Stretch, Arms Overhead

Standing Stretch, Arms Overhead

Let your hands hang and touch where they fall, on your knees, you calves, your toes or the ground. As you inhale in this position, raise up your torso slightly and elongate it even farther. Then when you exhale, you can again, relax down into the bend, perhaps bending forward just a bit more.

Feel the letting go and the release. Feel the ground on your feet and shift your weight slightly forward so that you are not sitting back to far. Reach your sit bones toward the sky as you sink farther with each exhale.

Standing Forward Bend, Uttanasana

Standing Forward Bend, Uttanasana

How does the world feel for you now when you are folded forward? Are you broken in two? Do you feel supported or weak? Do you feel strengthened? Are the feelings peaceful or scary? Do you sense new perceptions or do you force down any new sensations? Are your feet grounded? Do you feel grounded?

Breathe in this supported yet relaxed position and notice any emotions arising. Do you feel a heightened sense of energy flowing into your upper body and head? Continue to inhale, lift your torso slightly, and on the exhale, relax deeper into the pose as you release and bend forward a little farther.

Stay in this moment as long as you are able or as long as your heart desires. Breathe. Relax into the moment as you experience a new way of being. Let Go. Release. Breathe.

Affirm, "I release my stress and I receive new energy and strength." "I am well-grounded and strong." "I look forward to all new experiences and sensations."

When you are ready, slowly bring your torso back up, rolling up your spine, one vertebrae at a time. Inhale as you roll up. Return to the mountain pose.

You can repeat the Standing Forward Bend as your heart desires.

If you can repeat this body meditation as much as possible in the coming month you will ease into your new sense of groundedness. The more you practice this, the easier it will become and the more releasing will occur. With each body moment that you learn the new sensation of feeling strong and grounded, you will learn the skill for actual events in your life when you feel uncontrollable anxiety or stress.

'May the Earth support and ground you as you release your cares and woes when you spend this moment with your body.'

Note: To gain even more flexibility and release through your lower back, spine and hamstrings, don't forget to read about my body-mind-soul approach to foam rolling to learn self-myofascial release.

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