Balancing the Nervous System 2


 

Inspired by yesterdays Rainy Day Yin sequence, I went to my mat this morning…but day 2 of Tax Day Floods Houston 2016 I’m getting a little more agitated and ready for some movement!  So here is one of my sequences that I have been doing a lot lately in my personal practice and in my classes.  The asana combined with the intention of the breath, is balancing for the nervous system.

 Please note, this sequence is written for students that are very familiar with the foundations of the beginners yoga poses. An intermediate student.  If you would like to work your way into this sequence with guidance, classes that I teach on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9am would be a great option for you or private sessions with me or a teacher that you are drawn to to advance your yoga practice.

Click here for a downloadable/printable version of this sequence : Intermed Sequence

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Sukasana (easy pose) ; Sit cross leg or on your heels to take a few deep breaths, settle in and align your mind, your energy and your breath to set the intention for your practice.

All Fours: Pause on your hands and knees, find an even breath, where your inhale is the same length as your exhale. Sense the rooting down energy of this pose. Breathe and allow for this energy to arise.  When you sense grounding, curl your toes and press back.

 

 

DowndogDownward facing dog.  Even out the breath again.

 

Uttanasana (foward fold) Step forward, take a moment to open up the backs of the legs, hips and lengthen out the low back.

DSC_2265 Inhale look up half -way, exhale and fold.

Come all the way up into Mountain Pose, Tadasana.

 

* Tadasana –-> Step back the right foot into a Standing lunge

 

 

DSC_2276Standing lunge.

As you hold the lunge, scoop the tail down and charge up the back leg, lengthening out through the back heel.  Lean back into the back body. You can visualize a hand right at your heart and up the back of your head, gently lean into that supportive hand, feel your heart gently lifting up, 
lightening you up from your heart.
plankTake a Flow...Move into

High Plank --> hold and find that even breath, where the inhale and the exhale
DSC_2250 are even...inhale and as you exhale evenly...begin to lower down 
into -->chatturanga. As you inhale again feel your breath infusing up 
along your spine and back body into20130710-IMG_9235 your 
heart as you lift in --->
Upward Facing Dog or cobra.

 

 

Transition into dDowndogownward facing dog, take a couple of breaths again, reconnecting each time, each moment back into that even breath.

 

 

 

 Step back into forward fold, Uttanasana then rooting down through your feet in uttanasana, bring your hands to your hips squeeze your elbows towards each other and lift up from your back body up to Mountain pose.

 

 

Repeat this sequence again from Tadasana (back at the *Tadasana)  --> 
note: on the second pass ofupdog upward facing dog or cobra pose, 
soften the elbows as you gently hold this pose and 
take some breaths up to the kidneys and gently feel the tips of your shoulder blades 
move towards your heart. 

 

Uttanasana with a twist: relax toes, gently firm up the thighs…breathe. Bring your right hand to your left shin, and begin to slowly twist open the left shoulder. Lean back into the back body, back of the shoulders, back of the head. Take the even breath up the spine. Do the other side.

Uttansana deeper opening: fold forward over the legs, wrap your arms around your shins maybe interlacing your fingers or grabing for your wrists. Take your thigh bones back and your shin bones wide into your arms.

 

 

wildspiritsforever_23Rooting down through your feet in uttanasana, bring your hands to your hips squeeze your elbows towards each other and lift up from your back body up to

 

Mountain pose.

 

 

Low Lunge Variations

 

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Variation on your hands

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variation on your forearms

Variation with the foot grab

Downward facing
 dog--> step right foot up between your hands for a low lunge, so back knee is down.  Maybe pause here and find the breath, feel that rooting down energy and your intention.  If it is available to you, you can bend the back leg and grab the back foot with your right hand.  Your left hand can be on the floor by your right foot, or you can come down onto your left forearm, if that is available.  Take your time through this, its just flexibility and being patient to wait for when your body is ready to go further. Flexibility does not come by clenching and pushing, flexibility of the body and mind comes with compassion, gentleness and waiting for the divine timing.  If you are good here and can start to twist the chest more open towards the right leg, you can begin to lean into the supportive hand of grace in the back body.  the back of the shoulders, the back of the heart supported in grace so the heart feel safe to soften and become more open and turned up towards the sky to receive.  Gently move the tips of the shoulder blades towards the heart for deeper opening of the shoulders. <OTHER SIDE>

after both sides of the low lunge go ahead a step back into 

High Plank –> hold and find that even breath, where the inhale and the exhale are even….inhale and as you exhale evenly…begin to lower down into chatturanga. as you inhale again feel your breath infusing up along your spine and back body into your heart as you lift in Upward Facing Dog or cobra. –>down dog

 

 

Triangle

 

Triangle Pose–>Downdog <other side>  in Triangle pose, take your time.

As you step your foot up between your hands and place your hand on your hip, take a moment to bow forward, find your even breath. You can begin to root by hugging your feet towards each other and begin to wrap your seat under your back body as you keep your legs strong. This will give you more room to open up space in your back.  Once in Triangle pose gently, lean back into the back body, that hand of grace at your heart and shoulders supporting you to be able to spin your heart up, more open to receive.

 


WildSpirits-3Side angle –>Downdog
<other side> in Side Angle pose, take your time. Feel your way through it. Especially if you feel yourself collapse forward. Maybe use a block under the hand that is supporting you on the floor, or bring the elbow to the top of thigh to work on the rotation of the heart to open.

in side angle, relax your top hand but keep the arm energized.  Charge up both legs and brighten from the back body to the front!  

 

after both sides of the low lunge go ahead a step back into 

High Plank –> hold and find that even breath, where the inhale and the exhale are even….inhale and as you exhale evenly…begin to lower down into chatturanga. as you inhale again feel your breath infusing up along your spine and back body into your heart as you lift in Upward Facing Dog or cobra. –>down dog

 

 

Pigeon on forearms –>maybe grab back foot with opposite hand if that is available to you.

Where ever you are able, take a moment to land, breath and

wait for inspiration or the space to move deeper. Keep in mind, you might be there all ready and another day, with practice you will sense that deeper space opening in you.  There is time and no reason to push. Doing the perfect or deepest version of the pose is not the goal and does not make you better at yoga. Yoga is cultivating patience and finding the stillness and waiting for your body’s response. That is an advanced yoga practice.  If you grab the back foot, then bow in–get bigger by taking your breath into the kidneys, bow to grace…then if there is space and the response is to bloom into the shoulders and heart to open—then open your chest, lean back into the back body and invite your shoulder blades towards your heart. DONT PUSH—BRIGHTEN! Fill with breath and SMILE

 

bow forward into pigeon then push back into downward facing dog—find your breath then 

High Plank –> hold and find that even breath, where the inhale and the exhale are even….inhale and as you exhale evenly…begin to lower down into chatturanga. as you inhale again feel your breath infusing up along your spine and back body into your heart as you lift in Upward Facing Dog or cobra. –>down dog.  

<OTHER SIDE PIGEON>

 

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Downdog–> 3 legged hip opener (1 leg lifts up towards ceiling, bend that knee and let the top of the thigh bone

open towards the ceiling…keep the leg on the floor strong and feel rooted in the hands as well as a good base to allow that floating leg to really open up) <OTHER SIDE 3 LEG DOWN DOG>

 

 

High Plank –> hold and find that even breath, where the inhale and the exhale are even….inhale and as you exhale evenly…begin to lower down into chatturanga. as you inhale again feel your breath infusing up along your spine and back body into your heart as you lift in Upward Facing Dog or cobra. –>down dog.  

 

 


 On Your Belly:

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grab your feet. breathe along the spine and wait for the stillness…

wildspiritsabound_48 (640x386)

Full Expression of Bow when the space is available to move into, you gently lift in.

BOW: bend your knees grab both feet. You can modify this 
pose doing one leg at a time.  Grab feet and wait. breathe into back body and take your tailbone towards the back of the knees. When space arrives then you can gently lift your chest as you kick your feet into you hands.  
Eyelids heavy as your heart moves forward.

Rest cheek  to floor as you release the legs and let heels fall open.  <a second pass of Bow is optional>


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Come to sitting:

Dandasana (5-10 breaths) :Sitting legs out in front of you. Arrive in your legs, your thigh bones, root them down into the floor. Root your hands down into the floor as you lift your heart towards your chin.

 

 

yogatoesPashimotanasana (5-10 breaths) Fold forward, hand to floor or wherever you would like. Root thighs down so your nervous system can soften.  You can take your right hand to your left shin and take a little twist (do both sides) then fold again in forward fold and see if there might be a little more space arriving.

 

7.29.15_110Cross leg meditation (sukasana/easy pose) : Sit. Palms up on knees. Open wide your fingers and stretch your hands open but then relax and soften your hands. Again find the even breath…and settle into the stillness, the breath. We look to see whats in there. To sense that energy that is constantly running through our bodies and to see. What we don’t see, we can’t shift. Ground. Breathe. Sit 5 mins. (set a timer is the best)

 

 

SavasanaLay back on your back. Where you can soften a little more.  Soften beneath the floor.  Let your lips and teeth open gently.  Maybe placing one hand on your heart and one hand to the top of your head.  Allow the current to flow. Stay with the breath and the energy sensations of each moment for another 5-10+ minutes.

 

 

 

Thought for the day:

As the universe works for me, this morning I was prompted to pick up Ekhart Tolle’s, “A New Earth” and I randomly opened up to the chapter labeled, “Complaining and Resentment” and I read, “…what you react to in another, you strengthen in yourself….to forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through. You look through the ego to the sanity that is in every human being as his or her essence…Ego Implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist…Ego takes everything personally. Emotion arises, defensiveness, perhaps even aggression.  Are you defending the truth? No, the truth, in any case, needs no defense.”

 

Namaste

 
 WildSpirits-59Jennifer Carmack, Owner/Teacher Wild Spirit Yoga

“My mission is to bring my students closer to experiencing their spirits through Yoga. By feeling the prana, life energy within, you get closer to the understanding that your are bigger than your body and that we are all connected. For me, that is the deeper practice, where Yoga reveals compassion, love peace and joy. I opened Wild Spirit because I wanted to create a Yoga studio where we can offer authentic, traditional classes and one-on-one training. Our classes are small and our hearts are big! Whatever brings you to your Yoga mat and which ever teacher you are drawn to, we want your experience in our studio to leave you feeling better than when you walked in.”
Jennifer teaches multiple classes throughout the week in yoga, pilates and pilates barre classes. As well as private sessions and workshops in yoga, pilates, reiki and wellness. 
 

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