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August

Focus of the Month

Pose:

Lizard Pose

Lizard (Utthan Pristhasana)

From downward facing dog, step your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Make sure your foot comes all the way to the front of your mat so your toes are in line with your fingers. Bend your right knee and turn your right toes out about 45 degrees.Bring your elbows to the floor with the forearms flat on your mat. Spread your palms out on the floor. Use a block underneath the forearms, if necessary.Keep your head in a neutral position, neither dropping it down nor crooking it up.Press into your left heel to keep your left leg active so your hips don't sag toward the floor.Stay for five breaths. Practice deep, full breaths.To come out, straighten your arms so that your wrists are under your shoulders. Then step back to downward dog and take several breaths.Now perform the pose on the other side.

Theme:

SELF-ACCEPTANCE, BREATH AND SELF-ASSESSMENT

Reminding ourselves that everything, our practice - our life, is fluid and ever-changing. If one day we find ourselves in a pose (or situation) and the next we do not, it's OK. We are exactly where we need to be each moment of each day.

Self-Acceptance

If you feel an emotional release brewing, acknowledge the feeling without judgment. You need not ask yourself to “change” your body, because yoga teaches acceptance of your physical, mental and spiritual self just as you are.

Breath

To cope with an emotional release, focus on your breath. Notice the area in your body where you feel tightness, and imagine sending energy into that area with every breath. It also may help to repeat a mantra in your head as you breathe, such as “I am strong.” Turn to the mantra anytime during hip openers or at any point in practice when you need extra support.

Self-Assessment

Don’t be disappointed if you don't experience an emotional release. Rather, notice any areas of your body where you feel ongoing pain. Each time you come to your mat for practice, breathe healing energy into these areas. Even if you don't wind up in tears during your practice, your focused attention on areas in need of attention will guide you toward self-healing.