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Lions Roar : July 2016
like to have weight on your hands? You will end up in a standing forward bend with your knees bent. Round up through your spine, stacking each vertebrae until you are standing. SLOWLY TAKE SIX STEPS FORWARD, PLACING YOUR ATTENTION ON THE SENSATION OF YOUR FEET. Notice what happens to your balance when you move this slowly. Whatever you notice is fine and interesting. Stand- ing upright, tuck your chin to your chest and slowly round back down to a standing forward bend. Notice at what moment you need to bend your knees. Can you relax your neck and let your head and shoulders dangle? BEND YOUR KNEES. Place one hand on the floor, then the other. Take your time stepping backward until you arrive in Downward Fac- ing Dog. How does this pose feel now? Gently lower your knees to the floor, returning to hands and knees. Repeat the sequence three times, noticing how it changes each time. ♦ it to the breath. In mindful move- ment, each time you notice you’ve been engrossed in thought, you can return your attention to the feeling of your feet on the floor, the sweat on your skin, the sound of your breath, or the muscular effort required for a longer yoga hold—any sensation that is alive for you right then. Clearing the mind via the vibrancy of the body’s sensations, and moving with a quality of presence instead of watching the clock, or your walking app, give you a sense of integration and embodiment. It’s a great way to get through the day, almost as if you were on retreat. Try this sequence to practice embod- ied mindfulness: BEGIN ON HANDS AND KNEES. Rock back and forth, and side to side, until your weight feels balanced. Start- ing with your tailbone, begin to ripple through your spine until you have curled into Cow pose. Reverse this action, dropping your tailbone under and rounding up into a Cat arch. Repeat this six times. When your mind strays, bring it back by noticing where your back feels supple, tense, spacious, or unconscious. FROM COW POSE, COME INTO DOWNWARD FACING DOG. Stay there for a few breaths, observing the feeling of your body in this shape, whether it is new or the zillionth time you’ve done it. Slowly walk your hands back to your feet. With each hand step, tune in to the feeling of your palms. What does the floor feel like? What is it LION’S ROAR | JULY 2016 32 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE