Dhyana: Absorption into Meditation
Dhyana is the full state of meditation where the meditator and the object of meditation become one. Like a drop of water merging with the ocean, the consciousness of the individual begins to dissolve into universal consciousness. This week's practice prepares the body for meditation with gentle hip opening and back strengthening.
Touch tips of thumbs and index fingers together. Bring right and left hands together and place right middle, ring and pinkie fingers on top of left middle, ring and pinkie fingers.
Benefits: Encourages meditative state
Practice Tips: Use when meditating
Thread the Needle @ Wall
Lie at a wall so that the feet are on the wall with the knees bent (wall not shown). Cross your left foot over the right knee and flex the ankle. Rotate your left thigh out on the inhale and in on the exhale. Then draw the legs towards the chest and clasp the hands behind the right thigh. Hold 10 breaths then release and change sides.
Lie on back with knees bent and feet hips with apart. Inhale and lift hips away from floor, rolling onto upper back. Press arms back into floor and lengthen tail bone towards backs of knees. Exhale and rleease, repeat up to 10 times.
Begin on all fours.
Inhale and extend right leg back and press foot into the wall (wall not shown) Raise left arm forward keeping limbs parallel to floor. Engage belly and look at the floor. Exhale and release to all fours. You may also hold the extended posture while engaging the belly for several rounds of breath.
Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend)
Begins standing in Tadasana. Bend forward from hips and place fingertips on either floor, blocks or tops of knees with arms straight. Open heart forward and draw thighs and sit bones back. Hold for 10 breaths, then return to standing by drawing hands onto hips and lifting entire torso up as a single unit.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
Stand with feet wide apart. Bend forward from hips placing hands between feet. Release spine forward with crown of head facing floor. Reach arms out to extend the spine. Hold up to 1 minute, then return to standing by drawing hands onto hips and lifting entire torso up as a single unit.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Begin on all fours with hands slightly forward of shoulders. Turn toes under and lift knees off floor. Keep shoulders wide and palms flat, press thighs and sit bones back, scooping belly in.
Hold 1-3 minutes, release into Child's Pose.
Balasana (Child's Pose)
Kneel on shins with big toes together, knees apart. Lower hips towards heels and belly on thighs. Rest forehead on floor. Place hands beside heels, with backs of hands on floor.
Sit cross-legged on bolster at the wall. use a block on the middle height between the wall and your sacrum to provide support for your seated meditation.
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I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.