Transforming Fear to Joy

Backbend Into An Open Heart — Part IV

A new day has dawned politically in the United States. May the hope and inspiration currently being felt by many in that country be also experienced socially, economically and ecologically for them and for all. The youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, echoed this optimism in her poem, The Hill We Climb, as she recited it during Joe Bidon’s inauguration. Here is a small peek at her much longer recitation.

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

. . . one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy

. . . For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

Optimism and bravery require an open heart. Express your hopefulness and loving kindness through the back-bending yoga sequence illustrated below. Before you begin, spend a few minutes in a seated posture focusing on your breathing and practising these yoga actions.

1. INHALE into the circumference of the Pelvic Diaphragm (PD)** charging the legs and broadening the back edge of the PD into the outer hips (Apana Vayu–downward wind).  ( **Think of the PD as a membrane ‘disk’ attached to the inner walls of the pelvic bowl at the sacral-tailbone join, the outer hips and the centre of the pubic bone.)
2. EXHALE into the lower abdominals releasing and relaxing the low abs toward the lumbar (Samana Vayu).

UTTANASANA (Forward Fold) 20 – 30 Breaths
– upper thoracic spine into wall
– clasp elbows or hands; crown descends to floor

HEADLESS SIRSASANA (Headless Headstand) 10 – 20 Bs
– press into forearms to keep head lifted off the floor

SUPTA VIRASANA (Supine Hero) 30 – 50 Bs
– bolster or block support behind spine and head
– support is high enough to remove strain from knees and/or lumbar

BACKBEND OVER CHAIR 2 REPS @ 10 – 20 Bs each
– begin with shins into wall and sacrum on padded chair back
– release torso & head toward chair seat & feet toward blocks

URDHVA DHANURASANA (Upward Bow) 5 – 10 Bs
– begin lying in front of chair, feet on front of chair seat
– On exhale, press up to top of head
– On next exhale, straighten arms into full pose

PAVANA MUKTASANA (Wind-relieving Pose) 10 – 20 Bs

SAVASANA (Corpse) 5 – 10 minutes
– calves rest on chair seat

May you be filled with merciful courage. Namaste.

Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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