sense of direction location|yogi surprise

Yoga Sequence to Improve Your Sense of Direction

Do you know how to get where you're determined to go?

If you answered, 'sometimes', welcome to the club! Often we are more focused on the arrival to our destination. We can see the finish line so clearly, it's like we're already there. Except we're not. Nope. We need a compass, GPS, an old-fashioned map, something. Yet, those things can be very elusive if we don't have a strong sense of direction. I can visualize a breath-taking island where the locals are lovely and the music, food, yoga, and all-around revelry are abundant. But I haven't the first clue about how to actually locate it. Can you relate?

I envy those who have a strong internal sense of direction

Maybe you're one of the lucky few who always seems to understand the directional pulls and instinctively comprehends not just where to go but also the best pathway and most direct route. But if you're more like the majority of us, you often veer down roads that lead to dead ends, forcing you to double back and try another way. Hey, we're all in this together. And sure, we can see that taking wrong turns or roads that lead nowhere is all apart of the journey. But it sure is nice to feel that sense of direction and inherently know it's leading us directly where we want to land.

Try this yoga sequence to develop your sense of direction and plant yourself firmly on your path to greatness

We all have a dharma and once we've determined what that is, we're in a really big, damn hurry to get going. This yoga sequence will not only help you develop your inner compass, but chances are it will shake loose the information that, up until now, has felt elusive and evasive. Give it a go and let us know any awakenings you have. We'd love to see you execute it on IG. If you decide to go that route, please tag us so we can tag you back. As I said, we're all in this together, yo.

  • Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Get oriented to your crown being north, your feet being south, your left side being west, and your right is east. Visualize a bright compass sitting directly in the center of your chest. Feel its presence guiding you.

  • Reach your arms wide (east and west). Bend your knees and lower your hips (south) into Chair Pose. Wrap your left arm over your right arm, hugging yourself tightly. Position your palms together, then wrap your right leg over your left culminating into Eagle Pose. Pull everything towards the center of your body, stimulating your inner compass. We can always come back here if we get lost.
  • Unwrap everything and find the four corners of your space. Arms are out in a V-shape and step your legs into a V as well landing in Star Pose. Take up space while feeling grounded. Breath deeply, filling yourself with a sense of clarity and strength. Hop back to center, Mountain Pose.
  • Fold forward into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend). Invert so that everything is moving south. Take advantage of this perspective shift by noticing the change in your breath and reorienting your focus.
  • Step back into Plank Pose. Look forward (north). Feel your heels reach back (south). Come onto your shins into tabletop. Move your hips toward the ceiling or sky and your heart forward into Cow Pose. Dome your upper back and point your hips down pulling your ribcage into your spine, Cat Pose. Take a few rounds to massage your spine and enjoy the directional pulls motivated by your breath.
  • Come back to tabletop and extend your left leg straight back landing on the ball of your foot. Now step your left over to the right side of the room (east). Feel the radiation in your hips and you move along a diagonal plane. Your leg is straight. Now bend it and move your left kneecap behind your right knee crease. Move your shins as far apart as you can and walk your hands further to the left, maintaining a diagonal line (northwest). Sit back if your hips allow for it, possibly all the way to the ground. Breath here for as many moments as you like. return to tabletop and repeat on the other side. Each time you shift directions, enjoy the reorientation process always knowing you control the direction.
  • Once you've completed both sides and returned to tabletop, sit back in Child's Pose (Balasana) and rest, coming back to your center.

Even when we change our direction, we can always find our way back. This eliminates the fear of going the wrong way. We can undo and reverse our direction whenever we feel the need. But even when we do this, we are still moving forward with new knowledge and a better understanding of where we want to be. Being still isn't being stagnant. Enjoy everywhere your mind and body go today. It all serves a purpose.


7 Grounding Yoga Poses to Calm and Center Your Spirit

7 Grounding Poses to Calm and Center Your Spirit

When life gets busy, thoughts and emotions can run wild and make you feel like you're out of control. To get back to a balanced state, you can use simple grounding practice for some much needed relief.

Grounding involves rooting yourself to the Earth both physically and mentally to help you find your center. Taking the time to ground yourself in your yoga practice, in your meditation practice, or even just in everyday life can help restore balance back to your body and mind when stress, anxiety, frustration, anger, restlessness, and other negative experiences get in the way of living your life.

Look toward the following yoga poses to help ground you and find a quiet, calm space within.

 

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Image via WeTravel on Flickr

This is a standing pose where you’ll often hear your teacher instruct you to ground yourself down through the four corners of your feet. You’ll instantly feel supported and connected to the Earth without having to bring your awareness to any complicated balances, twists, or holds.

 

2. Warrior I (Virabhradrasana I)

Image via Daku Resort SavuSavu Fiji

Warrior I is harder than it looks as you pivot your back foot and press firmly down into the ground while keeping your pelvis turned toward the front of your mat. With proper alignment, however, this pose becomes a great source of strength, courage, confidence, and stability.

 

3. Warrior II (Virabhradrasana II)

Image via Tom Britt

When the thoughts flowing through your mind seem especially turbulent, the stable nature of Warrior II pose can help bring you back to a more balanced mental/emotional state. Remember that heel to arch alignment, press the blade of your back foot into your fat, and engage both quadriceps.

 

4. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Image via pbkwee

Triangle pose is a similar grounding pose to Warrior II and is often performed right after Warrior II in many sequences by straightening the front leg, adjusting the back leg as needed, and reaching through the hand pointed toward the top of the mat to fold and rest it on the front ankle or shin (or a block of course). Consider practicing triangle pose after and Warrior II to enhance the grounding effects.

 

5. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Image via WeTravel on Flickr

Trees ground themselves to the Earth, which is why tree pose is truly one of the best grounding poses. It helps promote balance and centering, helping you to develop greater physical and mental steadiness. Regularly practicing this pose may also help you improve your ability to focus and concentrate in your everyday life.

 

6. Easy Pose (Sukhasana) with Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama)

Image via Teofie

Don’t forget the power of breathing! Sitting in easy pose while practicing alternate nostril breathing helps the balance out sympathetic nervous system (which governs your fight or flight mode) with the parasympathetic system (which governs your rest and relax mode).

 

7. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Image via Shawn Perez

And last but not least, never skip savasana when you’re intention is to feel more grounded and centered through your practice. Savasana is all about surrender, and though it is physically the most uncomplicated pose of them all, it’s said to be the hardest for the simple fact that it involves learning to let go entirely in the moment.