This Silent Sunday sits between the Fall Equinox and a Full Moon. The close proximity of these energies of transition and culmination, respectively, tend to stimulate and heighten the senses when their greatest need is to remain stable and balanced. Further, the magnetic field that surrounds us at all times becomes supercharged, thus impacting the sanctity of our aura. Thus, today’s practice uses large, basic yet precisely performed movements to clear and ground our inner and outer environments.
Special Note: Although I created this routine for a particular moment on Nature’s calendar, it would work well as a nerve-soothing, energy-balancing practice whenever you feel harried or overwhelmed by any set of circumstances.
The key to this routine is your breath. While the movements are simple, their purpose is highly focused; their potency relies on their integration with deep, full breathing. So while you will be creating familiar positions with your body, their specificity transforms them into full-body mudras: Their connection to the rhythm of your breath allows the energy of intention to reach completion; consequently, you rejuvenate your mental and physical bodies, as well as your auric energy.
As you practice these moves, focus less on the muscularity of the movement, and more on the ease and lightness that you can bring to the flow. Hear your deep breaths as you move, and attune your senses to the feeling of energy circulating within and without. It also may help to draw your attention to the natural movement of each joint: Be mindful of the hinging, gliding, and rotating of the boney junctions, as these are natural pockets in which energy can become blocked. Consciously move the breath through these areas as you move. I find, too, that when I sense the air as I mindfully move through it, the practice takes on an exquisite quality of universal connectedness.
This entire sequence is done standing. In order to root yourself properly, begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). You may stand with your feet together, or slightly apart, in a comfortable, natural stance. Feel the lift of your chest, along with the easy descent of your shoulder blades. Draw the tops of the ears slightly backward, and then lower your chin a bit. Next, rock gently back and forth from the toes to the heels, and back again: Find the spot where you sense the energy of the arch lift, and inhale it up through the inner lines of the legs, exhale down the outer. Finally, inhale as you “see” the breath traveling up the front cross-section of your body, over the crown of the head, and down the entire back body as you exhale. Now you are ready to practice the movements.
Open your legs wide (about 4 feet apart) in preparation for Moving Warrior Two (Virabadrasana 2). For the first side, turn your right toes about 90 degrees, so that the they point directly to the right: Open the hip and knee so that the leg remains in alignment, and then bend the right knee to as close to 90 degrees as you can get without disturbing the knee alignment. Next, turn your left toes in (to the right) about 30-45 degrees, also being careful that the knee and foot remain in line with each other. Keep the body facing neutral center (your starting position), while the legs open into the Warrior.
Bring your hands to the level of the heart, palms facing each other a few inches apart. Inhale as you straighten the right leg; exhale as you bend the leg again, moving into Warrior 2, while simultaneously lengthening the arms out at shoulder level ,over their respective legs, palms down. Inhale again as you straighten the right leg and bring the hands toward the heart; exhale as you move and lengthen into Warrior 2. Find a steady, fluid rhythm that is motivated by your deep, full breaths: Continue for 1-3 minutes, and then repeat to the left side for the same amount of time.
After you have completed Moving Warrior Two on both the left and right sides, bring your feet a bit closer together—about 2-3 feet apart. Squat into Horse Stance, toes slightly turned out, bending the knees to about a 45 degree angle, with the tailbone pointing straight down, so that the low back lengthens and relaxes.
Begin with the hands in front of the navel, palms up, fingertips almost touching. Inhale as you bend the knees into a squat of about 45 degrees, while the hands float up to the level of the heart. Flip the palms to face downward as you exhale, simultaneously straightening the legs and pushing the hands down to the level of the navel again. Continue in a steady flow: Inhale to squat and move the hands upward; exhale to straighten the legs as the hands move down. Be sure to stay rooted with the bulk of your weight in your heels. Continue for 1-3 minutes.
Now, bring your legs to their natural stance, about hip-width apart. Inhale as you sweep the arms up through the side space, coming onto the the balls of the feet. Exhale as you quickly drop the heels and arms down, creating a sudden, firm thump. This action circulates and grounds the energy that you have generated in and around you. Allow your inhale to be long and full as you rise up on the feet and raise the arms overhead; your exhale will be powerful and quick, in order to emphasize the drop of the heels and arms. Do a total of 3 Pranic Drops.
To end, return to Tadasana, with your hands resting on the Dan Tien (right palm rests just below the navel point, with the left hand resting on the right). If you can close your eyes and gaze at the Third Eye, do so; if balance issues prevent this, gaze at the tip of your nose through a tiny aperture of your eyes, i.e., about 9/10 closed. Breathe deeply in this “active svasana,” as you sense the flow of balanced energy within you, and the peaceful quality of the air around you.