In the first two installments of this three-part series, I addressed how “what one pays attention to is what one’s life becomes.” For me, this idea provokes thoughts of Nature versus Nurture, and of Fate versus Free Will. If, however, one replaces “versus” with “and,” the idea of attention as the catalyst for substantiating one’s life yields to a broader, more varied selection: The innate ability to harmonize with universal energies, and the capacity to evolve despite great odds exist in each of us. When we begin to tap into the wealth of navigational tools within our subtler bodies, the way through one’s particular life becomes clearer.

The previous two practices honed in on chakras One, Three, Five, and Six. Today’s techniques awaken the Second and Fourth chakras: Number Two is the home of creative energy, that from which generative forces and fresh ideas spring; the Heart Chakra houses compassion and courage. Without self-awareness and fearless faith, creativity may go awry or wither for lack of confidence and positivity.

Begin in a crossed-leg seated position. Place your thumbs on the back arc of the pelvic rim, with the remaining fingertips resting on the front half of the bone. With eyes closed, gazing at the Third Eye, inhale: Use slight pressure from the thumbs to help rock the pelvis forward as you breathe in. As you exhale, use the fingertips to encourage the pelvic tilt backward. Continue inhaling and exhale, isolating the pelvic rock forward and back, for 2 minutes. 

Then, place your hands on your knees, far enough out, so that your arms are nearly straight. Begin Sufi Grinds, circling the entire torso to the right (clockwise): Inhale through the front half of the circle; exhale as you circle around the back. Move as slowly as you need to at first, then increase the pace: Your breath will shorten naturally; however, keep it powerful and steady. As you pick up the pace, your “grinding” undulations will become smaller: At that point, focus on allowing the spine to soften and move more fluidly with the movement. Continue for 1 minute, then rotate in the opposite direction (counterclockwise) for one more minute.

Next, stretch your legs in front of you, and open them into a comfortable straddle position. Bring the arms up to shoulder level, opened wide and fully extended. Inhale, and as you exhale, bring the palms together at the level of the heart as you round the spine back. The arms remain long, so that the palms together a couple of feet in front of the heart. Inhale to open the arms wide and flex the spine forward, opening the heart. Exhale to round back and close the arms, palms touching, inhale the spine forward as the arms come back; continue the rhythm for 2 minutes.

The final posture may feel tricky or awkward a first; however, once you find a basic rhythm, the movement is energizing and playful. Come onto the belly for Bow Pose: bend the knees, hold the feet or ankles with the hands, and lift your head and upper body off of the ground. Inhale: Press the feet or ankles into the hands to help yourself lift the chest higher, and to generate a slight rocking back of the whole posture. Exhale as you rock forward, bringing the face closer to the ground and the knees higher off of the ground. Encourage the momentum with the power of your breath, and through exerting pressure of feet-against-hands. Inhale to rock back, exhale to rock forward: Continue for 2 minutes, with the assumption that some of that time will be needed to establish momentum.

After you release Bow Pose, rest quietly on your belly for a few deep breaths. Then, press into Baby Pose to ease any tension in the lower back. After a few breaths, rise to sit in Rock Pose (buttocks on the heels). Place your left hand on the Dan Tien, which corresponds with the Second Chakra. The thumb tip rests in (or on) the navel, with the palm gently covering the area below. Place the right hand at the Heart center, so that the center point of the palm connects with the energy of the Fourth Chakra. Envision the warmth and glow of the Second Chakra’s creative spark infusing the radiant light of the Heart’s courage and compassion. Breathe with the connective mudra, eyes closed and gazing upward to the Third Eye, for 5 minutes.

Happy Sunday…

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