Special note: You will need open, bare floor space for this routine, and bare feet are encouraged for grip. A blanket or towel is optional.
Today’s Silent Sunday offers a different, playful, and astonishingly thorough routine to eliminate tension throughout the body; the central moves also loosen mental constraints, due to their primal, wavy quality. In addition to its ability to liberate the body and mind, the sequence increases stamina and develops power in the hips and shoulders. After only a few repetitions of the movements, the entire pranic body is enlivened and ready for action. Alternatively, the rush of fresh energy frees the mind to focus, making this practice an ideal warm-up before sitting for meditation.
With or without a blanket or towel to lie on, begin on your belly with plenty of floor space in front of you. Come onto the forearms, as if moving into Sphinx Pose. As in a military drill, start to pull yourself forward, using the elbows and forearms to drag the body. As you “caterpillar” your way across the floor, let the legs and hips wave side to side: As you pull with the right forearm, the entire lower body swings to the left; as you drag with the left arm, the legs and hips wag to the right. Feel the release throughout the abdominal region, side body, and lower spine as you “drag and wag.”
When you have gone as far forward as floor space allows, push yourself up to all fours, and then into Downward Dog. Immediately walk or jump the feet to the hands, and lower into squat pose; sit down, extend the legs, and lie on your back. Bend the knees with the feet on the floor: Push down and away through the legs and feet to push your body back along the floor as the legs extend straight onto the floor again. To repeat, bring the feet in close to the buttocks with knees bent, and push yourself backward again. As you continue to push and slide backward along the floor, let the upper torso move side to side: Push back, and wave side to side through the upper body, probably 2-4 times per push.
When you have run out of space, bring the knees into the chest: Roll back and forth a few times to come up to sitting. Come onto all fours, and lower down into the original position on the forearms. Slither your way forward again, increasing your pace as the move becomes familiar and the body adapts to the pulling and swaying. Then, use the transitional vinyasa to switch to the back-pushing position, and return across the floor whence you came. Repeat the full sequence—forward and back, with interim vinyasas—5-10 times.
To end the routine, you will be on your back. Bring the knees into the body, and drop both knees to one side, keeping both shoulders on the ground if possible. Stay in the twist for a few deep breaths, and then take the knees to the other side. Again, breathe deeply into the spinal twist for 3-5 breaths.
If you used today’s routine to physically or mentally revitalize your overall energy, simply help yourself up from the floor to re-enter your day. Or, if you practiced the sequence to warm-up before meditation, remain on the floor for a few minutes of svasana before sitting.