London is a different city when the sun shines and the evenings get lighter. I get a sense of everyone tentatively making their way out of hibernation, and moving towards the light, congregating outside to eat, drink, dance, and be merry.
Unlike the Christmas party season, which is charecterised with over indulgence, sluggishness and a certain unhealthiness, I get the sense that the festivities that summer brings are more light hearted. Lazy evenings, long barbeques, fresh salads, and trips away with treasured friends. It’s at this time of year that we begin to shed our layers and stop hunkering down against the cold, shrugging of winter and opening our hearts to the tantalising pull of early summer. I don’t think I speak only for myself when I say that summer makes me feel lighter and brighter and energised to spend outside in nature with the people I hold closest. Suddenly, the only option isn’t inside a warm pub, or walking round a gallery, finally we can just get together and be outside, spontaneously congregating wherever we feel.
In homage to the lighthearted joy that accompanies the beginning of summer, I have chosen nataranjasna/ Dancer’s Pose for this pose of the month. Metaphorically the pose, with it’s name alone, connects to one of the activities I most like to pursue with good friends. Dancing.
Physically, the pose is open and expressive, encouraging an open heart centre and stretching many areas of the body, as if waking it up from sleep. The standing leg stays strong and steady to balance the airy, giddy sense of the pose.
- Start in Tadasana/Mountain Pose
- Lift and spread the toes of your left foot, preparing your foundation properly. Hug the muscles of the left leg onto the bones of the leg.
- Externally rotate your right arm, bend the right knee, and catch hold of the top of the right foot with your hand.
- Inhale and draw the tailbone towards your standing heel, lift through the lower belly and up and out through the crown of the head.
- Exhale and begin to hinge forward from the hips, bringing your torso towards parallel with the floor and kicking the raised foot back and up into the hand.
- Try to parallel your hips to the floor, move the shoulders away from the ears, keep the back of the neck long, and lift through the lower belly to stabilise the lower spine. Spend 5-10 deep breaths enjoying and refining the posture.
- Release Slowly and repeat on the on the other side.
By Jasmine Pradhan from stretchandthecity.co.uk
Jasmine teaches Hatha yoga (sometimes dynamic, sometimes slower) with an open heart and an open mind. She believes that every individual already has the tools they need to achieve true happiness and wellbeing, and that sometimes they just need a little help discovering them. She truly believes that a dedicated yoga practice can be the key to that toolbox, and aims to facilitate that discovery for her students.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any new physical activity. Always practice under the supervision of a qualified teacher.