Empowerment in Yoga
Updated: May 18, 2022
In early August I hosted an all-level yoga practice at Heartwood Yoga Institute and Retreat Center. This class focused on empowerment and incorporated several elements to reinforce that theme including postures, breath work, music, and mantra. Wonder Woman played heavily into the theme of the class!
Philosophy Focus: Empowerment
This practice was focused around finding your power and embracing your inner Wonder Woman. As we moved through our flow we adjusted our Tadasana, Mountain Pose to include a wider stance with our fingers curled into fists on our hips. There is ongoing research about the impact that the way we hold our physical body impacts our brain chemistry and taking this Wonder Woman Tadasana may tap into the areas of the brain that improve confidence. It was also a way to minimally shift the width of our stances to build more stability as we moved through the flow. Check out this TED talk by Amy Cuddy on the impacts our body language can have.
Physical Focus Peak Pose: Natarajasana
We worked towards Natarajasana, otherwise known as Lord of the Dance or Dancer's Pose. This pose has many parts including balance, back bending, opening of the chest, and stretching of the legs. We utilized a strap to enter this pose so we could focus more on building confidence in the balance instead of worrying about catching the foot with the hand or having to bend too deeply into the low back.
Breath Focus Pranayama: Ujjayi
Today we worked with a Ujjayi breath which is completed through the nose and includes a gentle constriction in a part of the throat called the glottis. It is not a function of the vocal cords and generally should not lead to any throat discomfort. This breathing may or may not make an audible noise and should feel as if you are fogging up a mirror (if it were just inside your teeth).
Listen to the Pandora Playlist for this class which features music from several of the Wonder Woman soundtracks as well as a mantra chant by Deva Premal. The chant was Om Tare Tuttare Ture Swaha which translates generally to Om and greetings to the goddess Tara. May you protect me from fear, danger, suffering, and illness. May you purify all the impurities of my body, speech, and mind. This mantra helps us each to gain empowerment by removing the barriers of suffering, illness, danger, and fear.