January 27: Grace

How desperately we need Grace.

If not for Grace, what then? I don’t know how I would survive in a world absent Grace. I don’t know any of us would survive in a world absent Grace.

We move right from the modeling of ourselves as Ark of the New Covenant, the carrier of the Spirit of God into Grace. This is a natural and easy progression and yet it does present it’s challenge.  Your core, after holding Ark is already going to feel shaken, moving the arms will change the feeling of the position and really engage that core not just to hold the legs in place but to balance against the tide of the arm position.  We move from Ark, arms coming forward on either side of the legs by moving the arms into Hope. Hope and Grace….so fitting on all levels.  Lift at the heart.  We cannot engage in Grace without an open heart. Keep mindful of your lower back and breathe into Grace.

“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”

John 1:16

Advertisements

January 21: Eagle’s Wings

One of my instructors swears by “Eagle’s Wings.”  She tells me that she feels as though she could actually take flight in this position.  This is so right on. The verse which informs Eagle’s Wings is:

“Yet those who wait for the Lord

will gain new strength;

They will mount up with wings like eagles.
They will run and not get tired.

They will walk and not become weary.”
Isaiah 40:31

What a tremendous promise to us! The key word I’ll give you in this position today is “wait.”  Those who “wait for the Lord.”  The gift of not becoming weary, running and not getting tired, gaining new strength. These are things that come with practice of balance positions.  The more you practice these positions the more strength, steadiness and endurance you will gain.  Take them slowly.  Breathe them deep.  You are doing EXCELLENT work this month!

From Standing Prayer and keeping that soft knee, keeping hands at the heart for centering of the torso, draw the extended leg behind the body.  Keep the leg reaching out, strong and firm. Take a slightly deeper bend in the standing leg, extend arms to Hope and HINGE the torso forward, keeping lower back FLAT, not extended.  Contract at the core and balance the body as you continue to move forward.  If you need some steadying then keep a chair near one of your extended hands.  Do not GRASP the chair, simply place your fingertips there to give a point of support.  The support comes NOT in leaning on the chair but in simply knowing it it there for a point of reference.

Exit the position by hinging back up.

January 20: Standing Prayer

From the Cross we move into Prayer.  Standing in prayer also tests our balance.  Remember as you do these balance movements to work both sides of the body. Once you finish on the left side begin the sequence of movements again on the right.

Move into Psalms, pay attention to the movement and see if you can begin to shift from the mechanical into the sacred.  Finish Psalms with Trinity.  From Trinity shift weight to the front leg, keeping the keep SOFT but firm. Move into Standing Dove, arms folding back, opening at the heart. Draw the leg forward and lift the knee, keeping the heart lifted and the core firm. Bring hands to the position of “Christ” (arms to the side, palms facing foward) and then once you have your balance bring the arms all the way up to Praise.

Recommit to the position by contracting the abdominals once again, lifting at the heart and drawing the same leg from the back out to the side of the body. Bring hands to the heart. To intensify this position you may move through Prayer Breathing.

“And when you stand praying, if
you hold anything against anyone,
forgive him, so that your Father in
heaven may forgive your sins.”
Mark 11:25

January 19: Standing Cross

We continue with balance work today as we move into Standing Cross.

The work of the Cross WAS the balancing point for us as believers.  The Cross is the great equalizer in our lives. We are afforded Grace because of this work. As we move into this position today spend some time focusing on the work Jesus did on the Cross.

Move into Psalms, pay attention to the movement and see if you can begin to shift from the mechanical into the sacred.  Finish Psalms with Trinity.  From Trinity shift weight to the front leg, keeping the keep SOFT but firm…not LOCKED or hyperextended. Move into Standing Dove, arms folding back, opening at the heart. Draw the leg forward and lift the knee, keeping the heart lifted and the core firm. Bring hands to the position of “Christ” (arms to the side, palms facing foward) and then once you have your balance bring the arms all the way up to Praise.  Contract the abdominals and keep that knee soft!

“If anyone would come after me,
he must deny himself and take
up his cross and follow me.”
Matthew 16:24

transitions…

Today rather than giving a new position I’m going to focus on moving from standing to sitting and sitting to standing positions.  For your focus today I’ll give you this verse:

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

From a standing position you will hinge at the hips, take a slight bend at the knees and bring your fingertips to the ground.  I usually ask you to stay here a moment, stretching the calf in Locust.  Take knees to the floor and you are KNEELING POSITION.  Let’s take a moment here as well. Hands to the heart in prayer position.

From KNEELING, hands and knees position and lower the body to the floor.  This brings us into the PRONE position…lying flat on the ground, a beautiful place to release tension and give it up to our Creator.  Breathe and come back to hands/knees.

Cross at the ankles while in hands/knees and roll back onto your backside. This brings you to the SITTING position, ready to move into WAITING or WISDOM perhaps…

To move back up to standing, cross legs in as in WAITING, roll forward onto knees and KNEELING.  Roll up again to LOCUST, fingertips to floor for balance and HINGE back up…do not “roll” up, keep a nice flat back here.

Move through this several times today…breathe this verse as you do so.

Lower Body/Core Sequence

Today we will focus on moving through the sequence we’ve done all this past 6 days.  If you’d like you may even begin with the sequence from last week!  You choose how you’d like to move, it builds nicely from week one or it can stand alone just for core and lower body.

The UPPER BODY SEQUENCE is as follows:

Remember to lift at the heart with each breath.  Breath SLOWLY to a count of 4 OR using the phrase:

Inhale: “I will praise You”

Exhale: “Creator, God”

The sequence will be as follows:

Prayer (inhale and exhale)

Prayer Breathing

Inhale 4 counts to Hope, exhale 4 counts.

Inhale arms to Sacred crossing at elbows right over left,  exhale folding arms up and palms facing

Inhale arms 4 counts back to Hope, exhale 4 counts

Inhale 4 counts to Comfort, arms right over left, exhale 4 counts

Inhale 4 counts to Hope, exhale 4 counts

Inhale 4 counts to Messenger, exhale 4 counts

Bring arms back to Prayer and begin the sequence again this time crossing arms left over right.

LOWER BODY SEQUENCE TO ADD:

Prayer Breathing (circle through three times)

Inhale, hinge at hip to Bowing Dove, exhale

Inhale and bend at knees, fingers to floor for Locust, exhale

Inhale to hands and knees position, exhale

Inhale to Valley, Exhale to Hill

pull back to Elijah, one good breath here

Inhale as you pull forward to Solomon’s Temple, exhale

Inhale back up to hands/knees, exhale

Inhale back to Omega, exhale

Inhale back to Elijah and rest here, breathing smoothly.

January 13: Omega

Omega always reminds me of how fragile we all are…how empty we can be.  Omega opens us up to the idea of the greatness of our Creator, the necessity of being open and vulnerable to our God.

We begin standing in prayer, move to prayer breathing, three times circling around.  It should begin to feel natural to you now, use this time to really focus on Him. Hinge at the hip into Bowing, bend at the knee to Locust, moving to hands and knees and regulate your breathing as you move into Hill and Valley.  Pull back from here to Elijah and breathe that, one good inhale, one good exhale.  Your next inhale brings you through to Prone position and with it to Solomon’s Temple. One good breath here then back up to hands and knees.  Pull back to sit on your heels, bring your hands back behind you and open up at the heart, draw your shoulder blades together in the back and bend at the elbows placing your weight on your palms.

You should feel a nice stretch in the “quadriceps” which is the muscle group at the front of the upper leg.  If you don’t feel this stretch then contract your glutes and tilt your pelvis forward a bit. This will engage that muscle group.  If you’re able, begin to raise your body up from the heels and press your pelvis higher.  Keep the elbows soft here!  Do not lock them!

You may bring your chin to your chest or simply lower your head behind you, just be careful when you exit the position to raise your head carefully. It is heavy!  Exit by lowering your body to the heels again, bend at the elbows, bring chin to chest and then come forward to Elijah.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

To him who is thirsty I will give to drink.” Revelation 21:6

%d bloggers like this: