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Hero's Journey

In yogic lore, heroes and heroines possess strength and equanimity. This classical seated pose can help you find your own inner hero.

By Jason Crandell

Support your chest by drawing your arm bones slightly up into your shoulder joints and then back. Again, you don't want to end up with your shoulders shrugged up by your ears, but moving your arms this way will create the space your chest needs to rise. Rest your palms on your thighs. Breathe smoothly and feel your breath fill your lungs all the way to the top.

Finish the pose by balancing your head directly above your pelvis. Lengthen the back of your neck so that the base of your skull rises gently and your chin drops just below parallel to the floor. Release any tension in your eyes, ears, and throat. Let your tongue feel heavy as your upper palate rises up toward the crown of your head. Stay in this meditative posture for as long as you feel relaxed and comfortable.

When you're ready to come out, rock forward on your knees and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Slowly stretch your legs back behind you and come into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) as a counterpose.

As you reenter your regular life, take note: Are your lungs full? Are you taking long, smooth strides? Do you feel strong yet light and buoyant? Is your mind quiet and your mood equanimous? If so, congratulations. With one simple pose, you've caught a glimpse of what it feels like to be a yogic hero.

Jason Crandell teaches hatha yoga in San Francisco and around the country. You can contact him at www.jasonyoga.com.

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