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Blossom and Grow

By moving the energy in your lower chakras, you can harness your creative power and move through the world with more compassion.

By Andrea Ferretti

Sharon Gannon and David Life, creators of the Jivamukti Yoga method, place compassion first and foremost in their teaching. "We see yoga as a path to enlightenment by being compassionate to all beings," says Gannon. It's no wonder then, that they relate the following poses with being kind and compassionate. "In this sequence we embrace our sexual and creative partnerships and let go of blame. We remember our intention to bring liberation to others."

The hip-opening and twisting poses activate the second and third chakras, respectively, helping to free energy in those areas, and move it up the spine so that, as Gannon says, "you can give back to others in creative ways." At the peak of the sequence you embody a luminous lotus flower emerging from muddy water. In yogic lore, the lotus is a metaphor for how past experiences can be used as fertile soil for blooming into a more awakened soul. "We can all be like Martin Luther King Jr. or Julia Butterfly Hill," says Gannon. "You can embody that awakened state of spiritual activation and really send compassion into the world."


Before You Begin

Chant

Jivamukti classes typically begin with a chant such as this one:
Lokah Samasta
Sukinoh Bhavantu

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute to happiness and freedom for all.

Prepare Your Body

Prepare for this sequence with flowing Sun Salutations and standing poses. Then do seated poses and twists such as Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose), Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend), and Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend).


Home Practice Sequence by Sharon Gannon

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Begin in Baddha Konasana. Bend the knees and press the soles of the feet together. Reach down and press your thumbs into the soles of your feet, opening them up like a book. Take your gaze up toward the sky and breathe deeply as you open your hips for 5 breaths.

Vikasitakamalasana (Blossoming Lotus Pose), preparation

Sit firmly on the ground and spread your legs wide. Bend your knees and brace the outsides of both feet against the floor. Hold on to the ankles or shins. Take your awareness to the lowest part of your spine, and with an inhalation extend up. Fix your gaze on a steady point on the horizon and stay for 5 to 10 breaths.

Parivrtta Vikasitakamalasana (Revolved Blossoming Lotus Pose), preparation

Exhale as you lean forward, placing your left shoulder in front of your left thigh. Thread your left arm under your left thigh and place it on the floor behind you. Inhale as you reach your right arm up and gaze toward your right thumb.

Parivrtta Vikasitakamalasana (Revolved Blossoming Lotus Pose)

Bend your left elbow and reach your left hand up near the small of your back. Reach your right arm behind your back. Grasp your right wrist with your left hand. Stay for 5 breaths, gazing over your right shoulder.

Parivrtta Vikasitakamalasana II (Revolved Blossoming Lotus Pose II)

From there, press your right palm down firmly into the floor as you turn the chest open to the right. Keep both sitting bones firmly on the ground as you twist in your upper spine. Stay for 8 breaths.

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Reader Comments

spider

Can't wait to try these at home tonight! Namaste.

Rebecca

I am going to incorportate the beginning asanas into my practice. It felt so right ... today. Thanks

djd

I couldn't quite get my hands to touch. Maybe work with a strap? I must not yet be a bloomin' lotus.

:-)

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