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Catch the Wave

Feel energized and soothed as you let your body and mind flow like water.

By Kia Miller

surfer HP

Kia Miller, who teaches a unique blend of Kundalini and vinyasa yogas, grew up in the Falkland Islands, off the coast of Argentina, where the ocean is the backdrop for daily life. In practice, she enjoys fluid movements that recall the rhythmic rise and fall of the ever-present waves of her childhood, as she basks in the flow of the breath. "It's a lovely, harmonious feeling,"she says.

Miller, who lives in Los Angeles, often begins her Radiant Body Yoga classes with warm-ups from Kundalini Yoga that invite prana (life force) to move through her students' nadis (energetic channels) before she asks them to fully embody the flow of vinyasa.

To tap into your own fluid nature, synchronize your breath with your movement and allow your body to flow naturally, releasing all tension as your mind rests in a meditative state. If you feel resistance, in body or mind, think of moving like a river traveling downhill, finding a path around rocks and branches that offers the least resistance. As Miller says, "Look for that place where things move with ease."

When you're truly in the flow, you can respond like the ocean—to the tides, the wind, the natural rhythms of the earth—and move gracefully through all situations. This practice offers an opportunity to energize your body and mind while simultaneously soothing them, inviting you to find a path of ease.

To Begin: Sit quietly in Sukhasana (Easy Pose) and observe where you are at the beginning of your practice. Set an intention to soften rather than to push against your limits. Slowly lengthen your inhalations and exhalations until they feel sustainable and comfortable.

To Finish: Relax in Balasana (Child's Pose) and take note of how you feel in this moment. Stay here for 20 breaths, feeling your body, heart, and mind refreshed and renewed.

Standing Twist

Touch your heart center with your right hand. Open your left arm to the side and, inhaling, twist to the left. Then, let your right arm swing open to the right as your left hand comes to the heart. Exhale and twist to the right. Continue this rhythmic movement 12 to 20 times; then pause at center and breathe.

Modified Uttanasana

Inhale, let your arms float up. Exhale, fold forward with your knees bent, swinging your arms behind you as you fold. Inhale, float all the way up to standing,
taking a little backbend. Exhale, fold forward again. Repeat this fluid movement 10 times.

Adho Mukha Svanasana

From standing forward bend, exhale and step back to Down Dog. Take 10 long, deep breaths here, feeling the length of your legs and spine opening with the current of your breath.

Dynamic Plank Pose

Enjoy the pulsing rhythm as you inhale to Plank and lift your right leg; then exhale and curl your spine, bringing your knee toward your nose. Repeat 5 times, holding your last curl for 5 breaths.

High Lunge and Modified Parsvottanasana

Exhale, step your right foot forward. Inhale, let your torso and arms float up, staying for 5 breaths. Exhale, straighten your right leg, keep your left heel lifted, and fold forward with fluid movement. Stay for 5 breaths, following your internal rhythm. Then inhale, float back up to High Lunge for 1 breath; exhale, fold into Parsvottanasana for 1 breath. Move dynamically between the poses 5 times; then step back to Down Dog.

Modified Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Step your left foot forward and place your right hand to the inside of your left leg. Exhale, radiate from your heart center, and lift your left arm as you twist to the left. Take 5 breaths; then exhale, release your twist, and step back to Down Dog.

Balasana and Bhujangasana

Release into Child's Pose and meditate on something you are inviting into your life. Then, use your inhale to float forward, curling your spine up into Low Cobra. Exhale, and float back to Child's Pose. Move with your breath, repeating the poses 5 times, and then pulse in your internal rhythm for 5 breaths in Low Cobra. Release onto your belly and rest.

Dhanurasana

Bend your knees, hold your ankles or feet, and inhale as you swell your heart open lifting into Dhanurasana. Take 5 breaths and ride the rhythm.

Don't be left feeling one-sided! Repeat the sequence from the beginning, taking poses on your second side.


May 2011

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Jeni

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