Bryant Park Yoga is back in New York City for its 12th season, featuring teachers curated by Yoga Journal. This week's featured instructor is John Salisbury, who taught at Bryant Park last night.
My late stepfather and yoga teacher, Dave Oliver, would always say, "let go of performance anxiety." My current teacher, Tim Miller, states that the Western mind seems to be attached to form over substance, substance being our essential nature. Patanjali says do your best and let it go. Non-attachment to the end result is necessary, but it's contrary to our goal-oriented Western mind, which seeks the payoff or reward for effort. In the next 3 poses, let's breathe, connect, and link body to mind to let go of expectations, the real killer of the moment. Photo credit: Kevin Sutton Photography.
Extended Hand Triangle Pose
Utthita Hasta Trikonasana
Prepare the feet, spreading them out 3 to 3 1/2 feet wide. The front right foot is pointed straight toward the front of the mat while externally rotating the femur bone in the hip joint. The back foot turns in slightly from parallel to the short edge of the back of the mat. Raise the left arm and inhale, lengthening the sides of the body and lifting the ribcage. The bottom hand presses down on the ankle or floor. Make sure both shoulders are drawing back in external rotation, more or less pointing the inner elbows forward. Take the upper hand and extend it out toward the short edge of the mat, pinky finger moving down and inner shoulder drawing back behind the ear. Squeeze the quadriceps and draw earth energy upward while breathing length into the torso and arms. Make sure to lean back a bit, pushing the pelvis forward while anchoring the tailbone to the back heel. Do a half vinyasa (Upward-Facing Dog/Downward-Facing Dog) and begin again on the left side.