Yoga for Athletes

Create Fluidity

This body-mind centering exercise, called navel radiation, can help enliven your standing poses by bringing awareness to the connection between your central core and your six limbs: hands, feet, crown of the head, and tailbone.

Begin by lying on your back on the floor. Place one hand over your navel and breathe into the area between the navel and spine. Feel the breath move into and out of that space, like a balloon filling and emptying. Once attention and a sense of mobility is there, begin to physically awaken the ends of your limbs. Rub your fingertips together, tap your toes, ruffle the hair on your head, gently massage the tip of your tailbone into the floor. One at a time, stretch each limb out from the center, then draw it back in. Repeat this action several times with each limb; then move on to the next. Find fluid strength in the movements as your awareness of the connections from your extremities to your navel grows. Next, experiment with different combinations of limbs moving into and out of the navel. Finally, rest in Savasana (Corpse Pose) and observe how your body feels.

Now try some standing poses. Can you bring the same kind of awareness to the limbs and their connection to the navel? Can you sense the lines of force moving through the body tissue, radiating into and out of the navel?