resizedimage343334-8point_4DAY 4 PRACTICES
20 Min: Meditation – formal seated practice
30 Min: Cardio – riding my stationary bike
60 Min: Asana
30 Min: Study and contemplation of Yoga Sutras

Contemplation: Stithau - a stable form of tranquility

Abhyasa is choosing or cultivating that which leads to sthitau – tranquility, calmness, peace of mind as well as stability, steadiness, or the feeling of being on firm ground. Thus, sthitau is a stable form of tranquility. It is the pursuit of an equanimity that is with you at all times.

The stability of sthitau is not just a matter of regaining peace of mind when it has been lost, but a stable tranquility which is with you all, or most of the time. Sadhana is a practice that asks you to take the extra steps that support this stable tranquility.

Today I practiced again with the sound of the yoga sutras being chanted by Yogacharya Shiriram Sarvotham. You can find his 20-minute chant on YouTube.

Opening Sequence (20 Minutes)
5 Min: Supta Virasana (reclining hero pose) – or you can do Virasana, sitting between heels
1 Min/Side: Pigeon Hip Stretch
1 Min: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog) – I need the hip stretches after riding the bike!
1 Min/Side: Hanumanasana (splits) – any hamstring stretch is good
1 Min: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog)
1 Min: Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Hand Stand) – Today I worked on staying up for a minute.
1 Min: Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance) – I’m working on staying up and balanced for 1 Min.
5 Min: Sirsasana 1 (Headstand 1) – holding steady

Core Strengthening Sequence (10 Minutes)
Adho Mukha Svanasana
10 X: Plank to Chatturanga Dandasana (push ups!)
Adho Mukha Svanasana – jump through to Uttanasana
10 X: Straight sit-ups – knees bent, head and neck supported, go slow!
10 X: Alternating sit-ups – to each side, go slow!
10 X: Urdhva Prasarita Padasana – lie on back, arms on floor above head, legs point up – raise and lower legs 10 times.
10 breaths: Dandasana
10 breaths: Ardha Navasana – (half boat pose) – knees bent
10 breaths: Navasana (boat pose) straight legs, holding backs of knees
10 breaths: Navasana with arms level with ground
10 breaths: Navasana with hands behind head – this was hard today!

Standing/Floor Sequence (16 Minutes)
1 Min: Tadasana – a pose to foster steadiness!
1 Min/side: Utthita Trikonasana (triangle)
1 Min/side: Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle)
1 Min: Uttanasana (standing forward fold)
1 Min/side: Supta Padangusthasana (Supine hand to big toe) leg straight up, draw towards body, other leg on floor – use strap if needed
1 Min: Supta Paschimottanasana (Supine forward fold) – both legs together, straight and drawn toward body, pelvis stays down – use strap if needed
1 Min: Supta Konasana (Supine wide angle pose) – legs apart like a supine Upavistha Konasana – hold toes or feet
1 Min/side: Supta Padangusthasana (Supine hand to big toe) leg out to side, other leg on floor – use strap if needed
1 Min/side: Janu Sirsasana (Head to knee seated forward fold)
1 Min/side: Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana (one leg in Virasana, seated forward fold)
1 Min/side: Matsyendrasana 1 (Seated twist – one leg straight, other bent)
2 Min: Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold)

Closing Sequence (15 Minutes)
1 Min: Halasana (Plough)
7 Min: Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) with leg variations – played with lotus today!
2 Min: Halasana
5 Min: Savasana!