There is a Japanese proverb that says, “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” This is the fortitude that we all wish to bring to our lives. It is a desire rooted in the realization of the happiness that a healthy life brings that will help us get back up when we falter. To this we offer you easy to follow tips to help keep you focused, on track and determined. JoyFitness at Glen Ivy Hot Springs wants to support you in keeping your focus and determination so that you can create the life you want – a life based in health, wellbeing and joy.
This article was contributed by Seraphina Ashe, Guest Experience Programming Director at Glen Ivy Hot Springs
Yoga Asanas (Poses) for Focus and Determination
1. Sukhasana—Easy Pose: We come to our practice amid a busy and sometimes chaotic life. Sukhasana serves as a fantastic transition from the constant on-goings of life to a slower more-steady beat. Seated on your mat, allow the knees to drop out as you draw your heels towards the groin. Press your sit-bones into the mat and sit up tall. Lengthen the spine and lift the sternum. Allow the eyes to close and the muscles of the face to relax. Begin your practice here, taking steady breaths in and out of the nose, sending air into the diaphragm. On a busy day, Sukhasana brings that which is important into focus, allows us to clear our minds and move into practice.
2. Virabhadrasana II—Warrior II: Shift into Warrior II from a high lunge, turning the back foot out, heel perpendicular with the front foot. Bend the front knee until the knee lines up with the ankle, if the knee bends past the foot open your gait wider. Sink into Warrior II opening up the hips and stretching the arms out wide. Engage the biceps and keep both arms level. Focus your gaze beyond the front fingertips and steady your breath. Warrior II is an asana of great strength and power; it requires determination of both the body and mind. As you sink into this pose keep the body engaged, constantly readjusting and realigning.
3. Dolphin Plank: Dolphin differs from traditional Plank Pose, in that it is done on the forearms, releasing pressure from the wrists. From Plank drop onto the forearms, one arm at a time. This act in itself requires deep focus, as you want to keep the core firmly engaged as not to collapse. Once the forearms are on the mat stack the shoulders directly over the elbows and press the palms together, allowing the heel of the hand to press into the mat. For greater support cross the thumbs or interlace the fingertips. Send your focus to your core, resisting the urge to allow the hips to drop. Keep the quads engaged and continue pressing out through the heels as you would in tradition Plank. Increasing your determination stay here for one-minute intervals.
4. Goddess—Low Squat: Goddess or Utkata Konasana is a pose that requires great strength and focus. Come onto the middle of your mat, turning to utilize its full length. Step open to the right and separate legs 3-4 feet depending on height. Turn the heels in and bend the knees to sink into a low squat. Continue squatting until the top of your thighs become parallel to the ground. Knees should line up over the ankles, if your knees naturally extend beyond the ankles open your step wider. Once in a low squat lift the arms parallel with the top of your shoulders, bend the elbows and stretch your fingertips toward the sky. Keep both the arms and legs engaged as you sink lower. Breathe into your core, filling the belly on the intake and engaging the abdominal wall as your exhale. Feel yourself exude with energy and vitality in Goddess.