January – Seat of Compassion

seat-of-compassion-for-blogThe Seat of Compassion is a very important posture within Dru Yoga as it holds the key to one of our most important principles: the opening of the heart centre or Anahata chakra.

Dru Yoga is often recognised as one of the most powerful forms of yoga to open up the heart centre in a gentle and flowing way. When you consciously open the heart many beautiful qualities become available to you including compassion, generosity, kindness, loyalty and gratitude.

In this posture, the Seat of Compassion, you are opening the lower energy centres, gently stimualting your fire and motivation and then, through the movement of the arms, you  draw that energy flow upward to the heart centre and out through the hands. This allows your creative dynamism to be expressed out into the world through the heart qualities of generosity and kindness, rather than through emotions such as anger, irritability or low self esteem. Use this posture when you need to get into your heart space.

Physically this posture also stretches the front of the hip – the illopsoas muscles, as well as being a great stretch for the quadricep muscles on the front of the thigh (it’s great for runners and cyclists!)

How to do this posture:
1. From kneeling, engage your core muscles in the lower abdomen and then take your right foot forward, ensuring that the knee is directly above the right ankle in the full extension. If you have knee problems or are pregnant, please keep a shorter distance between the front foot and back knee, and you may wish to place a blanket or cushion under the knee that is on the floor.

2. Raise both arms up in front of you to shoulder height. Keeping your right arm extended away from you, breathe in and lift your left arm up to vertical above you – gazing at your hand. With the out breath, allow the left arm to continue to arch over head and extend out behind you. Continue to follow the hand with your eyes so that you are now looking behind you.

3. With the next in breath soften both your arms, and with the out breath push the palms of the hands away from you, stretching the palms slightly. You may find that you are able to sink deeper into the hip opening stretch with each out breath. Repeat at least 3 times with slow, deep breaths. Focus on opening the heart centre, and the connection between your hands and the heart.

4. With the next in breath raise the left arm up to vertical – following your hand with your eyes and with the out breath return the hand to shoulder height in front of you. Slowly lower your arms to the floor. When you are ready swop sides and repeat with the left foot forward.

Please do not over stretch in this extended runner position. To begin with, keep the back knee directly under the hip, creating a 90 degree angle between the hip joint and knee. Gradually increase the angle by taking the back knee further away from you as your muscles lengthen and you feel more comfortable in this position.

 

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7 thoughts on “January – Seat of Compassion

  1. Oh I just love this posture! I was given it for my final assessment last summer and had the most amazing experience when practising it….

    I waited in one day for a man to come and fix my boiler. He arrived several hours late in a terrible mood, was rude to me and snapped at me the moment I let him in. Instead of snapping back or getting upset I asked him how his day had been and it turned out he had been on the road all day, his boss had shouted at him and he still had a 2 hour drive home and was unlikely to see his 2 year old daughter before bedtime. I listened to him and then gave him a cup of tea and some biscuits. He ended up giving me a new part to my boiler for free and some free advice about another part of the heating system which was causing problems. At the end of his visit he had visibly relaxed and thanked me as he left with a smile.

    I couldn’t believe how much more open hearted and compassionate I had been and what a profound effect it had on someone I did not know but who really needed some understanding.

    Fabulous!!! The power of the seat of compassion!! Xxx

  2. Pingback: Seat of compassion | Yoga for Calm

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