I created a new yoga sequence that I’ve been doing most every day for about 6 months. I made it up based on what was in my refrigerator. That is how Roshi Bernie Glassman describes the practice of appreciating that we already have everything we need to live a full life. Right now my refrigerator does not have any standing poses, big backbends, pigeons or any cartilidge in my right hip. It does have arthiritis in my right hip which hurts a lot. Bernie says a good cook can make a great meal out of anything, even just rice and beans. So this is my current practice. It is simple, delicious and nourishing.
I go slow and gentle. My mind does not stray. The compelling nature of pain is such that I want to find a way to move while avoiding pain. This motivation makes it clear to me that body and mind are not separate.
The Hidden Jewel Sequence
Place a blanket on a block. Sit on it in vajrasana.
Ten rounds of sama vritti.
Three rounds of kapalabhati – 60 pumps each with retention, mula and jalandhara bandha — Between each round I shift onto hands and knees and tap the tops of my feet on the floor a few times, then sit back down.
Seated warm-up V:
inhale arms up, exhale side bend R
inhale up, exhale side bend L
inhale arms up, exhale side bend R. left hand behind head
Inhale, Look up at left elbow
exhale, curl left elbow down towards right hip (repeat 2 X)
morph this into a twist to the right, Left hand on knee, R on sacrum
Circle R arm up and over into eagle arms
Look R, Look L, center
Back stroke arms and
Repeat on other side
Hands and Knees and into D Dog, 10 steps walking in place
Exhale, knees, chest, chin
Inhale, small cobra
Exhale, D Dog
repeat 2 more times, adding fingers interlaced behind back in cobra
Lounging back on elbows, do some slow, easy windshield wipers. Pay attention to every sensation in your hips and legs and feet and toes.
Lie down and bridge. Squeeze and release glutes 40-50 times
Place a block medium-way in between shins (not thighs). Arms in a T: easy supine twist lowering legs 2” above floor, side to side 40 x
Lie back over a bolster placed under your shoulder blades. Hold opposite elbows. Play with breath, letting it massage the abdominal organs.
Legs up the block with variations: soft legs, strong engaged legs, circle ankles, squeeze and stretch toes, wobbly wobbly legs letting the flesh blubber, soft knee bends dropping into minimal badhakonasana or vajrasana still upside down on the block.
Legs come down and I flip around and do at least 20 dolphin push-ups and then 20 tricep push-ups in tabletop.
Depending on that day’s hip story, I might do a minimal seated forward bend with my arms on the bolster. Maybe….maybe…I do a very supported supta baddhokonasana if it feels good on my adductors.
Roll to my left side and sit up in dandasana.
Then I dedicate the merit by saying The Brahma Vihara, just the way that Gelek Rimpoche taught me so many years ago.