The freezing weather has taken its toll on my body, which has been forced to harden against the relentless cold. Even when the coat, scarf, and gloves come off, my skeleton still feels frozen in a slouched position. I’m dying to open up and thaw out the deep chill inside my chest.
This urge to open up also stems from a desire to broaden my perspective. Although the New Year inspires a desire to change, it can feel challenging to see the potential for that change. The brain is always searching for what it already knows, seeking evidence to support our old, familiar paradigm. Moving beyond the past, or I should say seeing beyond the past, requires us to acknowledge unseen possibilities.
We are always standing at the precipice of possibility, however impossible that sometimes seems. Instead of exploring untraveled terrain, we choose the security of our habitual path, even if that path is rife with suffering. These paths are burrowed deep into our being. Every major bodily system follows the patterns of our own mind; our physical body is always adapting to our beliefs. And while we may be devoted to change, that change has to be supported by a mindful effort to let go of the beliefs that are keeping us frozen in the past.
Restorative yoga and mindfulness meditation are the perfect combination to facilitate a deep opening in the body and mind. Restorative yoga encourages the body to let go of patterned holding, while meditation channels our focus in a specific way. Try this gentle practice to inspire change from the inside-out.
Supta Baddha Konasana
You’ll need a bolster, two blocks, and a strap. Sit down in front of your bolster. Make a large loop in your strap and place it around your waist. Bring your legs into Baddha Konasana by placing the soles of your feet together, knees open apart. Wrap the front of the belt loop over the tops of your feet. Shimmy the back of the belt loop down your back towards the back of your pelvis. Slide a block under each knee and lie back on the bolster. You can place a folded blanket under your head to support your neck. Hold the pose for 5-10 minutes.
Close your eyes and visualize a vast space—an infinite horizon—in front of you. It can be a field, an ocean, or even the sky. Focusing on your breath, relax deeply into the beauty of this expansive space. Scan your body for any gripping or resistance. What does it feel like to stand in the face of unseen possibility? Let that feeling soak into your bones, and breathe.