Put the planes into prac­tice

Want to get com­fort­able with these anatom­i­cal planes and ex­pand your move­ment range (or teach­ing skills)? Start here:

Yoga Journal - - Home Practice -

STEP 1 Make lists of your 10 fa­vorite, and 10 least fa­vorite, poses. Con­sider which poses you tend to prac­tice at home and which ones you avoid.

STEP 2 De­ter­mine the pri­mary plane for each of the poses on your lists.

STEP 3 Name the planes in which you seem to be most and least com­fort­able.

STEP 4 Cre­ate a list of poses from your least fa­vorite plane, and plan to prac­tice these poses sev­eral times a week. Are these poses chal­leng­ing for you? Are they easy? How do you feel when you prac­tice more from the plane in which you’re least com­fort­able? Get cu­ri­ous.

STEP 5 Af­ter a cou­ple weeks of prac­tic­ing your least fa­vorite poses, go deeper with your line of ques­tion­ing: What has prac­tic­ing move­ments you’d been avoid­ing re­vealed? (Yes, I am talk­ing poses—and any­thing else you tend to avoid in life.) If you’re a teacher, take these same steps when it comes to as­sess­ing your go-to se­quences: Look at the poses you teach of­ten, as well as the themes that you choose for your classes. Which plane is over­rep­re­sented? Which one(s), if any, are un­der­rep­re­sented? Do you tend to teach the plane that is your per­sonal fa­vorite and avoid the one that’s your least fa­vorite? Fi­nally, whether you’re teach­ing or sim­ply mov­ing through your own home prac­tices, com­mit to cre­at­ing se­quences that in­clude poses that high­light your least uti­lized plane. How do you feel when you prac­tice (or teach) them? How does your body feel af­ter a few weeks of mov­ing in your less uti­lized plane? Do you feel more em­bod­ied? Are your move­ments more bal­anced in all three planes? See if these sim­ple in­quiries help you feel more awake and whole.

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