ECLIPSE your fears

Yoga Journal - - Practice Well - TASHA EICHENSEHE­R

Mark your cal­en­dars now for Au­gust 21, the day the first to­tal so­lar eclipse will grace North Amer­ica in more than 25 years, and a pow­er­ful day for yoga. A few mo­ments of com­plete dark­ness dur­ing the day re­minds us of our place in the cos­mos—that we’re part of some­thing much big­ger than our­selves—one of the pri­mary lessons of mind­ful­ness prac­tices, ex­plains Kate Russo, a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, eclipse chaser, and phe­nomeno­log­i­cal re­searcher based in Belfast, Ire­land. “An eclipse strips away all your wor­ries, and you sud­denly have clar­ity about what you want to do with your life,” she says. “You feel con­nected to other peo­ple—re­gard­less of where they are from or their po­lit­i­cal views. It trans­forms you.”

To cel­e­brate the eclipse, Blakesley Burkhart, a trained yoga teacher and as­tron­omy post­doc­toral re­searcher at the Har­vard-Smith­so­nian Cen­ter for Astro­physics, rec­om­mends a sooth­ing and well-aligned Moon Sa­lu­ta­tion to co­in­cide with the sun, moon, and Earth be­ing in per­fect align­ment:

Be­gin in Tadasana (Moun­tain Pose), then in­hale and bring your palms to­gether over your head. Ex­hale and cres­cent to your right; in­hale back to cen­ter. Ex­hale and cres­cent to your left; in­hale back to cen­ter. Ex­hale to Utkata Konasana (God­dess Pose), tak­ing a wide stance and low­er­ing into a squat while keep­ing your knees in line with your an­kles. In­hale and straighten your legs as you tran­si­tion to Ex­tended Ut­thita Trikonasan­a (Ex­tended Tri­an­gle Pose). On your next ex­hale, move your hands to the floor or blocks on ei­ther side of your front leg for Parsvot­tanasana (In­tense Side Stretch). From here, bend into your front knee and find a High Lunge. In­hale, turn your back toes out, and shift your hips down and over your front an­kle, com­ing into Skan­dasana (Side Lunge). In­hale back to God­dess Pose and re­peat the same poses on the other side, but in re­verse or­der.

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