Throughout my years of yoga practice I have heard instructors say, “Suck in your stomach” to students.
It resonates back to childhood and parents telling children, “Stand up straight!”
I want to learn to be the best inhabitant of my body, right here, right now.
As I have moved through meditative yoga this week, it has become clearer and clearer that instructing myself to “hug deeply” as I go into an asana is so much more effective and can be said of nearly any asana.
Imagine garudasana – or Eagle Pose – in which arms and then legs are wrapped as snugly as possible into what may seem to a novice as impossible. Yet, when we imagine each movement within it as a squeeze, a slow, hugging squeeze, then the body receives both the benefit of so many joints receiving fresh blood and oxygen AND a sense of peaceful love, of kind affection, toward our body.
For many years I pushed my body into asanas and held them with aggression. While I let go the aggression around the same time that I began a home practice, it is this idea of a hug that has inspired me to tell you about it. This hugging yoga has deepened my practice and expanded my compassionate heart all at the same time.
So, I hunted down others who had written about Yoga Hugs and, sure enough, there is a common, cosmic mind! And the asanas that are considered Hugging are the same ones I have been accumulating in my home practice so that my day feels primed for energy, for success; for wholeness.