Our first 2017 grant of $250 supported Farm Sanctuary’s 10-person team’s rescue of a half-dozen starving, terrified pigs from a small island in the San Joaquin Delta in California’s Central Valley. Several years ago a group of pigs were dropped on the island by people thinking they would be able to control the water hyacinth that was clogging the channel. And although the pigs likely cleared a few plants they are not aquatic mammals and were left there to fend for themselves. The original pigs have long since died. Those remaining are their offspring — sick, scared, and struggling. They are now safe at Farm Sanctuary.
Since yoga is a big (and favorite piece) of our TranquilTeens program, I wanted to share ideas on how to make this a part of your daily routine. Do you ever find that when you wake up on a chilly morning, you’d rather pull your lavender eyepillow back over your eyes, than leap out of bed into the unknown? When in need of an energy boost, look no further than this centuries’ old series that is sure to bring pep to your step.
1. Ground yourself in mountain pose at the top of the mat and feel the feet planted firmly into the earth. Press into all four corners of the feet, reach the crown of the head toward the heavens, and exhale your hands to prayer position in front of your heart.
2. Inhale, extend the arms up over the head.
3. Exhale, swan dive reaching the arms out to the sides as you fold forward.
4. Inhale, step back with your right leg to a lunge. Lift to your finger tips to create more lift in the sternum and wiggle your right foot so that the heel is directly over the ball of the foot, gently rock forward and back.
5. Exhale, step back with your left leg to down dog and press the floor away from you.
6. Inhale, forward to plank pose, line your shoulders over the wrists, and your heels above the balls of the feet.
7. Exhale, slide the shoulder blades down your back, slowly bend the arms, hug the elbows in toward your body, and keep the shoulder heads and hips in a straight line for four-limbed staff pose.
8. Inhale, drop your belly, slide up to cobra, and relax your shoulders from your ears.
9. Exhale, curl your toes under, lift your hips up and back to down dog.
10. Inhale, step forward with your right foot, sink deeper into your lunge with your exhalation, gently rock forward and back.
11. Exhale, step your left foot in between both hands to a forward fold.
12. Inhale, extend your arms out to the sides and up as you bring the palms of your hands together above your head. Exhale your hands to prayer as you stand in mountain pose.
Modern-day scenarios where you can use this sequence: low energy, day starter, need a boost, lack of time for a full practice.
image: Namaskar Moroccan Sun (cc) Salva