I come to a seated position. My legs are crossed at the shins, folding my limbs neatly in front of me. I feel the bones of my seat ground down as the floor pushes back up from underneath. I have moved my mat to the hall today, where the wooden floor is newly repainted. The hard wood floor makes me feel strong, powerful, grounded.

I bring my hands together at my heart center. I breathe. In. Out. Again, I breathe. Deeper this time. In. Out.

I extend my arms out in front of me and roll forward until I am ultimately on my hands and knees in table posture. I let my belly sink down and lift my chest forward to cow. I feel my heart begin to open. I tuck my lower belly up towards the bones of my pelvis and arch my upper back creating the reverse concave pose called “cat”. I repeat the movements. I breathe. Inhale cow, exhale cat, and again. I repeat the movement and link it with the breath one more time for good measure.

I pause at neutral between poses.

I breathe.

Without a thought, my hips lift into the air forming an upside down “v” which is the first of many downward facing dog poses my body will practice today.

I sink in.

I let my back become long. I bend my knees, creating more length in my back before straightening them and extending my heels to the mat. I rock back and forth and stretch out.  I have been doing this for a long time, I know what is the best thing for my body today – or any given day. So I slow down. I take my time. I breathe upside down in down dog. In. Out. In. Out.

I rock forward and pause for a moment in plank. I feel strong, strong and safe.

I breathe.

As I exhale I lower myself towards the floor as slowly as I can by bending my elbows into chaturanga dandasana. I rock forward as I inhale into upward facing dog. I roll my shoulders back, opening my heart again. Further this time.

I exhale and tighten in my belly. I ground down into the mat with my arms and lift my hips into the air again rolling over the tops of my toes to form the second down dog of today. And I breathe. And again.

I push all of the air out of my lungs and look towards the space between my hands. I transfer the weight into my arms and hop my feet lightly to my hands. I inhale. I lift my head to look forward, flattening my back and lengthening while keeping my fingertips on the mat.

I exhale. I fold forward into myself and my nose comes towards my knees.

As I inhale I float my arms out to the side and rise up to standing with a flat back. I exhale, bringing my arms down and pausing for a moment with my hands at my heart center in anjali mudra before letting them descend slowly to my sides.

I stand. I breathe. My practice has begun.


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