A few months ago a new student and her friend arrived for their first yoga class and cheerily said “no downward dog.”  She was effective in making several of us smile, yet we did practice downward dog,  Adho Mukha Savasana.  Amy Dunkle wrote to me a few years back, “yoga starts with the physical and builds mental layers.”  Building the physical practice of yoga is also rewarding.  Since I’ve practiced Adho Mukha Savasana enough, I recently found new delight in the feel of pressing my palms into the mat and relishing the extension in my spine.   Judith Lasater “Practicing Down Dog with equanimity requires the balance of two opposites:  pushing away with the arms and releasing the backs of the legs.  In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali names these two qualities abhyasa and vairagya, or “discipline” and “surrender” Based on whatever we do during the day for work and exercise, yoga offers the opportunity to move your body in new ways and practiced in a mindful,  non striving way, your body readily says thank you!

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