The Desert Yogi

Nature is a powerful force and sometimes she can teach us through hard lessons. Think of the desert, an arid landscape where not a lot of vegetation can grow. It’s a difficult place to survive and can be full of challenges. But growth is not meant to be comfortable; growth comes when we are faced with challenges. In these instances, we must connect to our inner power source to overcome obstacles.

Heat and fire are powerful transformers. Fire is the element of the Manipura Chakra (solar plexus) which is the energy centre of vitality and strength in the body. With a heat building asana practice you are invited to stoke your internal fire and fan the flames of any budding projects or intentions, as well as burn away any obstacles that stand in the way of your dreams. Fire can be very powerful and it’s up to you to feel into how high to turn the heat up.

The desert can be a metaphor for the journey that you must undertake to live out your dreams, to let go of any limiting beliefs and to grow through difficulties. Imagine you are alone in the desert, in this vast landscape and all you have is you and your practice. This is the time to connect to your inner strength, find balance and courage and see where it takes you. These strength building asanas can be practiced to build heat and fire, connecting to your inner power to find balance. Think about finding the place between effort and ease, control and surrender:

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Tadasana (Mountain)

Stand tall on both feet with the weight evenly distributed and the body both relaxed and engaged. Raising the arms up overhead is known as tall mountain pose. This is a great posture to begin in for increasing the body awareness, steadying the breath, improving posture and strengthening the feet, legs and hips.

This is a great posture to begin in for increasing the body awareness, steadying the breath, improving posture and strengthening the feet, legs and hips.

Kumbhakasana (Plank)

Keep the shoulders above the wrists and push the ground away firmly with the hands, keep the body in a long line and the toes tucked to support your weight.

This pose taps into your inner power source, building heat and energy in the body whilst using your determination and willpower to hold. It is great for strengthening the arms and wrists, as well as toning the abs.

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff)

From plank move the weight forward to lower down into chaturanga where the chest hovers above the ground, elbows draw in and the body stays long. Like plank, this pose develops upper body strength and is a way to tap into your inner power.

This is a great posture to begin in for increasing the body awareness, steadying the breath, improving posture and strengthening the feet, legs and hips.

Urdhvamukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

With the hands beneath the shoulders, rest your weight on the hands and the tops of the feet as the chest lifts to face forward and the hips come up off the floor. This posture strengthens the wrists, back and arms and creates space across the chest.

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II (One Legged King Pidgeon Pose II)

In a low lunge, the back leg bends as the chest lifts up and the hands take hold of the back foot. The head moves towards to back foot. This helps the stretch across the whole front side of the body, the thighs and the ankles.

Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Sit the bum back towards the heels with the knees bent and reach the arms forward to stretch out in front with the head resting on the floor. This posture has calming effects on the nervous system and can be a really good way to calm the body and mind after a more dynamic yoga flow. It’s also a gentle stretch for the hips, thighs and back.

Anjali Mudra (Prayer Position)

Bring the palms of the hands together whilst kneeling. This can be a way to honour your practice and draw the focus inwards, connecting back to the breath and giving thanks.