Yoga Poses for the Three C’s

The sixth and final mantra from Mountain Mantras is Throw Yourself Down the Mountain.  That catchy phrase simply means that we need to engage 100% and fully commit to making progress.  These yoga poses allow you to listen to your body, make good decisions, and commit fully to those decisions. The three Cs are:

  • Connect to your center.  We learned in Mantra #5 how our power comes from our core. In yoga, the  area we are trying to connect with is called the uddiyana bandha, or the stomach lock. To find this area, try exhaling while you suck your stomach up and back toward your spine. My favorite pose for creating a connection with uddiyana bandha is forearm plank. It is like doing a pushup, but you remain still, and you have your forearms on the ground to support yourself instead of your hands. Your legs are extended back as in a push-up. Try holding this pose for ten seconds, building up to a minute or more. Alexander and I often have contests to see who can hold this pose longer. We call it resting like a Jedi. It’s so much more fun than sit-ups or your typical abdominal exercises.
  • Commit to what you are hearing with crow pose.  Now that you are connected to your core, use this power to allow you to commit to something scary. I suggest practicing crow pose if you are having trouble with that just go for it moment. Crow is the art of leaning forward slowly with your knees on your triceps un- til one foot leaves the ground and, finally, the second foot. Crow gives you the sensation of being a bird leaving the nest. Once you have committed, you are flying. What did it feel like to just go for it? Did you notice how much core strength you needed to use to get and stay in crow? Now that you know that commitment comes from a strong center, it is time to go into listening mode. Ask your body what it feels like to connect with your center and take a leap of faith.
  • Communicate in an open dialog with your body, which means being a great listener.  You can do this important listening as you recline in corpse pose. Often called savasana (a Sanskrit word), corpse pose is the ultimate way to let go. You lie on your back with your arms at your sides and just stay there. This is when we are truly human beings, allowed to be instead of always having to do. Savasana has been the hardest pose of all for me to learn. I have been lucky to have great teachers who don’t let me squirm out of doing the pose correctly, which means staying in the pose until it’s time to get up. One of my teachers would severely chastise any misguided soul who dared try to leave class during savasana. Before? Fine. After? Fine. But don’t dare walk out during! Corpse pose is a time when the yoga practice is fully integrated into the body. For me, it is a time when I can quiet the mind, be connected to my center, and get feedback about my commitments. It is yoga and mind- fulness all wrapped up into one, and it is now my favorite pose in the yoga series. All you have to do is breathe. Listen to what your body wants to tell you. As my first teacher of Chinese medicine, Irit Steiner, once taught me: “I inhale and relax my body. I exhale and smile.”

I have recommended a yoga pose for each of the three C’s and have pictures for all three below.  The only pose that might need a tutorial is crow.  For more information about crow, I like this tutorial from Gaim.

1) Forearm plank


2) Crow


3) Corpse pose


See all yoga poses related to Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes
Mantra #1:  Change Your Lens on Life with Heart Opening Yoga Poses
Mantra #2:  Get Some Good Boots On (Foundation Strengthening Yoga Poses)
Mantra #3: Zoom Out for the Best View (Third Eye Activating Yoga Poses)
Mantra #4:  Plant Your Poles (Goal Setting Yoga Poses)
Mantra #5: Embrace the Yard Sale (Balance/Falling Down Yoga Poses)
Mantra #6:  Throw Yourself Down the Mountain (Yoga Poses for the Three Cs)

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