By Allison Ray Jeraci
Just as trees are stripped of their leaves in the fall, so too can we be stripped of all that is covering up our authentic selves—to let go of that which is no longer useful and go forward, to discover and unabashedly embrace what we truly feel passionate about. One of the ways we are able to bare our authentic selves is to move inward.
Forward bends are the pinnacle poses of self-reflection.
Forward bends are the pinnacle poses of self-reflection. Practicing and finding comfort maintaining a forward bend takes time and patience. As you move into a forward bend, your head is last to go, finally bowing down toward the body or the floor, drawing your attention away from the busy world around you. In fact, without being prompted, many students naturally close their eyes in forward bends to turn their attention inward even more, perhaps further revealing the introspective effect of these poses.
Yoga teachers who are interested in teaching forward bend practices can utilize the following tips to enhance their sequencing skills and to bring students deeper into the reflective practice of folding forward. As a yoga student, you can use these same steps to help structure your home practice and to safely explore calming, grounding poses that help you to slow down and turn away from the hustle and bustle of the external world.