This week, to celebrate the Chinese New Year, I’ve been thinking a lot about snakes and their significance.
According to the Chinese horoscope the Year of the Snake is a great year to begin important work through steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be found in soft receptivity and strength.
I used Annie Carpinter’s sequence entitled, “Opening Ceremony” as a jumping off point for my classes.
Below I’ll list the sequence and note my take on things.
1. Savasana over a rolled blanket or block. This gentle heart opening in corpse pose is an excellent way to evoke the snake. In mythology snakes represent birth, death, and rebirth as their shedding skin suggestsssss…
2. Ardha Navasana, half boat pose variation. This exercise will tone your core as you prepare to move like a reptile without appendages.
3. Cat cow. Use this pose to truly wake up the snake-like quality of your spine, unfold into your breath.
4. Down Dog variations.
5. Baby Bhujangasana. Low cobra. Tickle your lower ribs and remember Eve in the garden. With this low hand placement pulse to work the triceps and use the breath to lift and fold.
6. Sun Salute Sequence with High Lunge, Warrior 1, then Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior, and circle to Plank, Chat, and DD.
7. Continue with flow for 8 cycles…8 is a magic number and evokes the snake with it’s tail in its mouth another symbol of the infinite.
8. Sphinx. Lift on elbows and breath. Let your two legs become one and as you press into your palms to lift up, imagine the action of the abdomen that would be necessary to hold this pose without using your hands.
9. Ardha Bekhasana. For fun.
10. Full Cobra. Exhale fully and hiss, you know you want to.
Besides the SS sequence I added,
11. Anantanasana…vishnu’s couch…an eternal snake that Vishnu rides up and symbolizing the victory over the cycles of birth and death. Play with your balance, tip and fall over. Go on a ride.
12. Happy Baby. The Minoan Snake Goddess was replaced by the image of the baby Hercules choking two snakes in his tiny hands in his crib, scholars suggests this image represented the victory of the present over the past. Imagine your are baby Hercules…Victorious in this moment.
Savasana with hands in Pushpaputa Mudra: open bowls with lotus flowers receptive to the gifts of the universe.
“If you don’t equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way.
In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the formless dimension, the light of consciousness can shine more easily through the fading form…we have to enter the body to go beyond it and fin out that we are not that.”