“If you try to do your best, there is no failure.” -Mike Farrell
Good afternoon, yin friends!
I know what you are thinking…she started this series AGES ago! And you are right! It took me forever to get the final sequence that lines up with my Four Agreements theme up. However, it kind of works perfectly that I’m so “late” in posting this, because me posting this today is actually me doing my best! I led a couple weekends of teacher training, my weekend immersion yin training and now my Thrive Program (4 weeks) all in addition to my regular workload of teaching, marketing and managing a studio. It’s been a busy season and I have had hardly any spare time to devote to my blog. But over the last month or so as I struggled with the pressure of feeling like I “had” to post the final agreement sequence on here, I had an AHA moment when I remembered what this fourth agreement is all about. And it’s all about giving yourself grace and knowing that if you really, truly have done your very best – then there is no need (or room) for shame/guilt. So I knew when time opened up for me to do this, it would be me posting it at a moment I was able to devote my full attention to. Nothing is coincidence!
Today’s sequence focusing on the fourth agreement, Always Do Your Best, includes some poses that we tend to internally put expectations and judgments on. But today, I want to encourage you to approach the poses with the attitude of doing your best and just see what happens. If we let go of our standard of perfection, we are able to embrace what is truly here in the present moment with gratitude and honesty. This agreement is what keeps the other three agreements grounded. For instance, we are not able to…
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
perfectly! We have to remember that if we do our best in each of these then, even though it won’t be perfect, it will be what we could 100% offer the situation in that given moment and that. is. enough.
Seated Hero (5 min) – Make your way into a seated position with the knees bent and sit either evenly on the heels, or open the feet wide enough to sit onto a block or to the floor in between the feet. Find a tall spine and settle the hands into the lap. Breathe deeply here for several minutes as you focus your attention on the present moment. Showing up simply to do your best on a moment-by-moment basis. Let that be your only expectation today as you practice.
Reclined Hero / Supported Bridge (5 min) – From here, remain in hero pose if there is no pain and begin to work your way into a reclined hero (or Saddle) pose. You can support your spine with more props if you are elevating the hips. Alternatively, supported bridge pose with the block under the sacrum is a nice alternative to gently opening the front body.
Butterfly (5 minutes) – Wherever you are, slowly and mindfully make your way back to seated and come into butterfly pose. You can support either knee with blocks if it helps alleviate any unnecessary aches here. Fold forward in your own time, being mindful of sensations as they come and go.
Deer Twist + Neck Release (1 min) – From butterfly, make your way back upright. Draw the knees together and hug them in close or windshield wiper them side to side. Eventually drop both knees over to the right so that the right foot rests next to the left thigh. Begin to twist the torso over to the right placing the left hand to the right knee and the left hand behind the hip. Stay here and breathe several rounds of the complete breath. As an option, you can gently drop the right ear toward the right shoulder to stretch the left side of the neck. Relax the jaw here.
Belly Twist (4 min) – Stay twisted OR come back to neutral for a few breaths. Begin to transition back to the right side and walk the hands forward as the chest melts toward the floor in front of that right thigh. You can rest onto a prop or just come to the forearms. Be gentle and mindful as you twist.
Deer Fold / Half Pigeon (Swan) (5 min) – Come back to center and maybe take a gentle counter twist to the left side if needed. We will stay in this shape to fold over the front (right) thigh OR you can move the left leg behind you and come into half pigeon (Swan) pose instead if you are craving that release in the front of the hip joint.
*repeat Deer Twist + Neck Release through Deer Fold / Half Pigeon (Swan) on the other side before moving on
Half Butterfly Fold (5 min) – Begin to extend the right leg forward and plug the left foot into the right inner thigh in a half butterfly shape. As always, utilize props here as needed. Begin to fold forward over the extended leg and let the chest and head be heavy here as you find stillness. Once you complete this side, move right into the other.
Savasana + 5 Rounds of Brahmari Breath (10) – Find your way into a shape you’d like to take final relaxation in. Allow yourself a moment to physically settle into stillness and then move through 5 rounds of brahmari breath before releasing into savasana. Spend quality time here allowing your body to absorb the benefits and space created by you doing your best in the past bit of time. Savor this feeling and carry it with you into your day allowing it to influence the way you interact, work and live! Namaste