I told my class last night that I was having a difficult time working out a theme that was Halloween-relevant without being macabre. All that came to mind was corpse pose, Savasana. While that is a spooky named pose, and sometimes you might wish for an entire class lying in Savasana, it didn’t jive well with teaching a Power class.
Eventually, after doing some personal practice, I came to find inspiration in the concept of moving from darkness to light. I thought about how seeds have to struggle through dirt and muck to make their way toward the sun. These beautiful things have to persevere in order to break through.
I created a class that drew inspiration from the Lotus flower. These flowers, some of the most beautiful, literally have to make their way toward the light out of pond scum. They represent purity and perseverance. They remind us that even when our path seems muddy, difficult, or unclear that beautiful things lie ahead. In class, we used a mudra and a pose to connect with the lotus flower.
Lotus mudra is made by bringing your hands into prayer position at heart-center. You leave the thumbs and the pinkies connected while opening the middle three fingers. Your hands make the shape of a lotus flower. This mudra can be taken in a seated position to help you ground before or after your practice. In our Power Flow, we used this mudra while holding Tree pose (Vrksasana). Taking the mudra overhead, I encouraged students to challenge themselves by looking up to their thumbs.
Later in the practice, after a lot of hip opening and quad stretching, I offered students the option to take Half Lotus pose (Padmasana) in our seated twist. In the half variation of the pose, only one foot at a time is taken onto the opposite thigh. The full pose would bring both feet onto their opposing thigh. This pose can be taken for meditation or pranayama (breathing) practices.
These are two physical ways you could incorporate the essence of the lotus flower into your practice. You can also set an intention to offer your efforts to the perseverance and struggle of others — maybe someone you love who needs the support. In this way, your practice creates a beautiful gift out of the struggle, or effort, of your flow.