In Yoga Journal’s new online course, Finding Connection Through Yoga: A Workshop on Our Universal Oneness, Dr. Deepak Chopra and his yoga teacher, Sarah Platt-Finger, will share a seven-week yoga and meditation experience that will help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and transform your relationship with the universe. Sign up here to learn more!
Spiritual Law 2: The Law of Giving and Receiving
The Law of Giving and Receiving says that giving and receiving are different expressions of the same flow of energy in the universe. Since the universe is in constant and dynamic exchange, we need to both give and receive to keep abundance, love, and anything else we want circulating in our lives.
The Pose: Cat/Cow Pose
The Law of Giving and Receiving is about understanding the natural flow of life, and Cat/Cow, a simple sequence of two poses, helps us connect to this flow via the breath, Platt-Finger explains. When we breathe in, we are receiving oxygen and prana, which is the life force energy that enlivens and animates us. When we breathe out, we are releasing carbon dioxide and other toxins, and encouraging the process of letting go. If we breathe in too much, we are taking in too much air and over exaggerating the backbend in Cow pose. Energetically, this might mean that we are attaching too much to receptivity and are fearful of letting go, surrendering, or giving back. Conversely, if we are breathing out too much, we might be fearful of taking in new things. Notice what is more challenging for you, and work to create a rhythm and a flow so that the length of the inhale matches the length of the exhale and you can move with ease.
Come on to all fours and place your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Spread your fingers comfortably wide and press into the thumb and forefinger. On the inhalation (Cow), curl your toes into the mat, reach the center of your chest forward, lift the sit bones up, and move the gaze forward and up. Keep the back of the neck long. On the exhalation (Cat), press the top of the feet into the mat, draw your navel up toward your spine, and round your lumbar spine. Keep your shoulders away from your ears. Continue this on your own for about 3–5 rounds. See if you can allow the breath to initiate the movement and the movement to follow the breath.
Enhance the pose:
On the inhale, silently chant “Sa” (the sound for inspiration) and visualize an electromagnetic current moving from the crown of your head down to the base of your spine, just in front of your sacrum. On the exhale, silently chant the sound “Hum” (the sound for transformation) and visualize that current moving from your sacrum out into each cell of your body.