Dynamic and Mindful Movement in Yoga

by Rene Hawthorne | March 25, 2020 4:30 pm

There are patterns of movement in the body designed to create pathways of expression and
creativity. If these patterns are distributed thoughtfully and guided by deliberate breath throughout your yoga practice, you will feel a sense of ease and wholeness. Once you understand these patterns, your proprioception becomes tuned in. Your practice will become more intuitive and less about achievment. Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense joint position and movement; knowing where your body is without having to look. This can be enhanced over time with mindful, repetitive movements as in yoga.

8 Things to remember when practicing mindful movement:

1 – Breathe into your body and let your breath move through your body.
2 – Be guided by the gravity of earth and ground downward.
3 – Initiate movements from your center outward.
4 – Align the spine and joints throughout your body.
5 – Use thoughtful muscle incorporation with each movement.
6 – Move forward and backward within the sides of the body, or sagittal plane movement
dissecting the body left and right.
7 – Move side to side using abduction and adduction, or coronal plane movement dissecting the
front and back of the body.
8 – Move the top and bottom half of the body, or transverse plane movement of twisting or

Here are a few yoga poses to practice:

Sagittal Plane Poses:

Chair Pose:  Bend at the knees with feet hip width apart, move the tailbone down and abdomen towards spine to support the low back.  Lift the chest, keep chin neutral and relax the shoulders.  Arms can be lengthened overhead or relaxed in prayer.

Forward Fold:  Seated or standing, tilt the pelvis forward, hinging at the hips to reach for the feet with the hands or a strap.  Relax the shoulder blades away from the ears and lengthen the torso with each breath.  Keep the openness in the body, and allow the torso to move towards the tops of the thighs.

Cobra:  Lie on your belly with the hands in line with your shoulders, palms flat and fingers spread wide.  Keep your elbows into the sides of the body while engaging the pubic bone into the mat.  Relax your shoulders and bottom.

Downward Facing Dog:  From tabletop position on the hands and knees, tuck the toes under and lift the tailbone towards the ceiling.  Keep the knees slightly bent and fingers spread wide, align the arms by the ears and push back into the hips creating a line of energy from the wrists to the hips.  Engage the core as you stretch the body.

Coronal Plane Poses:

Triangle:  Standing with feet wide, turn one foot towards the front of the mat.  With legs straight and core engaged, shift the hips towards the back of the mat and lengthen the torso forward.  Keep the body on a side plane, tilting toward the front leg.  Reaching outward through the arms, one arm towards the front shin and the other reaching to the ceiling.  Repeat on both sides.

Gate Pose:  Start kneeling and extend one leg to the side with hands on the hips.  Lengthen through the torso then lean towards the extended leg.  Keep the hand pressing into the hip joint and extend the other arm overhead.  Repeat on both sides.

Standing Crescent Moon:  Begin in standing pose (mountain), lift arms overhead and activate legs by pressing the feet into the mat.  Engage the core and lengthen the spine as you bend to the side.  Repeat on both sides.

Warrior 2:  Standing with feet wide, turn the foot towards the front of the mat as well as angling the back foot so the feet are in alignment (front heel to back foot arch), let the hips open naturally.  Arms extended front and back at shoulder height with the gaze over the front hand.  Engage the core, center the shoulders and hips in the middle.  Keep the shoulders relaxed down the spine and engage through the feet and legs.  Repeat on both sides.

Transverse Plane Poses:

Revolved Triangle:  Begin in position as triangle above,  then with the core engaged revolve at the waistline.  Engage the body throughout to stabilize the pelvis and low back, as you breathe lengthen through the spine.  Arms can move one at a time or together, using a prop such as a block for the hand below is helpful in these twists.  Repeat on both sides.

Revolved Pyramid:  Begin wide leg and turn both feet towards the front (back foot slightly turned out).  Use your midline strength to pull the inner thighs together, lengthen the torso and bend forward over the front leg, tilting at the pelvis.  Then with the core engaged revolve at the waistline.  Engage the body throughout to stabilize the pelvis and low back, as you breathe lengthen through the spine.  Arms can move one at a time or together, using a prop such as a block for the hand below is helpful in these twists.  Repeat on both sides.

Seated Twist:  Seated in easy cross ankles, lengthen the spine with the inhale and twist to one side on the exhale.  Place one hand on the knee in front and one hand behind while holding the twist and breathing.  Turn the gaze towards the back to engage the spine from top to bottom.  Repeat on both sides.

Reclining Twist:  On the back, bend both knees and pull the knees towards the chest with the hands.  On an inhale flatten the back, then on the exhale twist the knees to one side (feet on the floor for easy twist).  Turn the gaze opposite and breathe into the twist.  Repeat on both sides.


We must have proprioception to begin to incorporate these movements into our yoga practice
and in our lives as well. Our bodies exist in all three planes at the same time, the point is to
bring balance to the body in all planes of movement to achieve a feeling of wholeness. We
recognize the imbalances our jobs and lives create and how the body can mirror those
imbalances. Once we understand how to work with these planes of movement, we can begin to
correct the lack of harmony within.

Realization of the connection between body and mind and mindful movement will begin to
discover and recognize habitual patterns on the mat and in life. Then you can begin to bring
balance and order back to your whole being.

“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel. ” ~Kevin Trudeau

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