Practice Compassion On the Mat

Practice Compassion On the Mat

A yogic life is centered around showing compassion for all things. As your practice grows and
develops, you’ll find that it pushes out ego and insecurities, opening the door to a caring and
loving way of life. Compassion, defined in the yoga sutras, is called karuna-dukha. According to
Patanjali’s yoga sutra 1.33, one way to purify the mind and increase serenity is to practice
karuna or compassion.

Open Your Heart

If you want to live with karuna, try incorporating a few rounds of sun salutations into your
practice and offer a different dedication to each round.

Round One: Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and express gratitude towards someone in your

Round Two: Picture someone with whom you may find conflict or difficulty and use this round
as an offering of forgiveness to that person.

Round Three: Dedicate your third round to someone who may be struggling, worried or lost and
send them supportive energy.

Yoga Poses for Self-Compassion

Show gratitude and love for your body by taking time to rest and rejuvenate with these poses.

Child’s Pose: Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit back on your heels.
Separate your knees hip-width apart. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Lay
your hands on the floor beside you with palms up. Release the fronts of your shoulders toward
the floor.

Knees to Chest: Lie on your back, bend your knees, plant your feet on the floor and engage your
lower back into the mat. Draw your right knee toward your chest and extend your left leg.
Inhale deeply. After a few breaths, release the right leg and draw your left leg into your body
and breathe deeply again.

Corpse Pose: Lay down on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Inhale and
slowly extend your legs by pushing through the heels. Release both legs and rest your arms by your sides.