One of my students recommended this book, and as I have been pracitising the Magic 10 series for a while was very excited to read it and share it with you here.
First of all what is the Magic 10? It is a series of 10 yoga poses recommended to practice daily by Sharon Gannon, the founder of Jivamukti Yoga. The practice can be a stand-alone one or a warm-up preparation for a longer asana practice.
"The Magic Ten moves the spine in all the various ways that the spine can move. For this reason it is an effective, physically therapeutic daily exercise program that keeps the spine limber and the joints mobile as well as toning muscles and internal organs. The practice will also stimulate the endocrine system, instigating a release of natural, feel-good chemicals such a dopamine."- Sharon Gannon
The practice of a daily spiritual exercise, Sadhana in Sanskrit, is an important part of a Yogis/Yoginis life. It helps to guide us from an Ego centered world towards lasting happiness, when the focus is switched from the self to being part of a whole.
This book guides you through a 10 week program, including both the spiritual and physical practices which enables this transformation. Let me give you a short summary here:
In week 1. - the focus is on gratitude - "Complaining actually rewires your brain - the more you complain, the easier it is to complain, and over time you find yourself in a negative spiral. The antidote for the poison of complaining is gratitude."
In week 2. - the focus is on giving blessings - "We see the world as 'out there', coming at us, instead of taking responsibility and realizing that the world we see outside of us has come from inside us, from how we have treated others in our past."
In week 3. - the focus is on nourishing the way - "The secret to wealth is to give generously to others. Whatever we give will come back to us many times over."
In week 4. - the focus in on asana / physical practice - "Asana practice can bring us to Yoga by helping to purify our relationships to the Earth and all beings. Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras says that our asana should be Sthira (steady) and Sukham (joyful)." - Sounds familiar my dear students? Steadiness and ease, with the breath flowing through the posture. The other key aspect of our practice is our intention.
In week 5. - the focus is moving through the way - a series of 3 dance moves to create flow
In week 6. - the focus is sweeping the way - cleansing the body with Uddiyana Bandha and Agnisar practices
In week 7. - the focus is shining the way - cleansing the mind with Kapalabhati and Alternate Nostril breathing practices
In week 8. - the focus is directing the way - establishing a pure diet and once we have this aspect in order we move on to Pranayama - breathing exercises with breath retention
In week 9. - the focus is being the way - meditation with the help of Mantras to anchor the mind
In week 10. - the focus is giving away - giving ourselves in completely to Relaxation, Savasana