December 7, 2006
Everyday is full of parties and laughter, but it comes wrapped with the stresses of life. Well, no worries. We have just the postures to keep you centered and focused on what is truly important: love and goodwill to all. And that includes you. So relax! So relax!
Balasana - Child’s Pose
More than just a rest stop, Child’s Pose requires you to surrender to gravity and immerse yourself in a state of non-doing.
Start with a simple yoga posture in which the shape of the pose allows the front of the rib cage to compress and cause an internal resistance to full frontal breathing, which is the adopted pattern for most people. Balasana will make you entertain the idea of breathing using your complete lung capacity.
Place a blanket or towel underneath your knees, and support yourself on your knees and hands. Widen your knees to the same width as your inner thighs. Let your big toes touch together underneath your buttocks. Bend your entire body forward, until the center of your forehead rests on the floor in front of your legs.
* Let your arms reach back until your hands reach your ankles. Turn your palms up.
*If you find it uncomfortable with your head on the floor, then you can use a Yoga block or a blanket to support your forehead.
Breathe slowly and fully into every cell of your body. Although this is a basic position, Child’s Pose will help you develop a broader understanding of your breath and create space in your lungs so that you feel totally relaxed and stress-free after a few minutes. At the end of the pose, extend your arms forward in front of your head to help lift you back up to the starting position on your hands and knees.
Mantra: I am centered and grounded.
Supta Baddha Konasana – Supported Bound Angle Pose
Unwind with this delicious hip opener at the end of the day for at least three minutes. This will help relax and renew you completely.
Lie back on the floor with the soles of your feet together and your knees spread apart. You may support your knees by Yoga blocks, cushions or blankets. Breathe deeply and slowly.
At the end of the pose, bring your knees together and roll over to the right side, away from your heart. Slowly come up to sitting.
Mantra: I am open to the bliss of the holiday season.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
This pose is very soothing to the nervous system – it calms and de-stresses your body, mind and spirit, while stretching your back and hamstrings at the same time.
Sit on the floor with the edge of your buttocks upon the folded edge of a blanket or towel. Outstretch your legs with your feet together. Bring your arms up over your head, stretching the sides of your body completely. Upon exhaling, reach your arms forward and rest your hands on your feet, calves or knees, depending on your flexibility. Consider placing a belt or strap around the metatarsals of your feet to help extend your trunk forward more easily, without bending your legs. Stay in this pose for at least two minutes, inhaling deeply, and on each successive exhalation, let the trunk sink toward your legs, folding from your hip creases, not your back. After several breath cycles, extend your arms forward and come back up to sitting.
Mantra: I am at perfect peace with myself and my environment.