Come Back To Your Body
Simple yoga poses have a lot of power. They can quickly and powerfully help you focus or bring much needed care to whatever emotional state you are in.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the poses that are the best at helping me ‘reset’ before a practice or as a mid-day break. To qualify they have to be low on prop usage and energy expenditure so I can jump right in. Also they have to give me a feeling of comfort and safety. This helps me link back to the first traditional phrase of lovingkindness: ‘May I be safe’ or ‘May I be free from fear.’ I practise all of them for 1-5 minutes. A little goes a long way!
Here are my ten favourite yoga reset poses with some brief advice on practising. These poses are taught in some of my many classes over at Movement for Modern Life. Let me know what you think and please add your favourites to the list in the comments below.
Seated Breath Experience
Sit with one hand on heart and one on belly. Breathe slowly and fully and observe the felt sensation of breath. Move your hands to wherever breath moves.
Practise child’s pose with arms forward or back. Proppings might include:
- Hands or block under forehead
- Bolster under forearms
- Bolster under belly
- Blanket between thighs and belly
- Blanket between thighs and calfs
Chest lift with folded blanket
Place a folded blanket underneath your shoulder blades so that your upper back and arms can fall to the floor. Breathe into the slight opening. You can also turn the blanket longways running from sacrum to back of head.
Use a low brick, bolster, or rolled blanket for a small amount of lift.
Side-lying with blanket roll
Place a rolled blanket or bolster underneath your ribs. Feel free to add some cushion for your head or in between your knees. Do one or both sides.
Make sure chest and hips still face the ceiling and walk hands and feet over to one side to create a gentle side stretch. The arm of the side being stretched can be pulled by the opposite hand. The ankle of the side being stretched can stack on top of the bottom ankle. You might enjoy a folded blanket under the back of the arms to decrease the shoulder flexibility demand.
Blanket Roll in Belly
Lie down flat or in sphinx pose with a rolled or folded blanket underneath the soft tissue of your belly.
Lie down with knees bent. Play around with width and placement of feet and knees until you are comfortable. You may enjoy placing a blanket on your belly. You might also enjoy strapping the thighs together (with a bolster or block in between thighs).
Simple Baddha Konasana
Lie down with feet together, knees wide, and some support underneath outer knees and thighs so that the sensation is gentle.
Simple legs up
Lie down with legs up a wall or a chair. You can also elevate the pelvis with a bolster or brick.