As we get set to change seasons yet again, we can find ourselves in a place of longing… longing for balance, comfort, and a healthy dose of the familiar. Change can be hard, even the change of the seasons. And given all the change in our world right now, as a result of COVID, it is likely that your inner desire for balance and comfort is stronger than ever.
Given the likelihood of most of us feeling that way, we will begin the blog this month with a short yoga sequence that lends itself toward cultivating balance and comfort. A short practice to help us feel more grounded and balanced, increasing our comfort level for the changes to come. So, grab your mat and a block (bolster is optional) and work on finding our center and relaxing into a little yoga comfort.
Let’s begin seated, in Easy Seated pose, just relaxing into the breath. Stay here in the breath until you feel a bit more relaxed and grounded. When your breathwork feels complete, go ahead and fold forward into Easy Seated w/forward fold (resting your forehead on the ground or on a block/bolster). Stay here for at least 30 seconds before slowly inhaling back up to Easy Seated. When you are ready, slowly stand up.
Next we will come into Warrior 3, a balance pose you can do against the wall if you need some extra support. Keeping hips forward, hinge one leg back as you look toward the floor. Arms can be in any of a number of places that might be helpful (they may be reaching out in front of you, touching the floor or a block, or as mentioned previously, they may be holding on to the wall). Focus on keeping the hip on that raised leg rolled down and on breathing as you balance in this pose. After about 4-6 breaths, slowly lower the leg and roll up to standing. Repeat on the opposite side.
Following Warrior 3 we will move in to Standing forward fold, linking your hands behind you and lifting arms away from your back for a great shoulder opener, if that is available to you today. Keep eyes looking back through your legs and allow the upper body to relax a little more each time you exhale. Stay here for 5-7 breaths, then engage the core and slowly roll up to standing, releasing the arms.
Now we will come into Tree pose, the quintessential balance pose. Moving near the wall is always an option for those who need that added support. Begin by grounding one leg, really feeling the foot sink into the ground. Find a point to look at that won’t move, your dristi, and then slowly bring the other leg up wherever it will be for you today (at the ankle, between the ankle and knee, or above the knee). Use the arms to help you balance, wherever they are most helpful. Breath and allow the pose to be as dynamic as your body needs it to be today. Then after about 6-8 breaths, slowly release the pose. Repeat on the other side.
Next up is Child’s pose. Slowly work your way down onto your mat. Knees can be wide or together depending on the version of Child’s pose you prefer. Relax your forehead to the ground (or on a block if that is more comfortable). Stay here for as many breaths as you would like. When it feels good, come up out of Child’s Pose and work your way down on to your back.
And finally, take a few minutes to enjoy a final relaxation, Savasana. Lay comfortably on the floor, close your eyes, and allow the body to relax into the floor, following the breath in and out. When it feels complete, slowly start to move fingers, toes, your head, etc. to bring yourself back to the present moment. Slowly roll to one side for a moment, then carefully sit up. Take a deep breath in and sigh it out. Namaste.