As the temperature rises, our fuses get shorter. We tend to forget the kindness we may have cultivated in class. We try to breathe, but sometimes it just doesn’t come… What do you do then?
Well, here is my favorite series of poses to help:
- Supta Padangusthasana with variations (reclined big toe pose)– Lay down on your back, stretch one leg into the air and interlace fingers around the back of your thigh, shin or grab the big toe (a strap here is great too). The other leg can stay bent with the sole of the foot on the floor or you can straighten it. Breathe 5-10 breaths then open your leg out to the side for 5-10 breaths. Next, take the foot across the body for a twist and open your opposite arm out like a wing. Feel free to roll onto your side here and relax.
- Supta Baddhakonasana (reclined cobbler’s pose)– In order to really soothe the soul, you will need two blankets or a bolster. Fold your blankets into quarters. Place the blankets in the center of your mat so that when you lay down, the blankets support your spine. Your tailbone will stay on your mat and the blankets will support the natural curve at the base of your spine. Take your legs into a diamond and arms can rest overhead or by your sides, palms face up. Stay here 5-10 minutes.
- Viparita Karani (legs up the wall)– This is my favorite pose to do each day. Lay down next to a wall and put your legs up. It is that simple. If you don’t like to do inversions or you physically cannot do them, this pose is the next best thing. It is cooling and relieves fatigue, anxiety, depression and whatever ails you. Take arms overhead with elbows bent for an additional shoulder opener here.
These three poses are sometimes my saving grace. If I wake up and can’t think what to do, this is where I begin. Usually some inspiration strikes along the way, but even if it doesn’t this is all I need. By the end I am usually breathing a sigh of relief.
What are your favorite poses to calm and nurture your soul?