My health is at its best when I match my practice to the seasons (as well as the lunar cycles).
We have a tendency to think of nature as the outside, both of our windows and of ourselves. But we are actually interwoven together with it. And thus what is happening in nature, should also be happening to us.
In our society we always want to be blossoming and busy, we equate our self worth with how much we are doing and accomplishing. But I truly believe that we should be mirroring what is happening outside of ourselves in nature. Doing so will help us to find our true well being and healthiest self.
That all being said, at this time of year we should not only be slowing down, but stopping. I encourage you to sleep, to spend some time staying in and relaxing. This practice will teach you to do nothing. It might feel nice to do this practice with all of the lights off.
Have a ton of props handy – including a blanket, a bed pillow, 2 blocks and/or a bolster if you have them. Set yourself up near a wall. Hold each pose for about 5 minutes.
1. Half Frog – Lie down on your belly, with your arms and chest resting on a pillow. Set a folded blanket to the right around hip height. Bring your right knee onto the blanket, roughly in line with your right hip, bend the knee at a 90 degree angle. Flex the right foot. Keep the left leg extended. Get comfortable, resting your head, chest and arms onto the pillow as feels good. Turn onto the left cheek and close the eyes. Breathe deeply in and out through the nose. After roughly 5 minutes passes, take your time to move to the other side.
2. Child’s Pose – Set up with a bolster in front of you lengthwise if you like. From kneeling, take the knees wide and bring the big toes together. Feel fully supported as you melt into the bolster (or whatever props you have to support you comfortably in this rest). Or fold directly to the ground if it feels good for you. Turn onto one cheek. Be honest with yourself, check in if you’ve been too hard with yourself. The holidays can be quite busy, and we need to put extra effort into our self care practices. Learning to rest, will allow you to be more productive and sustain your efforts in the long run.
3. Forward Fold – Come to seated, extend the legs in front of you at about hip width. Place props as needed. I’ve put the bolster propped on blocks. Fold into the prop setup, forehead on your hands or directly into the prop setup. Calming down allows us to visualize what we want for the future. What are your dreams for the future (not what society tells you you should, but the ones in your heart)?
4. Supported Fish Pose – Lay yourself down on to 2 blocks, or a bolster, or whatever props you have at home. Let your arms rest to the sides. Bring the soles of your feet together, and let your knees drop out to the sides. This heart opener allows us to welcome the possibilities, the new. And surrender fully.
5. Legs Up the Wall – No additional props needed for this one. Slide up close to the wall, a few inches away is ideal for me. Extend the legs up the wall. Let your arms rest to your sides, palms up. I encourage you to do this daily, if nothing else, over the holiday busy season. As a way to return to stillness, and sooth the body and mind.
6. Savasana – Ease into it. Rest a blanket on top of you. Drop your toes to the side. Arms come down, taking up space, palms turn up. Close the eyes. Corpse pose is death before rebirth. End of the year before a new one. How will you honor this time?
Find your mind wandering to the time while holding these poses? Practice along with me in the video below.
Yoga with Kassandra – Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
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