If this year has been leaving you feeling unstable and shaky, you can turn to your yoga practice to find safety and stability.
The 7 poses described below will help you to reconnect to the physical world. They are close to the earth, and working the lower body.
Throughout your practice you can repeat internally the affirmation, “All is well and I am safe.”
- Leg Stretch – Lower down to your back, with knees bent and soles on the ground. Grab the back of the right leg, extending the foot up towards the ceiling. Keep the knee bent as needed. Stay grounded in the upper body, and down to the hips. Point and flex the foot a few times. Release the right leg down. Repeat on the left leg.
2. Butterfly Fold – Rock up to a seat. Bring the soles of the feet together and drop the knees out towards the sides. Make this fold passive, as you round into the back. Turn the palms up towards the sky. Let the head and shoulders be heavy as you release and surrender. Hold for several rounds of breath.
3. Staff Pose – Extend the legs out in front of you, with the toes pointing up. Try to ground down through the entire backs of the legs. Bring your hands down at the sides. Roll the shoulders back as you push into the palms and find length through the torso. This should be a very activating pose.
4. Toe Squat – Come to kneeling, tuck the toes and sit back on the heels. Move the little toes out of the way if they are getting squished. Open the arms to a cactus shape. Bring them in front, hooking left elbow under the right one to bind once or twice. Tuck the chin to the chest. After a few breaths, unravel the arms and switch the bind to right under left.
5. Modified Side Plank – Lower to table top, with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Extend the right leg back behind you, keeping toes grounded and pushing through the heel. Roll onto the inner edge of the right foot. Kick the left toes a little to the left side. Push into the left hand and reach the right hand up to the sky. Stacking the hips and the shoulders. Look up to the ceiling if it works. To take further, float the right leg up to hip height. Lower back to table and repeat on other side.
6. Standing Splits Variation – Tuck the toes, and lift the hips up and back to down dog. Kick the left leg up to the sky then step it through to the top of the mat. Lift the right foot up, keeping the hip rotating down. Stay up on the fingertips. Feel the activation in the standing leg, and stay strong through your lifted leg. Step the right foot forward to meet the left. Take a vinyasa and repeat on the other leg.
7. Yogi Squat – From standing, turn the toes out, bend the knees, and sink the hips down. If you want to take this up a notch, try to bring the heels together to touch. Then wrap the arms around the legs and grab hold of the ankles. Round forward between the legs. Maybe touching the forehead to the mat in front of you.
These poses come from a full 40 minute slow flow class on my YouTube channel. Check the whole sequence out in the video below.