The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, but that also means the return of the light. The days get longer from here. This time is a great chance to reflect on what has been and has happened and what lies ahead.
It is a great time to spend some restorative relaxing time on the mat, with passive long held poses combined with affirmations.
With each affirmation, repeat it internally to yourself. Not asking yourself to believe it but simply noticing what comes up for you. If you react positively or negatively. Give yourself the chance to reflect in your journal at the end.
Hold each pose for 2-3 minutes and grab some props (blocks, bolster, cushions, blankets) to make yourself comfortable.
1. Seated Neck Stretch – Start seated, however is comfortable for you. Let the hands rest on the thighs, roll the shoulders away from the ears, reach up through the crown of the head. Drop the right ear towards the right shoulder, while continuing to press the left one down. Maybe turning the chin up or down, playing with where the stretch is felt most.
Affirmation: Deep within me is an infinite source of peace.
Lift up and then lower left ear to left shoulder.
Affirmation: I love and accept myself exactly as I am.
2. Straddle Fold – Extend the legs out, widening them to the sides. Make this supported as needed, lift the hips onto a prop or bend the knees. Begin to round as you fold down in to the center. Use props to support the head or chest as you like.
Affirmation: I am free to choose a different thought.
3. Half Saddle – Turn to face the top of the mat. Bend the right knee, and have the foot flat on the mat. Bring the left foot back beside you. With the top of the foot pressing down. Thigh bone parallel to the longer edge of the mat. Stay seated or lower back if you like. Maybe setting blocks up so one supports the upper back and another supports the head, or lowering all the way down to the back.
Affirmation: I have a big heart and that’s a wonderful thing.
Lift up and then repeat on the other side.
Affirmation: I am at peace with the flow of life.
4. Knee Pile – From your seat, cross the right leg over the left. Bending at the knees so the feet are on either side of your seat. Trying to stack the knees. If this doesn’t work for you, you can simply stagger the legs so the right shin is in front of the left. Keep both sit bones pressing down evenly. Stay up or round down over the legs, maybe supporting with a block or bolster under the head.
Affirmation: I am never alone and I reach out for support when I need it.
Ease out and then repeat on the other side.
Affirmation: I calm my nervous system by taking deep breaths.
5. Sphinx – Lower onto the belly, with the forearms in front to support you. Extend the legs back behind you, with toes untucked. The closer the elbows are to you, the deeper the stretch. Press into the hip bones to avoid compression in the low back.
Affirmation: I’m proud of myself and how far I have come.
6. Child’s Pose – Press up to hands and knees. Bringing the big toes together and taking the knees as wide as you feel suitable. Press the hips back to the heels. Then walk the hands forward until the forehead lowers to the mat, or stack the fists or use a prop if needed.
Affirmation: I release the need to change or control others.
7. Reclined Twist – Lower down onto the back. With feet flat to the floor and the knees bent. Lift the hips and shift them to the right side. Then drop both knees to the left. If you want to intensify, cross the right leg over the left before lowering them to the ground. Reach the right arm up or to the side, pressing the right shoulder down.
Affirmation: I dedicate time each day to self care.
Take time to lift up and set up for the other side.
Affirmation: I love every cell in my body.
These poses come from an hour long practice on my channel and within my app.
The affirmations come from my I Radiate Joy affirmation card deck. Preorder Here.