It’s winter in many parts of the world, which is a time to slow down. This may prove a little difficult during the holiday season. If family, shopping, entertaining, or anything else is bogging you down, grab a bolster and a few blankets. These restorative yoga poses will cool your nerves while warming your heart.
Balasana (Child’s Pose).
Balasana is an all-time favorite yoga pose because it’s accessible to beginners, and has many variations for different needs.
For a classic balasana, kneel on the mat with your hips resting on the heels. Inhale as you lengthen your spine, and exhale as you bend forward, resting your head on the floor in front of you.
To make it a hip opener, try the wide-legged version. Kneel with your knees splayed in a V-shape, and come forward to rest your torso between your legs.
If you have joint problems, tight quads, or are just really, really tired, try supported balasana. Kneel on a folded-up blanket, and come forward to rest on a bolster and more blankets.
Reclining Virasana (Hero’s Pose).
An intermediate heart opener and a quad stretch that happens to be deeply relaxing. If you find yourself hunching forward and tensing up in the chest, this is the one pose you need to counteract holiday stress.
Like balasana, reclining virasana begins by kneeling with hips resting on heels. In virasana, make sure your knees stay hip-width apart. Inhale to lengthen, and slowly lean back until your upper back, shoulder, and head are resting on the floor behind you. Your rear end may rest between your heels if the flexibility is available.
Reclining virasana is doubly delicious when it’s supported. Instead of pushing your limits, lay back to rest on a bolster, with a folded-up blanket supporting the neck and head.
Siddhasana (Accomplished Pose).
Siddhasana is the perfect posture to accompany meditation or to enjoy while playing your singing bowl. Sit upright with your legs folded in, one foot in front of the other.
After several minutes in this pose, switch which leg and foot are placed in front. It gently stretches the outer hip and balancing stretches in this area is key.
Many opt to elevate the hips in siddhasana. Place a block or folded blanket underneath the sit bones to bring the hips higher than the knees. To complete the pose, bring your arms forward, open palms facing out, resting in front of knees. Continue breathing length into the spine.
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After you’ve read it, comment below and tell us what you think! Also, how do you handle holiday stress? What yoga poses calm you down more – hip openers, heart openers, or forward folds?
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