Finding stillness and grounding energy in this position is a great place to begin your evening practice. Getting into this pose is simple. Simply stand with both feet together, arms down at your sides and palms facing forward. As you inhale, raise your shoulders up toward your ears and the exhale guide them down and back to improve your posture. Feel your feet grounding into your mat and send energy up your legs. While this pose looks simple from the outside, there are many places in your body you can be sending your attention to. Everything in your body is working in this pose, which allows you to leave your head for a little while to focus your energy on your mind.
From your mountain pose position, take a big inhale and let your arms rise up above your head (you can even add in a gentle backbend at this point to stretch your abdomen and chest). On the exhale, fold down your center channel and let your hands come down to the mat. If your hands cannot reach your mat, let them find your shins or knees, wherever feels most comfortable to you. Take a few seconds here to breathe. Feel your hamstrings releasing tension. Observe how your lower back feels. These are two places where we tend to carry a lot of stress and negative energy. If you would like, feel free to cross your arms here and swing from side to side.
As you hang in forward fold, take your last few breaths before transitioning into your child’s pose. On the inhale from your forward fold position, allow yourself to rise up halfway and on the exhale, release back into your fold. From here, bend your knees (if needed) and place your hands on the mat in front of you. Bring your right foot followed by your left into the plank position. Take a deep inhale. On the exhale, bring your knees down to the mat and sit back into your child’s pose by resting on your heels as your hands stretch out in front of you and the tops of your feet ground into the mat. Take a few deep breaths in this position. Notice how your back stretches in this pose; pay attention to the release of your shoulders. Let your head rest comfortably on your mat and simply be still.
4.Reclined Spinal Twist
When you feel like you have remained in child’s pose long enough, inhale as you lift your chest and head off the mat and come into a kneeling position with your spine straight. From here, exhale as you bring both of your legs out in front of you as you make your way down to a reclined position on your mat. Take a deep inhale in this reclined position and bring your knees into your chest. On the next exhale, grab your right knee with your left hand and allow your legs to fall gently to the left side as your gaze looks to the right. Remain here for a few breaths feeling the stretch throughout your body. Inhale deeply and bring your knees back into your chest. On the next exhale, grab your left knee with your right hand and allow your legs to fall gently to your right side as your gaze looks to the left. Remain here for a few breaths. Take a big inhale and on the exhale, bring your knees back into your chest. You can repeat this sequence as many times as you like or remain here with your knees tucked into your chest as a way to continue stretching your lower back.
From your reclined position with your knees tucked into your chest, move into a fully reclined position with your feet stretched out in front of you. This is your final pose, your resting pose, or savasana. You want to be comfortable in this pose so make whatever adjustments you need to remain relaxed in this pose for about 2-3 uninterrupted minutes. Focus on your breath in this pose and bring your attention back to the breath whenever your mind begins to wander. Find stillness and relaxation in this posture. Remain here until you are done with your practice and are ready to head to bed.
An added breathing technique to enhance the calm feeling. Start out by using a breath count of six seconds on the inhale and six seconds on the exhale, repeat two times, then progressively lengthen your exhale, so inhale for six seconds and exhale seven seconds and do this for 2X’s, then inhale six seconds and exhale 8, do this 2Xs. By progressively lengthening your exhale you activate the parasympathetic nervous system and increase your feeling of calmness thus allowing you to get a more restful night sleep.
Wishing you a restful night’s sleep,