The holiday season is the time for family, friends, and festivities. With so many activities planned, it can be challenging to maintain a peace of mind and sense of care that keeps us grounded and feeling restored. Proper rest, eating healthy and this rest and restore yoga exercise are three things you should be incorporating into your daily life this season. Just take 15 minutes each night as you are winding down for bed, by practicing these simple poses you will be able to maintain the vigor needed to get through the holidays!
These poses are designed to relax the nervous system and mind, there are a lot of props involved as they will allow you to sink deeply and deliciously into yourself. In each pose, you can also cover yourself with a blanket for greater comfort. Spend at least three to five minutes in each
pose. As you become more comfortable with them, you can stay longer.
Salamba Viparita Karani - Supported Legs-Up-the-Wall Poses.
Start by setting your mat vertically against a wall and placing a bolster across it horizontally. Fold a blanket to the size of a bed pillow; then fold it again two-thirds of the way down, so you have a thinner edge (for your neck) and a thicker edge (for your head). Sit on the bolster with your left hip against the wall. Tip back as you turn your legs up the wall, and lower yourself so that your middle and upper back is on the mat, and your head and neck are on the blanket, forehead slightly higher than your chin. Bend your knees and put your feet through a loop in the strap, tightening it gently around your shins, and reset your legs up the wall. Place another blanket across your torso and a sandbag on your pelvis. Put the eye pillow over your eyes and rest your hands by your sides.
Supported Side bend
Sitting with your right hip against the bolster, lean to the right, placing your right hand on the far side of the mat as you lower down. Stretch your right arm straight along the ground and rest your head on your biceps. Then stretch your left arm overhead and place your palms together. With each exhalation, relax your entire body, paying particular attention to your neck. When you're ready to switch sides, you will slowly turn your body face-down, and then gently press your hands into the ground to get up. Repeat on the other side. After this position gently transition into child's pose and take a few deep breaths.
Salamba Mandukasana (Supported Frog Pose)
From child's pose slowly come up on all fours, with knees wide and big toes touching. Place a bolster lengthwise between your knees and sit back on your heels. Walk your hands forward along the mat until your upper body comes down onto the bolster. Turn your head to one side and deeply relax. On each inhalation, follow the breath into your belly and low back. On each exhalation, release your knees, hips, shoulders, and neck. (Turn your head to the other side when you're halfway done with the exhalation.)
Salamba Bharadvajasana (Supported Bharadvaja's Twist)
Now put a folded blanket at the bottom end of the bolster and sit with your left hip against the edge of the blanket. Turn from your belly toward the bolster, placing your hands on either side and lean down slowly until your forehead touches. Turn your head to the right, tucking your chin slightly. Keep the back of the neck long and the front of the throat soft. Finally, place the eye pillow across the nape of your neck and rest your hands and forearms on the floor. Allow your breath to slow down and deepen; observe how your inhalations root your pelvis and gently enhance the turning sensation in the belly and shoulders. When you're ready, change sides.
Salamba Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Angle Pose)
Prepare a pillow as you did for the first pose and place it on the top end of the bolster. Sit with your back to the bolster; bring the soles of your feet together; and let your knees drop open, positioning a rolled blanket under each one. Lay a sandbag across your feet, and, using your hands behind you on the mat, slowly lower down onto the bolster. Adjust the head blanket, so your forehead is higher than your chin, place an eye pillow over your eyes, and rest your hands on the ground. Allow your breath to slow down and deepen. With each exhalation, allow your abdomen to soften as much as possible.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.