Why? Known as a resting pose, this relaxes spine, shoulders and neck, increases circulation to the head, working against tension headaches and calms the mind.
What and how? Placing your knees together or slightly apart, and shins on the floor, fold forward to rest your head either on the floor or on a prop such as books or a pillow. Arms can rest alongside your body or extend forward along your mat.
Heels should be slightly apart and toes touching gently.
Soften your pelvis, allowing it to be heavy, and release the tailbone away from the lower back in a posterior tilt.
Once you are in the pose, think about creating length in the sides and front of your torso and release and relax the shoulders.
If you feel stiff in this posture and cannot relax, prop your body up. Some options are to place a blanket under your shins or a pillow between your calves and thighs or between your belly and thighs.
Why? Great for lower back tightness, this posture benefits the body by stretching the inner and back of the thighs while also stretching and releasing the lumbar spine, relieving mild back pain. It opens up the shoulders, hips and neck while stimulating your digestive system, which can become stagnant when feeling stressed.
What and how? Start with taking your feet wide apart and parallel, push down through your feet and fold forward with as much of a bend in the knees as you need. Place your hands on the floor directly underneath your shoulders so the spine is still long.
Inhale to lengthen the spine, move the left arm under your face and as you exhale, open your right arm up and reach the
fingertips towards the ceiling. You can hold here for a slow breath or two and on the next inhalation lower the right hand to the floor under your face and repeat on the left.
This variation can be treated as a flow, moving with slow conscious breath from side to side.
If you have a back or spine injury, only perform this posture with a teacher. If you have a tight lower back or hamstrings, bend your knees or lift the floor by placing a stack of books under your hands.
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