Updated: Aug 22
At this point, I've been sick for over a week, so I'd like nothing more than to climb into this bed and stare at this endless mountain view until I feel better - or forever, whichever comes first. But I'm not there, so I needed some natural sleep aide to guide me back to dreamland, where I'm sure I'd find this view again. The following flow is just the remedy for an anxious mind that can't seem to fall asleep.
The first pose couldn't be easier, literally! It's called Easy Pose, or Sukhasana. That's how I knew this was the flow for me...#lazyaf. Sukha is actually sanskrit for pleasure and it enhances the flow of prana. This is the vital life force that energizes everything, so whatever I can do to get that flowin, I'm down for. I'm doing a cross over leg variation in the photo above, but the pose is typically practiced in the "pretzel legged" position. This pose calms your brain, which I could always use. While it strengthens your back, it creates awareness of your spine, resulting in better posture if practiced regularly. See ya later, Quasi.
The next bed prep pose is Gomukhasana, or Cow Faced Pose. They say your elbows are to resemble a cow's ears while the crossed legs are it's lips. If I try really hard, I guess I can see it. I know cows are culturally sacred, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. I'm not sold on the name, but this chest opening pose is one of my favorites. It stretches so many parts of the body, including your ankles, hips and thighs, and your shoulders, armpits, triceps, and chest. If you want to take it a little further, you can lean forward from your hips and lay your front torso down on your inner top thigh. THAT'S a stretch - so remember to breathe!!
Next in the lineup to wind down is the Easy Seated Twist Pose, better known in Sanskrit as Parivrtta Sukhasana. Speaking my language! This pose energizes your nervous system and releases your stresses and anxieties. Because it's a twist, it will gain plenty of flexibility in your back muscles, neck, and spine. Not only does it tone your abdominal organs, but it improves your metabolism! I mean, how...you're sitting. Add this to the list of things I can handle, please and thank you.
The next pose is a variation of Baddha Konasana, or Bound Angle Pose. I've got two views of the photo for perspective. Instead of sitting upright, bring your "bound angle" - your hands and feet - forward, further away from your hips so you can lean into a foward fold. This can stimulate your abdominal organs, ovaries and prostate, bladder, and kidneys. It also stimulates your heart and improves your general circulation. All that blood flow can help relieve mild depression, anxiety, and fatigue. My favorite tid bit about this asana is the history. According to traditional texts, this pose destroys disease and gets rid of fatigue.
The next two poses are always practiced together. Marjaryasana and Bitilasana are Sanskirt for Cat Pose and Cow Pose. These poses give your abdominal organs a nice gentle massage as you flow between the two. This is an easy, gentle way to warm up your spine for other poses, or release tensions built up from the day. These poses provide an overall durability and sturdiness to your spine and tone your back. When you practice these, they'll release your stress and get your blood flowing and circulating to all parts of your body. -INHALE- as you arch into Cat, and -EXHALE- as you release down into Cow.
Finally, we finish up our pre-slumber sequence with two variations of Child's Pose. Begin with the traditional Balasana, extending your arms out before you. The dome shape of this asana facilitates focus and concentration while it enhances the benefits of each of our breaths. With each inhale and exhale, feel your stress and tension melt away. This gentle resting pose calms your mind and your body, and if you fall asleep right then and there I really wouldn't blame you. If you manage to stay awake, bring your arms down to your sides for our variation and final pose.
These poses are simple, but the benefits they provide are powerful. They're meant to be slow and deliberate, practicing your breath while you hold each pose. Finding your own flow is so important. Listen to your body, all asanas and all yogis are different. You can only benefit from learning a little more about yourself.
My soul honors your soul.
I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.
I honor the light, love, truth, beauty, and peace within you,
because it is also within me.
In sharing these things, we are united, we are the same,
we are one.
Leggings and top - Forever 21 Online Clearance