Encourage a little movement in your day with yoga in the office. While still seated in a chair, move into a variation of Half-Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana in order to find a deep stretch in the hips and find extension in the spine.
To move into Half-Pigeon Pose while seated in a chair: Move towards the edge of your seat in order to bring your pelvis and spine to a more neutral position. Press the left foot down into the ground and align it under the left knee. Cross the right leg and place the right ankle above the left knee, resting the ankle onto the thigh. Flex the right toes towards the right knee, in order to protect the knee joint.
Focus on creating a smooth and even breath. Imagine the breath has a color, and notice as it moves up and down the spine. Notice if any distractions arise in the mind, and consciously notice what comes up, and then simply let the thought go. Imagine the thoughts are moving through the sky like a balloon. Simply bring attention back to the breath, and refocus on the present moment.
Sit with a tall spine and gently press weight onto the right knee to draw it downwards and more in-line with the right hip. Draw the shoulder blades down the back, creating more length in the back of the neck. Draw the low-belly in order to support the low-back. Keep the gaze forward, allowing the neck to be neutral. Option to stay right here and breathe 3-5 full round of breath. Create smooth and accentuated inhales and exhales.
Option to fold forward for more sensation in the hips flexors and psoas muscles. On an inhale breath, lift the chest and extend through the crown of the head. On an exhale breath, fold forward with a flat back, drawing the low-belly inwards towards the spine. Rest the torso on the legs and breathe. Rest the palms on the legs or grab for the left calf or even place the palms onto the ground. Find a comfortable place in order to rest the body while the breath can flow freely and steadily.
Draw the shoulder blades down the back and allow the gaze to move downwards. Create a neutral cervical spine (in the neck). Stay here and breathe for 3-5 full rounds of breath. (One inhale and one exhale equals one round of breath.) Allow the breath to be audible and smooth. Enjoy the feeling of the opening in the hip-flexor and notice the extension and lengthening sensations of the spine.
Slowly and mindfully come out of the pose. Take your time and follow the same instructions on the opposite side. Pay careful attention to the breath and notice any sensations in the body. Notice what comes up and consciously let the thoughts go, coming back to the breath.
When we take time out of our day to do yoga and breathe mindfully, we give ourselves the chance to let-go of negativity, judgments, and worries. Simply bring the attention to the present moment. It is in the present moment where we are able to find more joy and contentment.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga and breathing techniques. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga
Christi Iacono is a certified yoga teacher, at the 500 hour level, and she is the owner of In Rhythms Yoga, in Clairemont. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mount Streets. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her regular yoga practice. She enjoys sharing her experience, passion, and dedication with her students. She believes that yoga is accessible to all. Rather than forcing someone’s body into a pose, Christi carefully works with each individual to find the variation that will best serve their body. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
IRY offers regularly scheduled classes on, Sat., Sun. and Wed. mornings as well as a Tues. evening class. Meditation classes start the last Thursday in Oct., from 6-7 p.m. and run for 4 weeks, consecutively. Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com to see the full schedule, instructors and for private lessons.