Work to find balance and harmony in all things. In yoga, we work to find the balance of ease and effort in every posture. Even when a posture is challenging, we use the breath to “soften” in order to maintain composure, energy and breath flowing, and a stable and present mind. What do you need to bring more balance in your life? Is it more physical exercise, relaxation or playtime? Do you need to set aside more time for self-care and conscious relaxation?
Try this variation of Parvritta Supta Padangusthasana, Revolved, Reclining, Hand to Big-toe Posture, minus the intense stretch of grabbing the big-toe and with the addition of dynamic movement to bring mindfulness, relaxation and relief to the low-back and hip joints.
How to do the variation: come to lie down on the back with the legs extended out and the knees and toes facing the ceiling. Bring the palms to the ground on both sides of the torso, palms facing downward.
On an inhale breath, extend the right leg up towards the ceiling. On an exhale, allow the leg to fall across the body, towards the left. Notice the opening in the low-back and stretch on the outer left hip. On the inhale, bring the right leg back up towards the ceiling. On the exhale, slowly lower the leg back down to the ground with control. As you lower the leg, draw the low-belly inward towards the spine and press the small area of the low-back, down towards the ground to protect the lumbar spine. Option to draw the knee into the chest as you lower the leg, in support of the low-back.
Repeat the same instructions with the left leg. On the inhale, lift the leg; on the exhale, allow the leg to fall across the body. Inhale and
come back to center, and on the exhale, slowly and mindfully lower the leg towards the ground. Option to draw the knee into the chest as you lower the leg, in support of the low-back.
Do this full sequence including the right and left legs, with breath to movement, at minimum for 3 repetitions, and up to 6 times. Draw the knees up into the chest, Apanasana, and give the knees a squeeze. Extend the tailbone down towards the ground. Option to rock from side-to-side for added massage to the low-back.
In yoga, we practice awareness of the subtle energies of the body, focusing on the breath, the mind, and inwards, towards the heart. Notice when the poses become more challenging, the mind often wants to distract us, bringing our attention away from the breath and creating “chatter” and dialogue in the mind. Take a few moments each day to notice and be present to what your body and soul need, in order to create a more balanced and harmonious life.
"Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union -- the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions."-B.K.S. Iyengar
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, 500 hr. cert. yoga instructor and owner of In Rhythms Yoga
*IRY offers regularly scheduled vinyasa and yin-based classes on, Sat., Sun. (Yin-Yoga) and Wed. mornings as well as Tues. and Thurs. evening classes.
*Christi teaches adult, family, kids yoga and private lessons. Contact her for more info. on how to share the benefits of yoga to your kids and family.
*Christi uses Young Living Oils at the studio to enhance yoga class, meditation and for a more natural and healthy environment for her family and in the studio. Visit http://www.apothecarysociety.com/ciacono to learn more.
*Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com to see the full yoga schedule, instructors and for private lessons.