As we enter into Fall you are probably noticing the leaves changing, the chill in the air, windy days, and the joyful (or stressful) anticipation of the upcoming holidays. All of these things can leave you feeling a bit chaotic, ungrounded or flighty. Fall is the season of transformation, and changing along with nature is a good way to stay connected to ourselves.
I personally love Fall! Along with Spring it’s my favorite season. I welcome the natural transformation of the season, and I do my best to keep up with my health & wellness and sticking to my yoga routine (which is not always easy). Remember to be kind to yourself as we move through the winter months. Eat warm soul satisfying foods, and get the blood flowing with a regular yoga practice.
Here are 4 yoga poses to calm the mind, ground the body and empower the spirit!
I have written some instructions below to help you get into the poses. I always like to remind my students to please listen to your body, and if you feel pain in any of the poses please come out of it. There’s no need to push yourself into a pose. Find the ease in the effort. You can always leave a comment below and I can help you modify.
CHILD’S POSE (BALASANA)
Bring your knees to the outside edges of your mat and big toes to touch. Fold forward reaching your hands to the front of your mat. Relax head, neck and shoulders allowing the heart to melt down toward the earth. Take a deep breath in through the nose and exhale out the mouth few times. Let your hips be heavy and sink down toward your heels. Stay here and breathe deeply in and out through the nose for 2 – 5mins. On an inhale come out of the pose by slowly rolling back up to a seated position.
This pose opens the hips, groin, shoulders, back, opens the lymph nodes along the armpits, calms the mind and reduces anxiety.
TWIST – HALF LORD OF THE FISHES POSE (ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA)
Start seated with both legs extended on the mat. Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the outside of the left knee. Keep the left foot flexed to protect the left knee joint. Inhale and bring the right hand behind the right hip. Sit up tall, elongating the spine and reaching the heart up toward the sky.
With the left hand on the right knee exhale twist the torso to the right and look over the right shoulder. If it feels good on your shoulder bend the left elbow and wrap it outside the right knee. Inhale elongate through the spine, exhale and twist just a little bit deeper. Take 5-8 deep breaths like this. To come out of the pose inhale and slowly unwind, straighten both legs down to the mat, and switch sides.
This pose energizes the spine, stretches shoulders, hips, neck and stimulates digestive system.
HEART OPENER – FISH POSE (MATSYASANA)
Start on your back place the hands, palms facing down, under your hips. Roll the shoulders back. You will feel your heart lifting already. Inhale press into the palms, bend the elbows and press down through the forearms. The heart will naturally lift.
Exhale and bring the crown of the head down to the mat, being careful not to put any pressure on the head. Keep pressing down onto the mat with the hands and forearms to lift the heart toward the sky. Allow the throat and neck to gently open. Keep your legs and feet engaged. Take 5-8 deep full breaths. Shorten the breaths if you begin to feel your shoulders and neck scrunching up. To come out of the pose inhale and press into the palms and forearms, slowly lift the head off the mat and lower down to your back.
This pose will open the shoulders, chest, middle back, throat, and stretches the neck and thyroid. This pose is also very empowering! Opening the throat allows you to speak more clearly and with confidence, and by opening the heart you are able to soften and become more loving to yourself and others.
FORWARD FOLD/SIDE STRETCH – HEAD TO KNEE POSE (JANU SIRSASANA)
Start with both legs straight out in front of you on the mat. Open the right leg to the right side of your mat, bend the left knee placing the left foot to the inner right thigh. Turn the torso toward the right extended leg. Inhale reach the arms overhead getting length through the spine. Reach the fingertips and the crown of the head toward the sky while relaxing the shoulders.
Keeping the length in the spine, leading with the heart, exhale hinge from the hips and fold forward over the right leg. Your head might not come all the way down to your knee just go to your own capacity. If you feel a deep pulling on the hamstring or any pain bend the extended knee to release the tension. Stay in this forward fold for 5-8 breaths, and notice how the breath naturally moves the body and eventually will take you deeper into the pose. To come out of the pose inhale and slowly roll yourself back up, extend both legs and switch sides.
This pose stretches, hamstrings, spine, shoulders and neck, calms the mind and reduces anxiety and stress.
CHILD’S POSE (BALASANA)
End this practice where you started, in Child’s Pose.
I hope you gain some benefit from these poses. Happy Fall!
©Bluberrypancakesforever.com Please do not use my images or recipes without prior permission.