Yoga is wonderful as part of your daily routine to help your mind and body transition and adapt to the cooler weather, shorter days and lack of light. This issue, there is a dynamic and a restorative asana.
It’s best to try the dynamic pose with a qualified Yoga teacher. This asana strengthens your ankles, leg muscles, back and shoulders, it tones your abdominal muscles whilst improving your balance, posture, full body coordination and concentration. The restorative pose is one of the most approachable poses in Yoga as you don’t need to be flexible or strong to do it, use your common sense and enjoy its many benefits.
Virabhadrasana III | Warrior III
This dynamic asana is really rewarding however it’s essential to warm and prepare the body first. Stand at the top of your mat with your feet close together and make sure you are strong in your body by grounding the soles of the feet, hugging the thigh muscles into your thigh bones, engaging your bandha body locks (your pelvic floor and core muscles) and focusing on a space in front of you (dristi point).
This preparation is fundamental, it will keep your body safe and help you gain the most out of this fantastic pose. When you have prepared your body, bring your hands to Anjali Mudra, prayer position, gently bend the right knee, lift up your left leg and balance – just for two breaths. When you are ready extend your left leg out by pushing through your left heel. Keep a little bend in your right leg, level out your hips and shoulders, press your thumbs into your chest and breathe. Standing on one leg, hold for five breaths if you can. When you are ready (your body will tell you) with control, bring your left leg back to meet your right at the top of your mat. Make sure you do the same on the other side.
Viparita Karani | Legs up the wall
This restorative pose has many benefits. It’s great for tired legs, swollen ankles, stress and anxiety. It’s a very nourishing, grounding and calming pose.
For this pose you simply get your legs up a wall or any solid straight structure that is fixed and can hold your weight. Be kind to yourself and go for it. You could involve your family and make it fun, just get that restorative time for yourself to re-set your body and mind. Practicing this pose before bed is perfect as it helps you unwind. Make sure you are warm, lie on a mat or blanket, turn onto your side and wiggle your body down to the wall. When you bottom touches the wall, turn your body whilst lying down so you eventually have both legs up the wall. Make sure you check your lower back, if it’s arching try using a blanket or try getting closer to the wall. You can also bring the soles of your feet together or you can take your legs wide. Close your eyes, practice pranayama, deep rhythmic breathing, focus on long and equal breaths to calm and settle the mind and enjoy.
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