A Simple Spring Yoga Sequence by Jackie Elliott
Spring is an exciting time where the slow pace of winter quickly shifts with the sunlight and blooms of spring. Anytime we transition into a new season we find new patterns and rhythms. Although these changes are often welcomed they can leave us feeling flustered, run down or a little discombobulated. Try incorporating this simple yoga sequence to bring you into the center, focused and ready for anything as you settle into your day-to-day Spring routines. This calming sequence will be particularly great as you wake up or get ready for bed. This series of poses is to help ground and settle the body and mind. So try starting with a simple intention or mantra to keep focused. Or even use grounding imagery like a mountain or forest. An intentional mantra or a visual tool will give you that time and focus to settle and relax.
Viparita Karani/Legs-up-the-wall:Sit next to the wall so your hips are touching the wall. Lean back into your forearms to swing the legs up the wall and lay on your back. Be sure your seat touches the wall. With the spine and legs long and supported, start your Ujjayi breath. Some nice long even breaths. Use this breath throughout the sequence. If you find your mind wandering too far or getting hung up on distractions or discomfort, use your breath and mantra to help lull you back into focus.
Supta Kapotasana/Reclined pigeon at the wall with a twist:Still at the wall, bring your right foot on top of your left thigh. Ease your right knee towards the wall and bend your left leg for more sensation, if needed. After some time here, straighten your left leg if bent and let the legs (still with your right foot on your thigh) fall to the left. Bring you arms wide with the head turned to the right palm. Once again, ease your right knee toward the wall. Of course do these evenly on both sides.
Setu Bandha/Flowing bridge:Move away from the wall, and lay on your back with your knees bent. Be sure your feet are close to your seat and have about hip width between them. Starting with your hands down along side you, inhale to lift your hips and arms and exhale to lower. Do this a handful of times moving with your slow, broad breath. Think of rounding your spine one vertebrae at a time down as you exhale to get a nice massage along your spine, neck and shoulders.
Supta Baddha Konasana/Reclined bound angle:For a more restorative option, grab a couple pillows. Lay on your back drawing the bottoms of your feet together and heels close to your seat. Let each knee relax on a pillow for support if you like. Adjust the arms, neck and shoulders so you can stay for a while comfortably. Think savasana/corpse pose and just relax. Watch your thoughts come and go with ease. Keep your mantra handy if discomfort or distractions arise. When complete, close the posture by rolling on to one side for a bit.
Sukhasana/Easy pose:Close your practice in a strong seated position (perhaps leaned against a wall), with your eyes closed, listening, becoming aware of your tall strong spine and space you have made in your body/mind. Draw a hand to your heart and feel your breath, heart beat and ease. Place your other hand on the ground and draw up the firm stability and connection of the earth supporting you. Eventually, draw your palms together at the heart to come to center and acknowledge the effects of the time you were able to give to yourself. Acknowledge the teacher within. Namaste.