Thursday, 29 December 2016

A little bit of calm

Christmas is a hectic time - there's all the preparations, the cooking, friends and family visiting or coming to stay. In this time of 'Twixtmas' before the New Year celebrations begin, why not take some time to refresh and renew. This is not only for you, because when you feel well and happy, all around you will benefit. This sequence will calm your nervous system.

Supta Baddha Konasana- start by sitting with your knees bent in front of a bolster or a stacked blankets.  Place cushions or blocks at either side of you.  Lie back over the bolster or blankets and bring the soles of your feet together so that your thighs rest on your cushions. Bring your hands to your tummy and close your eyes while you focus on your breath moving in and out of your body.  Do not try to change your breath, just let your breath be a focus so that you can let go of any thoughts.  Stay here for around 5 minutes until your mind is calm. To come out of the pose take your hands to the outside of your thighs, bring your knees together, roll onto your right side then slowly come up.

Rolling Cat - come to all fours.  Breathe in, breathe out, arch your back, take your bottom back to your heels. Breathe in, bend your elbows out to the sides and come back to all fours. Continue making the movement flow with your breath.  

Crocodile - lie on your tummy and cup your chin in your hands.  Find a position that feels comfortable - if you take your elbows wide you will work into your upper, thoracic spine.  If your elbows are close together, you will work into your lower, lumbar spine. Close your eyes and watch your breath. Crocodile pose releases a lot of healing energies.  

Child's Pose -come towards the back of your mat, big toes touching, knees wide.  Place a bolster or a rolled up blanket lengthwise between your knees and rest over your bolster with your right cheek on the bolster, your arm relaxed by the sides of the bolster.  Rest here watching your breath for a few minutes then turn to rest your left cheek on the bolster for a few minutes. Press into your hands to come up.  Slowly make your way to standing.

Meditative moves - stand in the middle of your mat and step your feet wide, turning your toes out to the corners of the mat, your arms by your sides.  Breathe in, take your arms out and up, breathe out, bend your knees, take your arms out and down, bringing your right hand to rest in your left hand.  Breathe in, straighten your knees, lift your hands up. Breathe out, turn your your hands over, bend your knees, press your hands down.  Breathe in, straighten your legs, take your arms out and up, breathe out, take your arms out and down.

Reclined twist - lie with your knees bent and a bolster on your left side, your arms a little way from your body, palms facing up.  Breathe in and as you breathe out let your knee come to rest on the bolster.  Turn your head to the right if you have no problems with your neck.  Stay here for a few minutes, watching the breath and enjoying the twist then breathe in to return to centre.  Repeat second side. 

Supported shoulder bridge - from lying with your knees bent, arms by your sides, breathe in and lift your hips and place a block under your tailbone.  Stay here for several breaths and when you are ready to come out, remove the block and dot your spine down one vertebra at a time. 

Legs on a chair - sit on your mat with your right hip in front of a chair with your knees bent. Swivel so that you can bring your legs on the chair as you rest back on the mat. For extra comfort place a cushion on the chair seat.  When you are ready, roll onto your right side and stay there for a few minutes before coming up.  


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