We have entered another season of change and you may have noticed yourself feeling prickly, on edge and maybe anxious or tired. We are in a time in the Northern Hemisphere where it is now getting darker earlier and remaining darker longer so that when you get up in the morning, you may be greeted by the moon and stars instead of the sun and bird songs.
In order to help with these emotional and physical changes, consider incorporating the following yoga techniques throughout your day:
Drink a soothing decaffeinated tea or some organic bone broth and then practice some gentle stretches before bed. This will warm you up and then help you wind down so that you can sleep better and feel more well-rested when you rise. On a comfy, supportive mat or in bed, try the following sequence:
- Chakravakasana (Cat/Cow Pose)
- Balasana (Child's Pose)
- Chakravakasana (Cat/Cow Pose)
- Pelvic Circles in Table Top or Dynamic Table Top (Both Directions)
- Urdhva Mukha Pasasana (Thread The Needle Pose Both Directions)
- Flip onto your back and stretch out all the way on your mat or in bed so that you feel comfortable.
- Pavanamuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose Both Legs)
- Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
- Sucirandhrasana (Reclined Pigeon or Figure 4 Pose Both Legs)
- Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclined Twist Both Sides)
- Savasana (Corpse Pose) with Belly Breathing
Make space for a short meditation on gratitude for your body, life and choices throughout the day, but especially before you get going in the morning and in the evening with the setting sun. You may want to write some things down for which you feel happiness, contentment, and/or appreciation. Then, in a comfortable seated position, close your eyes and focus on breathing in a memory from the day and then breathing out gratitude to the universe and the divine supporters of your SELF for these experiences.
When you feel triggered or agitated by someone or something during your day, try pausing, physically stepping back or moving for a moment and then saying to yourself, "Namaste" (The divine light within me recognizes the divine light within you), "Satchitananada" (I am always in existence--even when I die, there will be something), "Vairagya" (I actively practice detachment and dispassion with this person or situation in this moment).
In the morning, when you arise, pause before you really get going and doing. Come out of bed, place your feet consciously on the floor and spread your toes widely. Place your hands on your mattress and push back into a supported Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) in order to lengthen your spine and breathe deeply. Walk your hands to the right and then the left to stretch your side body (obliques, ribs, intercostals, etc...), and then slowly release your hands toward the floor and bend your knees in a modified Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose). Swing gently from side to side and then allow yourself to gradually roll up with your deep inhalation and relax the shoulders and jaw as you exhale and sigh out any tension in the your body.
Move mindfully, stretch and meditate throughout the day to keep your body more limber and your mind more clear, and consciously invite and allow physical space and emotional spaciousness in your life so you can remain more rooted in each moment of the season.