My top 5 Favourite Yoga Poses
For Anytime & Anywhere
On your mat, get set, flow….
Developing a home practice can feel intimidating at times. Often we have blurts flowing through the mind – I don’t have time, Where do I start? What comes next?…
A home practice can be as simple as sitting in your mat for 5 minutes and stretching, breathing and witnessing. Ultimately our practice of Yoga is designed to guide us inside, to listen to our inner wisdom and to the body, to be able to feel what feels stuck, tight or tense, and thus what we could benefit the most from next.
Today, I invite you to try these 5 simple yet awesome poses and their variations with me. Feel free to do these poses anywhere and anytime you have a few moments to open your bodymind!
Give yourself 10-15 minutes, put on some nice music, roll out your mat, light a candle and some incense, lay out your altar, or even just a flower/something beautiful to feast your eyes upon, and spend 5 or 6 full breath cycles in each pose, and see how you feel after. Make sure you have some props around; a cushion or block to support you to completely relax into these shapes so you can go deep.
With the right support, these simple and accessible poses are available to all levels and bodies, .
1) Supta badokonasana – Reclined bound angle pose
This is one of my favourite poses to start and end of class with, and anytime I find myself in the horizontal. This is a beautiful hip opener, groin softener, heart and chest opener Energetically, we are cultivating an energy of letting go, allowing, receiving, and surrendering I like to practice this pose with a cushion or block underneath the back of my heart, and maybe even some blocks to support underneath my knees.
Hang out in this pose for a few minutes. Feel the support of the earth below you as it holds you, receives and transforms that which you are releasing, that which no longer serves you, with each exhale. Feel how nourishing it is to surrender to the knowing that you are supported.
2) Kapotasana – Pigeon Pose
Another beautiful grounding, and supported pose – PIgeon pose, and all it’s variations. is my favourite go-to Hip-Opener I practice this pose every day. Many of us hold a lot of tension in the hips – The hips represent our ability to move forward in the world with grace and ease. In this pose, enjoy the yummy external rotation of the hips, stretch to the hip flexors, release of tension in the hips and increasing range of motion in the legs. Hips are also famously known in Yoga to be the place where we store stuck energy. It said that the cellular memory connected to grief and sadness holds in the hips. Go to your edge, breathe there, and enjoy the softening, opening, surrendering and relaxing.
This first pic shows the “sleeping swan”, forward fold variation of pigeon, and the second pic shows a more engaged heart opening “king pigeon” variation”.
3) Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing dog.
The classic resting pose. As Yoga teachers often remind students, this can be a resting pose if you have the right alignment of attitude and body: Find the alignment of your hands – spread wide, shoulder distance apart, the alignment of the feet hip distance apart. Let your knees have a soft bend as you lengthen the tailbone, bringing belly to spine, rolling the shoulders away from your ears. Let there be an even weight between hands and feet and explore the openings possible as you breathe into the body and tune into where the body is tight.
Play around with the concept of dynamic stillness – allowing each inhale to create more length in the spine and space in the body, and each exhale deepening and expanding. Play around with 3-legged dog, lifting one leg at a time and opening the hip into scorpian tail.
Variation – 3-Legged Dog
Variation – Scorpian or Fire-hydrant Pose
4) Wild Thing
Backbends are heart openers and energising poses. Many Yogis would agree that this is one of their favourite poses. It’s so fun, beautiful, strong, fierce, and open. It’s just so energising and satisfying to stretch that whole front line of the body, the front of the thigh, the side body and the throat.When I practice this pose I feel vibrant and alive. If ‘m fully warmed up and open in the spine, I’ll play with bringing this pose into a full wheel.
5) Balasana – Child’s Pose
Forward folds are calming poses. You can gift yourself this pose anytime throughout the practice, anytime you need a rest, anytime you wanna come back to the breath, anytime the mind gets lost in a labyrinth of thoughts. Play with different variations: Knees together or knees wide, forehead or chin to the earth, arms lengthened forward, or walking to each side for a side stretch. Play with the ams alongside the body, or your elbows rooted in the earth next to your shoulders with your hands in a prayer towards the sky.
Hope you enjoy your practice today!
Please comment below: What’s your favourite pose?