A LITTLE NOTE BEFORE YOU PRACTISE POSES.
The poses and practices offered can be fun and challenging in a good way! They can also help when you need to deal with difficult emotions like anger or frustration, sadness, even loneliness. Before you try them, please make sure an adult has helped you practise each one. Be sure that the adult–this could be your parent, your aunt, your sitter–has approved you to try them on your own. The mindfulness practices are best practised when another person is walking you through.
SETU BHANDA SARVANGASANA (BRIDGE OR REVERSE TABLE)
This pose requests an open front body, a willingness to go upside-down and muscular awareness of the back body. While practising this pose, one must stay aware of the breath and actively press away from the earth to stay engaged. After releasing this pose and gently coming onto the back, notice the effect this pose has on the heart and any increases in energy level.
1. Lie on the back, with knees bent and feet on the ground.
2. Flip the palms so that the hands are on the ground between the ears and the shoulders. Point the fingers towards the feet. This is a great place to assess mobility in the wrists. If there is pain or discomfort, start by prepping, stretching and strengthening the wrists. Do not move on until you feel strong and ready.
3. On the inhale, press into hands and feet and lift the hips while coming onto the top (crown) of the head. If there’s any discomfort, unease, lack of stability in the head, neck, hands or any other place come down safely and rest while breathing. Do not move on until you feel strong and ready.
4. On the exhale, press the whole body up and push into hands and feet. This can be an exhilarating moment. Try to breathe fully and deeply. If there is pain or discomfort, tuck the chin and lower the shoulders, rolling down the spine to rest on the back.
5. Stay for as many breaths as is comfortable, gradually increasing breath count over time.
6. To release, gently tuck the chin, lower the shoulders, then roll the spine down, resting on the back. Steady the breath before changing position. As you develop this pose, try one step at a time, ensuring the wrists are prepared and pain-free and that the breath is coming freely.
VRKSASANA (TREE POSE)
This pose can be used to steady and focus the mind and to zoom in during high-energy moments. This pose requires both steadiness and flexibility, and it teaches about grounding and stability. It reminds us that all of these things can come and go, and asks us to be persistent in our practice of finding peace whatever the outcome.
1. Stand near a wall, with one foot firmly on the ground.
2. Raise the other foot and bend the knee to the outside.
3. Place the foot of the raised leg against the standing leg’s inner thigh, or calf, or along the ankle, with toes pressing into the ground.
All options in step three are available to anyone. Use the wall for balance and imagine that you are a tree firmly rooted into the ground, able to weather any changes in balance. Start your practice with three breaths at first, ensuring the ankles are strong and steady. Gradually continue to increase the breath count when ready.
SUKHASANA (EASY SEATED POSE)
This pose can be used to elevate feelings of calm, peace and creativity. This pose invites periods
of sitting in stillness. You’re welcome to prepare the body, mind and spirit through movement before you practise this pose. While practising this pose, the mind may wander and that’s perfectly all right! You might consider adding a guided visualisation practice, sharing a story or offering a breathwork practice to help focus the mind.
1. Begin by taking a seated position on a cushion, folded blanket, chair or something similar.
2. Gently cross the legs at the ankles or shins.
3. Practise this posture in silence, or by adding a guided visualisation, sharing a story or offering a breathwork practice.
Yoga by Tejal Patel
illustrations: Lili Scratchy
This piece is from issue 22 of Lunch Lady magazine, you can buy the issue in our shop HERE. For more great content follow us on Instagram HERE and Facebook HERE