When it feels as if life is throwing everything at you at the same time, calming yoga poses can support you by grounding your consciousness and giving you the space you need to release the tension from whichever part of your body it tends to settle in.
This sequence is designed to remove the tension from your shoulders and hips by releasing the stagnant energy that’s holding you back from a peaceful existence.
1. Dirga Pranayama (Three-Part Breath) The “three parts” are the abdomen, diaphragm and chest. From a seated position, take a deep inhale first into your belly, then into your ribs, and finally, into your heart (chest). Exhale slowly to empty this air through your nose, drawing your navel toward your spine. Repeat about seven times.
2. Kundalini Circles (Seated Torso Circles) Move through seven to eight breath cycles clockwise, then an equal number going counterclockwise.
3. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend) Ground your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders. Lengthen your torso, relax your neck, bend knees slightly and hold for five breaths.
4. Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose) Stay in Lizard Pose with a long spine. Try using your breath to release tension in your hips and legs. Hold this pose for five breaths and repeat on the other side.
5. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose) Place a pillow underneath the lifted right hip for support. Bring your forehead down to the mat or another prop. Melt into this pose for five breaths, then switch to the other side.
6. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) Inhale to lift your pelvis off the floor as you clasp your hands under your tailbone. Stay in this pose for up to 1 minute, then gently exhale to slowly roll your spine back onto the mat.
7. Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose) Can be done with or without a wall for support. Close your eyes and release into this pose for 10 breaths.
8. Savasana (Corpse Pose) Stay in this pose for at least 5 minutes, your palms facing upward to receive energy or on the floor for grounding energy.