We are living in truly uncertain times. As we watch the news surrounding the outbreak of COVID 19, many of us face uncontrollable anxiety and fear of the unknown. It causes us unnecessary stress and racing thoughts. If unchecked, stress can cause a lot of damage, leaving us battered to pick up the pieces.
A few years back, I experienced a similar stressful period in my life. I was working in a great company and was growing in my job. Overworking myself with events, brand deals, strategies and unlimited deadlines took a toll on my health. There was a constant level of stress with no work-life balance. Keeping myself busy was my way to deal with stress and personal problems at that time. Unfortunately, with time stress became a regular visitor in my life. Since I was working like a car without any brakes, the day finally came when my body had a breakdown. At the age of 23, I was diagnosed with a para-ovarian cyst, which really shook me.
I had always been an active person and a regular yoga practitioner but I didn’t know much about the restorative aspect of yoga. Stillness and breath work were not integrated into my daily practice. I started going deeper into the therapeutic aspects of yoga, adding restorative postures and mindful movements integrated with breath. I started seeing my life transform, making me more present, aware and peaceful in every moment.
I want to share with you these 8 asanas that helped me become more aware of my body and mind.
This pose instils a deeper state of relaxation and is a fantastic posture for stretching the hip and groin region.
Start with sitting in dandasana, i.e., sit with your spine erect and legs stretched out, feet touching each other and toes pointing upwards.
Now bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of your feet should touch each other.
Gently breathe in and move your chest a little forward to straighten the spine.
Once you feel comfortable, you may gently place both your elbows down one by one and then slowly lie down, resting your back on the floor. Your arms can rest on your inner thighs or beside the body.
Relax and rest your body in this pose for at least 5-10 deep breaths or as long as you feel comfortable.
Follow this posture with Savasana for a few minutes. Then roll onto your right side and gently sit up.
If there is a gap between your lower back and the mat, then feel free to place a bolster/2 oversized square cushions behind your back and then slowly move your upper body backwards, taking the support of one elbow at a time.
If your knees are floating, then place bolster/cushion under both your knees.
Savasana is considered the most relaxing part of a sequence and is usually done towards the end of one’s practice. This pose elevates a sense of physical and emotional grounding, puts the whole body at ease, and leads to complete relaxation. Once we have mastered Savasana, it’s enriching, as it relaxes our breathing, improves concentration, calms the mind, and improves our mental health. It also helps with insomnia and is an excellent asana for stimulating blood circulation.
Start by lying flat on the back with legs apart shoulder-width apart. Keep the arms on either side of the body with palms facing up.
Keep the eyes closed, face relaxed. (If you feel little tension around your knees while lying down, then go ahead and place a bolster under your knees.)
Focus on breathing in deeply and breathing out slowly.
Allow your mind to become aware of your body, starting with your head and then slowly moving all the way down to the feet. Release and relax the body with every exhalation.
Stay in Savasana for at least five minutes.
Go ahead and try these simple and restorative poses and tell us how you feel!
Riya is a Certified yoga teacher and a Proyog ambassador. Do read more about her here and follow her on Instagram.