meyoga – Newcastle Happy Holiday Practice to Help You Radiate Calm

During your practice feel as if the sun is rising in your heart and a new day is dawning.

1. Balasana – Pose of the Child

A resting and calming position to stretch the lower back and buttocks.

Hold for 5 breaths.

  • Start in a kneeling position, buttocks on heels, hands on floor.
  • Bend forward gently from the hips bringing the torso onto the thighs, and rest the forehead on the floor.
  • Place the hands back beside the feet, palms facing upwards, elbows bent.

2. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – One Legged King Pigeon Pose

Stretches the thighs, groin and psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders. Prevents Sciatica.

  • From Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Face Dog), bend right knee and take it forward towards the back of the right wrist.  Start with the right foot near the groin, and as flexibility increases, start to work the foot forward towards the front of the mat.
  • Stretch left leg out behind.  Press the top of foot into the mat.
  • Look over left shoulder to make sure your left leg is straight, aligned with edge of the mat.
  • Square off the hips, you may need a prop under your right buttock.
  • Inhale looking forward, lifting chest.
  • Exhale and walk hands forward, keeping hips aligned to floor.
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths.
  • To release: inhale, look forward.
  • Exhale, lift torso up as you walk hands back, then tuck left toes under and step back into Down Face Dog and change sides.

3. Viparita Karani – The Fountain of Youth Posture

Restorative posture if you are fatigued, have lower back discomfort, can be cooling and calming to the nervous system.  An alternate posture to inversions (Headstand).

Hold pose for a few breaths, or as long as you are comfortable.

  • Sit on side of mat, right hip against the wall.
  • Pivot around and lie down along mat with legs raised up the wall, buttocks resting on floor and ideally touching wall if hamstrings will allow.
  • Keep knees and feet together, quadriceps switched on and feet dorsiflexed.
  • Relax the shoulders, and tuck chin to chest to lengthen the back of the neck.
  • Close the eyes and look in and down to the heart centre.  The hands can rest on the belly.
  • To release: bend knees to chest and carefully roll to the right side.  Push up with the left hand to come to sitting.

4. Supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose

Never turn your head in this pose!

Use a block under the sacrum to support lower back.

  • Lay supine on mat, knees bent, feet hip-width apart. Pigeon-toe the feet so that the outside edges are parallel to sides of the mat.
  • Keep knees above ankles, shins perpendicular to floor, feet flat.
  • Stretch arms alongside the body, fingers touch back of heels, lengthen neck along floor.
  • Inhale tilt chin towards chest and look towards heart centre. Draw navel to spine to engage core.
  • Exhale and lift hips up towards knee-height.  Stay grounded with outside edges of feet parallel, and equal weight on four corners of feet.  Inward rotation of quadriceps.
  • Place a block or similar beneath sacrum and lower hips.
  • Place hands palms down on floor with arms lengthened towards feet.
  • Hold 5 breaths.
  • Release  – Inhale lift pelvis to remove block and exhale lowering body down to the mat one vertebra at a time.
  • Gently hug knees to chest.

5. Ardha Jathara Parivartanasana – Revolved Abdomen Pose

Supported spinal twist gently squeezes the abdominal organs, releasing stored toxins and tight lower back.

Hold 5 breaths each side x 3 rounds

  • Lie on back and stretch arms our sideways in line with shoulders.
  • Bend knees into chest.
  • Exhale and take your knees down towards the right side, knees pointing towards the right armpit.
  • Inhale knees to the center and exhale knees to the left side.

6. Bhramari – Humming Bee Breath.  

A Pranayama practice to increase vitality and mental focus.

This practice calms the emotions by listening inwardly to the sound of our own breath.

  1. Choose any comfortable seated position, or sit on the floor with knees bent upwards.  Rest your elbows on your knees in front of you to close the small flaps on the front of your ears with your thumbs.  Let the spine float taller, and allow the heart centre to feel open without jutting the chest up and out.  Relax your shoulders, neck and face throughout.
  2. Close the eyes and bring your attention inward to the belly, the heart, the throat, and then the head.  Inhale and when you exhale make a humming sound in the palate of the mouth.  This is one round.  Repeat for 10 rounds or several minutes.
  3. Slowly inhale.
  4. Move your awareness just to the humming sound.  You may like to experiment to different pitches until you find one that feels pleasurable.

Feel the vibration of the sound ripple through the brain, and observe the vibrations in the face, throat, chest and rest of the body.

Sit quietly when you are finished.   Keep your eyes closed.  You may observe the sensations of the sound vibration pulsing through your body for some time.  Don’t move a muscle!  Deepen your powers of self observation.

7. Savasana – Corpse Pose

10 minutes

  • Lie down comfortably with your head supported by a folded blanket and your arms out to the side, about 15cm from your trunk.
  • Close your eyes gently and release any tension from them.
  • Relax your forehead and temples.
  • Go inward and simply observe your quiet breath.

Complete your practice by sitting in Sukhasana – Cross Legged Seated Position for a minute with your eyes closed.

Open your eyes and breathe!

- Namaste Juliet