We all have had at least one time we didn’t want to practice our yoga, but then felt much better after we made it to the mat. There are several reasons for this. First, the reason for not wanting to practice is usually in our mind, i.e. “I’m so exhausted,” “Today was so hard,” and “I’m too busy for practice.” When the excuse is one the mind has decided, the antidote is moving your body. Reuniting with bodily sensations is one of the best ways to get away from the chatter of your mind, and moving the body quickly changes our mood and outlook.
We can all agree practicing yoga makes us feel better, but did you know you can customize your home practice to balance whatever emotion you are feeling? Below are some tips for finding your way back to balance.
1. If you’re feeling scattered, try steady standing poses and focus on grounding to the Earth through your legs and feet to balance the Air Energy of Vata. Balancing poses (either one-legged or arm balancing) require much mental focus and attention so they’re good choices, too.
2. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try relaxing restoratives like Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Cobbler’s) Balasana (Child’s), or a reclined heart opener. Slowing down, getting close to the Earth, and simply focusing on breathing can become like meditation to help you out of the overwhelm loop.
3. If you’re feeling tired, sad, or unmotivated, back bending poses like Bhujangasana (Cobra), Salabhasana (Locust), or Dhanurasana (Bow), are very energizing and stimulating.
4. If you’re agitated or buzzing from a lot of activity (in a bad way), then forward bends such as Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose), and Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Leg Forward Bend) will help neutralize your nervous system and help you feel calmer.
5. If you’re stressed and anxious, twisting poses will help release stress and return to center with their “squeezing into center” quality. Twists can be done standing, seated, or lying down.
6. If you’re stuck or feeling trapped, inversions can give you a new perspective. Any pose where your head is below your heart is considered an inversion, so Adho Mukha Svasana (Down Dog), Prasarita Paddottanasana (Standing Wide Leg Forward Fold), or Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) are all inversions.
Hope these tips can help you back into your balanced state next time you practice! But, if you prefer a led yoga class, stay tuned for my NEW Membership option launching next month. The membership will include a searchable library of past classes and courses. Be sure you’re on the my mailing list to get first access when it launches.