After almost 20 years of yoga practise I have to admit I can be a little set in my yogic ways at times and often practise the same postures on a daily basis. I frequently think I should do something different but invariably end up doing the same ‘comfortable’ and familiar poses. This is definitely something I need to challenge myself on but it is sometimes a welcome relief during difficult times in our lives to return to such asanas.
So what are my feel good poses? Well, like the writer of the attached article, I really enjoy Viparita Karani. Whenever I’ve taught it in class, it’s been very well received. Lots of deep, relaxed sighs of content as people feel they can let go in this restorative, yet energising posture. It gives your feet and legs a rest, whilst stimulating your digestive system and little grey cells as a certain Belgian detective would say. Another favourite pose is Supta Baddahkonasana, which is a supported back bend, with the feet in cobbler’s pose. I love the openness of this position and the way it invigorates yet relaxes me. It provides a wonderful stretch for the spine and opens the chest, encouraging a more optimistic outlook on life.
Apanasana is another posture which in the past I have often practise almost mechanically in class, yet in recent years have actually taken the time to really focus on the breath and movement working together to aid relaxation. This pose is very versatile as it is often used to bring the body and mind back to centre after forward or back bends, or a rotation. It’s more than just moving the knees back and forth, and is instead an asana in which we can really combine our breath and movement in a fluid, meditative way.
My other two favourites are Trikonasana (triangle) and Utthita Parsvakonasana (flank angle stretch), which also work on opening up the body and providing a much needed lateral stretch, something we so rarely do in everyday life. They make me feel stronger, both physically and mentally, whilst focusing and calming my mind.
It’s quite difficult to choose a favourite five, as there are so many postures that I enjoy for different reasons, but these are definitely my go to postures for a comforting practice.
What are your 5 poses that make a bad day better? Which postures do you go to when life is testing you?
Also, which asanas do you often avoid because you find them too much of a challenge? I’m planning to write about them at a later date and would love to hear which postures you struggle with.