Since I've been experiencing more tension headaches than normal, likely due to more travel in the past month than I've had in awhile, this is a great gentle pose to practice first thing in the morning, and even just before bed. Here's the how to:
(This can be done without props, or with...whatever you prefer.)
Photo sourced from Motleyhealth.com
- Sit on a bolster or large bed pillow, with your tail bone in the middle of the pillow.
- Tuck your chin and with your hands helping to walk you backwards, lie supine on your mat. Reposition the pillow as necessary.
- Hug your knees into your chest and hold the pose for 2 full breathes.
- On your next exhale, drop both knees to your right side, and extend both arms out in a "T". (A pillow between your knees and the floor helps ease the stretch, as well as a pillow between your knees.)
- Focus your awareness on your lower back, picturing the tension you feel easing on the inhale, and releasing from your body on your exhale. I find it useful to visualize a color; like that of a warm and gentle sun on a summer afternoon.)
- Rest in this pose, bringing your awareness to your breathe, and focusing on opening any areas in your body that feel tight. At least 5 mindful breathes on this side.
- Inhale your knees to center and give them a hug on the exhale. On your next exhale, drop them to the left side, repositioning pillows as needed.
- Repeat the above steps on your left side.
- To come out of the pose, place your feet on the mat and gently lift your sit bones up to the sky, pulling the pillow out from under your bottom. Slowly lower down back to the mat, bringing your knees into your chest and roll back up to sitting.
- In a comfortable seated position, see if you notice any shifts in your body.
I find it very challenging to only do one yoga pose, and usually end up with at least a 25 minute practice every time. Good for the body, great for the mind, blissful for the heart.