Dragging your bones? Here’s my three yoga staples to help nourish your nervous system, build vitality and carry you through. These passive poses are perfect if you’re already exhausted. Put 15 minutes aside for yourself, rest back and let your yoga do the work…
Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose)
Great to do at the end of the day (especially for tired legs), helps calm the nerves and create balance.
Place a folded blanket or firm cushion about 3-5 inches away from the wall. Sit on your blanket side-on to the wall, using your arms to support your body, swivel around and bring your legs up the wall. Keep your bottom close to the wall, wriggle closer if you have slipped away a little. You can also use a bolster and let your sitting bones rest between the bolster and the wall, which arches the back and opens the chest. Uncurl you back on the floor (or bed), with your legs up the wall and toes pulled back to help increase prana. Breathe into your belly and let your chest open.
To come out of this pose walk your legs down the wall and hug your knees, roll to the side and use your arms to come up, inhale as you lift your head.
If you are pregnant (around 16 weeks or over): instead of laying flat on your back like I am, fold a few blankets or place a bolster right against the wall to support your sitting bones and elevate your pelvis. Bring your legs out into a gentle V shape up the wall. Come out of the pose if you feel uncomfortable or light headed. This is great if you have fluid retention, aching legs or just need some restoring.
Supta Baddhakonasana (Reclined Tailor’s or Cobbler’s Pose)
Known as the great restorer, this pose is chicken soup for the spirit. Reclined Tailor’s Pose also supports sacral energy, the seat of creativity. Often when we are overly busy and depleted we forget the little joys in life like cooking delicious food and enjoying beautiful scents. This pose helps cultivate creativity, making your journey lighter and more enjoyable.
Start with your feet on the floor, and your bottom on a folded blanket. Recline back onto a supporting pillow or bolster (make sure your support feels firm). Bring the soles of your feet together. If you get back pain during your day, place two blankets under your bottom to gently reduce the arch in your back.
If you are pregnant: ensure your arms support you as you uncurl onto your bolster and keep your belly soft. Use supports under the head end of your bolster to create an incline, and place blocks under your knees to ensure you don’t overstretch. I recommend new mums rest their legs over a bolster rather than out to the side, to avoid stretching into the hips.
To come out of this pose, use your arms to help close your legs like a big book, bringing the soles of your feet back onto the floor. Roll to your side, and use your arms to come up to be seated, taking a breath as you lift your head.
I frequently do this pose with the grounding weight of an amethyst crystal on my chest, fantastic for nourishing energy.
Balasana (Supported Child’s Pose)
Supported Child’s Pose stretches your back and fills your cup, a wonderful pose to turn your focus and energy inward when your mind is full of to-do-lists. This pose nourishes Kidney energy, which can get depleted when we burn the candle at both ends.
Bring your toes together and open your knees out to the sides of a blanket. Slide a bolster or a firm pillow under your tummy and chest. Exhale, and while supporting your weight with your arms, lengthen your spine and come forward to rest along your bolster. Let your hips stretch back into the nest of your heels. Let your arms relax next to, or under your bolster. Turn your head to one side and rest your cheek on the bolster, after a few breaths you can turn your head to get an even stretch through both sides of your neck.
If you are pregnant: let your knees open wide enough to accommodate your belly as you come forward. Place your inclined bolster just under your chest and not under your belly. You may need more of an incline than is demonstrated above, by placing more supports under your bolster.
To come out of Child’s Pose, press your palms on the floor, inhale as you straighten you arms and lift you head, pause then walk your hands back toward you.
There you have it, some simple nurturing yoga to get your bones across the finish line.
This yoga blog is intended as a guide. To ensure your yoga is appropriate for you, be sure to check in with a practitioner if you have any injuries or specific needs before enjoying at home.