In addition to the Daily Ritual In Seasonal Yoga For Fall: Part One, the below Yoga asana sequence can assist you during this seasonal shift.
Aim to Practice the following asana sequence 3 times a week to raise the internal thermostat. The heating and twisting sequence will help move toxins from the tissues through the lymphatic and digestive systems. Remember, our breath moves our body from the inside out. Therefore any movement is preceded by either an inhale or an exhale. It’s like fertilizer for our soul. Enjoy the ‘after glow’ of each posture before moving onto the next. May your body, mind and spirit enjoy the inner journey.
If my description of any asana (posture) is still to challenging for you to understand, you can always GOOGLE the name of the asana to see what it looks like. Some of us are more visual.
1. Resting in Neutral: Lying on your back with your knees bent hip distance apart. Allow your knees to rest towards one another. Arms resting down by your side. Allow the weight of the body to release into the floor.
Surrendering to gravity and grace. Bringing awareness to the sensation of the feeling body while relaxing the monkey mind to the breath. Breathing only through the nose, begin to deepen and lengthen your conscious breath evenly. This velvety, generous breath creating space and relaxation throughout as your Parasympathetic Nervous System activates. Stay here for 5 minutes.
2. Apanasana: (Knees-into-the-Chest Pose). On an inhale, hug your knees into your chest. Wrapping your arms around your knees. Allow your sacrum to stay in contact with the floor. Spine extending out through the crown of the head. This is a nice release for the lower back while compressing the internal organs. Stay here for a minute.
3. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) with Lunges: Alternate leading leg and mindfully move through 3-5 rounds.
4. Balasana (Childs Pose): Kneel with your back straight and your feet pointing in toward each other, arms at your sides. Sit back by moving your hips toward your feet, your knees slightly apart, and your head relaxing toward the floor. Your arms can rest overhead on the floor or stack them like a pillow under your forehead. Stay for 1-2 minutes.
5. Janu Sirsasana (Head-of-the-Knee-Pose): Sit with legs stretched out in front of you in Dandasana (Staff-Pose).Place the sole of your right foot into the left inner leg. If your right leg doesn’t rest on the floor, support it with a block or rolled blanket. Inhale, lengthen spine, ground through the hips. Exhale, extend spine over the leg, allowing the arms to come to rest where-ever they can reach without pulling. Let the left inner thigh hug the right foot and relax your shoulders. Hold for 3 minutes. Repeat on other side
6. Marichyasana (Sage Twist): Sitting in Dandasana again, bend your left leg towards your chest. Inhale rotate your torso toward your left knee. Exhale, wrap your right arm around the left knee, positioning the knee in the crook of the right elbow. Extend the left arm behind you. Keep your spine elegant and straight. Relax any gripping in the back muscles by softening the breath. Eyes soft gazing down towards the tip of your nose. Breathe here for 2 minutes
7. Tarasana (Star Pose): Sit with soles of your feet together and your heels some distance (16-20 inches) in front of your groin. This will create a diamond shape with your legs. Inhale to lengthen the spine and ground down through your hips. Exhale, allow the body to cascade over the shins, ankles and feet. Let your back and neck rest. If the back stretch feels too intense, rest your head on a block or your hands. Stay for 3 minutes.
8. Jathara Parivatanasana (Lying Spinal Twist Pose). Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, your arms out to the sides for support. On an exhalation, allow your knees to drop off and up to the left and while keeping the right side of your upper back and shoulder weighted toward the floor. If the you knees do not rest on the floor, use a folded blanket to catch their weight. This is a good suggestion if your lower back is sensitive or has been injured. Head can remain neutral or look away from the knees. Hold 3 minutes. Inhale to come center. Repeat to other side.
9. Sucirandhrasana (Eye-of-the-Needle-Pose): Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent. Place your right ankle on top of your left knee. Draw your left knee toward your chest, reach your hands around your shin and interlace your fingers. Your left arm will reach around the outside of your left leg and your right arm will each between your legs. As you draw your knee toward you, keep your sacrum down and your shoulders and head on the floor. Relax your left ankle and softly close your eyes. Remain for 3 minutes then switch sides.
10. Savasana (Corpse Pose): As you lie on your back, keep your shoulders down away from your ears as your upper back splays apart and release towards the floor. Arms resting down by your sides, palms facing up. Move your head gently side to side to find a balance of weight on the back of your head. Move your legs apart wider than your hips and allow your buttocks, legs and feet to relax completely. Give everything over, physically and mentally. This posture can be experienced as the most nourishing postures of all if you allow yourself to completely surrender. Body now breathing you, effortless. Enjoy this natural quieting and calming experience. Relax here anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
Note: If short on time, you can modify your Practice to the following asanas (postures) without sacrificing your commitment to consistency.
1. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) with Lunges
2. Janu Sirsasana (Head-of-the-Knee-Pose)
3. Marichyasana (Sage Twist)
4. Tarasana (Star Pose)
5. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
In loving breath,