DAY 22. Read to the end for your challenge/question of the day
BALASANA (child pose)
This lovely nurturing posture resembles the curled up position of a baby in the womb. Child pose is soothing for the back and restful for the head, face and eyes; it also develops softness and flexibility in the ankles, knees and hips. As you breath in and out in child, pose try to become aware of your head and pelvis as two heave weights releasing toward the floor gently stretching the spine between them. Child pose can flow smoothly into camel pose (included next).
1. Kneel with your knees and ankles close together (don’t sit back on your heels yet). On an in-breath, lift your arms gently above your head and feel you whole back lengthen. Keep your neck and low back long and loose. Breathe steadily.
2. On an out-breath, sit back on your heels and gently fold forward. Lower your forehead to the floor and rest your hands alongside your feet, palms facing upward. Breathe softly and steadily. Relax the muscles in your neck, shoulders and chest.
*If you find kneeling uncomfortable, try placing a rolled up mat or blanket under your ankles to take the pressure off the tops of your feet. You can place a block between your hips and heels if your knees feel tight, or rest your forehead on a block if your head does not easily reach the floor.
Observe your breathing through the movement of your diaphragm pressed against your thighs.
USTRASANA (camel pose)
This is a strong but secure backbend that tones the muscles in the thighs, abdomen, neck and back and stimulates the thyroid gland. It promotes deep breathing and releases tightness in the chest and throat. Avoid it if you have a neck or back injury, are pregnant, have had a recent abdominal surgery, or if the pose causes nausea or dizziness.
1. Kneel with your knees hip-width apart. On an in-breath, stretch your arms over your head. Let the fronts of your thighs lengthen and your lower back release. Pull up your lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. On an out-breath, drop your right hand to your right heel.
2. With your right hand on your right heel, lift upward through the fronts of your thighs and your abdomen and left arm. Look down towards your right heel. Your buttock muscles will automatically contract. Return to kneeling upright and repeat steps 1 and 2 with your left arm.
3. Kneel upright and this time take both hands back to grasp your heels. Press forward through your thighs, open your chest, lift the front of your body, elongate your spine and let your head drop gently back toward the earth.
*If you cannot reach your heels in camel pose, tuck your toes underneath to raise your heels slightly.
Try to visualize yourself forming an arc, like a rainbow.
Day 22 challenge:
Today we learn two poses that truly complement one another. The child and camel pose. Try these two postures as a sequence. See how different one feels from the other, but how wonderful they feel together. What are the main differences you feel when you breathe through each posture? Share with us in the comment box below.
All participants’ names will be entered in our 30 days of yoga with hipS-sister draw Oct. 1st.