This sequence has been put together to help relieve you of any tension that may have built up during the day. These poses are great to do before bed to help aid better sleep. There is also a handy breathing technique, which will help to calm the nervous system and mind.
Bring the big toes together and fold over the knees. You can take the knees out wide or bring them closer together – whatever feels better for you. Rest the forehead onto the mat, but if it doesn’t reach make a pillow with your hands. This is a really grounding pose to begin in.
Drop one ear to the shoulder and breathe into the side of the neck. Bringing the chin down to the chest, take it across to the other side. If you find any areas of tension, work into it, being really mindful with the delicate neck joint.
Place the fingertips onto the shoulders and begin the draw circles with the elbows. Start off small, then make the movements bigger – make sure you go clockwise and anti-clockwise. This help release the shoulders and stretch out the chest.
From a comfortable seated position, inhale to lengthen the spine and sit up tall, as you exhale twist to one side. You can use the front hand as a little bit of leverage to go deeper. Relax the shoulders ease yourself into this one gradually.
Place the soles of the feet together and bring the knees to about a 90-degree angle. Bring the chin to the chest and round the spine, allow the arms and head relax down and surrender to gravity. Bring pillows under the knees or forehead to really chill this one out.
We hold a lot of emotional stress in our hips, so be sure to breathe deeply in this one and use the exhale to soften. Bring one ankle across the opposite knee (keep the foot flexed to protect the knee), then place the sole of the foot from the bottom leg to the mat, slide the foot in closer towards you to go deeper. The stretch should feel intense, but never unbearable or painful, so back off if it becomes too much.
LOWER BACK RELEASE
Bring the hands behind you and swipe out the knees from left to right. Keep the chest lifted and push the hips from side to side as much as feels good. This should release tension held in the mid to lower back.
This is a really nice release for the hips and also massages the lower back. Grab the feet / ankles / calves – whatever you can grab a hold of and pull the knees down towards the underarms. Allow the big toes to drop out to the sides and keep the lower back, shoulders and head on the mat. Happy baby should be a soft pose, so avoid forcing it.
Inversions are great for our circulation and lymphatic systems, but can sometimes feel a little intense after a long day. You can chill out your inversion by bring the hands (or a block or pillow) underneath the pelvis and lengthening the legs up to the sky. Keep the knees soft and maybe spread out the toes and circle out the ankles. Maybe even pop a blanket over the feet to add a little bit of weight and warmth.
GOLDEN THREAD BREATH
Come to a comfortable seat and ensure the face and jaw are relaxed. Inhale through the nose and exhale very slowly through a small part in the lips. Close the eyes and allow the mind to focus solely on the breath. This technique is called Golden Thread Breath as you can visualise a fine golden thread being released from the lips into the distance. Practise this for around 2-3 minutes and take a moment to acknowledge how you feel afterwards. Slow and long exhales like this calm the nervous system and give an unsettled mind something to focus on.