I’ve been sat in this café for over an hour trying to get ‘round to writing this piece for August. But so far all of that time has been used up replying to emails, rearranging classes, organising transport to go to Somerset this weekend and other life admin. For me, summer is an extraordinarily busy time, it has so much to offer; old friends in town, clients wanting to schedule extra sessions before holidays, festivals, the opportunity to be out in the fresh air until late at night- and it’s like I can’t say no to any of it. This makes for a very exciting and stimulating professional and social season that I cherish and long for in the quiet hibernation of winter, but that I have to balance carefully with a deeply nourishing and restorative element to my practice to keep my energy levels consistent and to avoid burn out.
Last month we explored Paschimottanasana, and continuing with a restorative theme, this week’s posture is Balasana/ Child’s Pose. I like to pepper my sequences with plenty of Balasana’s at times when my energy is stretched (like during high summer), replacing vinyasa’s with the quiet contemplation of turning inwards to rest in the breath and be still for a while.
Balasana requires no warm up, and can be practiced as part of a sequence or simply at a point during the day when you feel you need a little time and space to step out of the fray and back into your self.
- Start on all fours
- Sink the hips back onto the heels and allow the forehead to rest on the mat.
- Breath consciously, feeling all areas of the rib cage, and the space between the shoulder blades expand on the inhale, and feeling yourself sink deeper into nourishment and stillness with every exhale.
Place padding under the knees or in the ‘knee-pit’ if you feel any discomfort. Variations include bringing the arms alongside the body palms facing up, or keeping the arms stretched overhead and taking the knees wide apart (toes touching). Play around and find a version that you can stay in, exploring the breath, for as long as you need.
by Jasmine Pradhan from http://stretchandthecity.co.uk
Jasmine teaches Hatha yoga (sometimes dynamic, sometimes slower) with an open heart and an open mind. She believes that every individual already has the tools they need to achieve true happiness and wellbeing, and that sometimes they just need a little help discovering them. She truly believes that a dedicated yoga practice can be the key to that toolbox, and aims to facilitate that discovery for her students.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any new physical activity. Always practice under the supervision of a qualified teacher.