The holiday season is often time for resolutions. Why not take advantage of this time of year to start a daily yoga practice? Whether you have already done yoga or not, it is possible, in a simple and safe way, to practice yoga at home. Yoga not only promotes relaxation and calm but also the regeneration of tissues and organs of the body. It boosts your immunity, increases your strength and flexibility, improves your breathing capacity, gives you energy, improves your posture, allows you to be more focused and cope with life events with greater serenity. A daily personal practice, although short, will have a beneficial effect on your health and well-being. Like taking a shower or brushing your teeth, the practice of yoga should be part of the daily routine of healthy living.
It is true that a yoga practice can take time, especially if you have to move to a Studio. For this reason, I strongly encourage practice at home, without of course eliminating your Studio practice a few times a week if you have one. Divide your practice in two is another good way to engage in daily practice. 10 to 15 minutes twice a day will make a big difference and allow you to start and end the day in peace. The easiest way is to leave your yoga mat rolled in the room. In this way, it will be easier to motivate you to start a daily practice.
So I propose you a morning practice and a practice of end of day of 10-15 minutes each. Both are designed to stimulate your digestion and immunity, which are generally needed during the holidays. My morning practice postures will give you energy for the day and help you stay anchored. Those of the evening will help your body and mind to return to calm for a good night's sleep.
Start your practice lying on your back. Concentrate on your breathing and gradually deepen it starting at the belly, then the ribs and up to the shoulders for inspiration and gradually letting the air escape from the lungs and returning the belly button to the expiration . Then take a deep breath and stretch your hands over your head. Exhale through your mouth and release any tension. Repeat twice. Throughout the practice, have a deep, gentle and regular breathing. Inspiration and expiration should have the same duration.
CAT - COW: stand on all fours, hands flat, shoulder-aligned, inhale slowly, bending your back and looking upward) Exhale slowly, rounding your back and looking towards your belly button. Repeat 5 times.
DOWNWARD FACING DOG: (adho mukha svanasana): From the previous posture, raise your hips upwards, taking care to spread your fingers and toes. Extend the arms and legs and try to put your heels on the ground. Connect the shoulder blades well away from the shoulders of your ears and extend your spine. Take 5 breaths in this position.
TRIANGLE (trikonasana): advance your right leg forward and straighten up. The right foot points forward and the left is at a 45 degree angle to the inside. Legs straight, inhale by extending the arms on each side, the body aligned, only the head turns forward. Exhale, letting your right hand slide along your leg while keeping your arms aligned. Turn your head to look at your left hand up. 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
HEAD TO KNEE POSE (janushirshasana A): in a sitting position, with your back straight, take the left foot inside your right thigh. Support your left knee with a blanket or block if it does not touch the ground. Inhale, raising your arms upward, exhale and rotate slightly to your right leg and grip your foot or leg. Drop the head to the knee. 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
POSTURE OF SAGE MACHIRI (Marichyasana C): While sitting, take your right foot slightly out of your hip by bending your knee, your foot is flat on the floor and your knee is pointing up. Place your right hand on the ground behind you, inhale by lifting your left arm and exhale while twisting to the right. Grip your right knee with your left arm or drop the elbow on the outside of your knee if you have flexibility. Turn your head to look back over your right shoulder. 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
THE BRIDGE: (sethu bandasana): lying on your back, take the feet near the pool and leave them at the width of the hips. Inhale by pushing the pelvis upwards and taking care to keep your legs parallel. push your shoulders and arms into the ground, bend your elbows and point your hands up. Raise your chin slightly upwards. 5-10 deep breaths.
CHILD POSE (balasana): place yourself on the knees and drop the head on the floor or on a block, the arms on each side of the body. Relax completely. 5-10 deep breaths.
SAVASANA: Finish your practice on the back, hands open to the sky, legs slightly apart. Let go of the control of your breathing and keep your mind attentive to the sensations of your body. Without judging them, without trying to modify them, observe. Going from the status of doing or doing something to simply being here now has a very powerful regenerative effect.
Start your practice as for the morning routine lying on your back.
KNEE TO CHEST, FOLLOWED BY SUPTA MATSEYNDRASANA: on the back, hold the left knee towards your chest, leaving the right leg lying down. Inhale and lift your head and shoulders, push the lower back well to the ground and keep your face close to the knee. 5-10 deep breaths. Then, grab the knee with your right hand and raise your left arm over your head. Inhale and when exhaling, gently take the knee to the right. 5-10 breaths. Repeat the sequence on the other side.
GRASSHOPPER POSTURE (salabhasana): turn on the belly. Place your hands flat on each side and your chin on the floor, feet together. Inhale and lift your left leg as high as possible, keeping the rest of the body relaxed. 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side. Then do both legs at the same time and this time, raise the head and shoulders off the ground. 5-10 deep breaths.
UPWARD FACING DOG (urdva mukha svanasana): on the belly, place hands flat on each side of the ribs, inhale by pushing in the hands to raise the upper body. Make a gentle twist on each side to look towards your feet. Go back slowly to the ground.
CHILD POSE WITH INTERWINED HANDS (balasana): place yourself on the knees and drop the head on the ground or on a block, the arms on each side of the body. Relax completely. Inhale by interlacing your hands in the back, arms extended as much as possible. Inhale and lift your arms, exhale bring your arms back to the pelvis. 5 repetitions.
BACK STRETCHING POSTURE (pachimattanasana): while sitting, inhale and raise your arms upwards, exhale and bring your hands forward. Catch your feet or legs and let your head fall back to your legs. Take care to push the bones of the buttocks towards the ground. 5-10 deep breaths.
SAVASANA: Finish your practice on the back, as for your morning practice. You are no longer in a rush of time in the evening, so take advantage of staying in the savasana position and go to bed immediately after practice, bringing the feeling of peace and calm with you to sleep.