Yoga Prep Before You Go With the Flow: Build Your Perfect Foundation

MountainFirst of all, I hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful Christmas. Now that Christmas has come, you may find that things have started to settle down a little and you are eager to rekindle or even start your practice up.

Here is a little prep to start your practice with the right setting or foundation that you can do in the comfort of your own home. It is totally up to you as to how long you’d like to stay here too and whether or not you want any background music. This also can be done heated if you’d like to go there. (Check out my blog “So What’s the deal with hot yoga” that I wrote earlier in December on how to make your own hot yoga space at home).

Practice:

Stand at the top of your mat, finding a comfortable space. Rooting the bony parts of your feet into the mat, lifting and spreading out toes and then gently lowering toes to the mat. Drawing awareness to the hips, maybe slightly tilting hips back. Engaging in an abdominal lock so that belly button and spine become friends. Breathe! Roll your shoulders up, back, and down. Allow arms to rest comfortably at your sides with palms facing out in front. Finally, lift your crown towards the ceiling. Lengthen! —- MOUNTAIN POSE

Close your eyes and do a little systems scan throughout your body, noting where you might hold tension. Maybe wiggle your jaw or pump your fists. Lengthen your inhale, filling up your lungs from the bottom up and expanding your rib cage. And just as slowly, exhale. If you’d like, turn your breath into what is known as “Ujjayi Pranayama” which is often translated as “the victorious breath or ocean breath.” (Here is how: inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth at first. Then constrict the back of your throat as you exhale – think of how you would fog up a mirror. Once you are comfortable, close your mouth so that all breath is through the nose. While you pursue Ujjayi, you should hear your exhale. It will sound like the ocean or for you Star Wars fans, like Darth Vader). Practicing Ujjayi will encourage the slowness of the breath and greatly assist with your adoption of the yoga essence. Enjoy the rhythm and sound of your breath. Let it guide and sooth you. —- BREATHE

Drawing thoughts toward your practice, quieting the mind, focusing on the present moment, the here and now. Letting go of any expectations you might have, judgement, or even competition. It’s just about you and your mat, breathing and feeling throughout practice. —- YOGA ESSENCE

Build the perfect foundation before you start your asana flow. Take the time to set it up just right. You’ll be glad you did! (You can also choose other starting poses besides mountain pose. Other great starters are “easy pose, child’s pose, seated mountain, Savasana, or even constructive pose”.

Namaste,

Kristen

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