Downward Facing Dog
There’s nothing like a full body stretch to start your day or your daily meditation. Engaging your shoulders for support with the legs anchoring down creates balance to center your mind with gentle movement. With just enough core work downward facing dog expends excess energy that can make us jittery when meditating.
How-to: Come on to all fours with wrist under shoulders and knees under hips. On an exhale raise hips to ceiling, palms firmly planted with no pressure on the wrist. Bend the knees if you need too. Don’t allow shoulders to meet with your ears, instead slide shoulder blades down.
Upward Facing Dog
Loosen and relieve tension in you back while opening your heart to all possibilities and words of wisdom God has for you as you meditate. We sit hunched over our desks, dinner tables, and steering wheels all day closed off from the world waiting to lock ourselves away. Break out of your shell for just 5 minutes a day with an open heart and, who knows, you may find yourself overwhelmed with joy.
How-to: Lay flat on your belly with your wrist still under your shoulders, elbows pointing back toward your hips. On an exhale, push up with your hands planted firmly into the ground. Don’t allow shoulders to meet with your ears, instead slide shoulder blades down. Don’t allow your behind to stay clenched as it will put pressure on your lower back and limit the heart opening quality of the pose.
You will be working more kinks out of the spine here, but the focus will be on linking your movement to your breath. Losing awareness of our breath in meditation allows our focus to drift from our intention. You can even do a modified version of Cat/Cow in the car and at work when you need a meditation break.
How-to: Begin as you would for previous poses’. With each inhale, arch your back. With each exhale, round the spine and pull in your belly for some light core work- if your up for some adventure bring your left knee in to meet your nose. Repeat on the right side to stay balanced.
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold
Simply put, this pose is all about surrender. Surrendering our past hurts, betrayals, and whatever else to the will of a loving God. In our time with Him, we come so burdened down by life that we forgot how blessed we are. In Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold, we put our bodies into action instead of just entertaining the idea of what surrender means. Give all you are to Christ and you won’t be disappointed. Scared, yes, but not disappointed.
How-to: From a seated position, create a wide space by separating your feet in opposite directions. With a deep inhale bring your arms above your head and lean forward leading with your heart. You can stay here or reach out to grasp your feet for a deeper hip opener.
Blessings and Peace-Randa:)
Photo is from UnSplash.com and taken by Tim Marshall