Autumn is the perfect time for introducing a stretchy grounding practice into your life. Nothing really long or complicated just some cosy yoga stretches which will help to soften the body before winter and work into those crunchy shoulders and backs we all seem to have.
A pose you have probably come across in most yoga classes as a resting pose. This can be really lovely place to start a practice. A few pointers for this pose would be.
- Knees can be wide or close together. Personally I like to bring the big toes to touch and my knees wide as it gives space for my body to move into
- Feet can be flat or toes tucked under, depending on where your feet are comfortable. A rolled up mat or blanket underneath the ankles can also be really lovely
- Whether arms are reaching forward or tucked to the side of you try and reach your bottom back towards your heels as much as possible bring some extra length into the spine.
A perfect pose to follow childs pose as it continues to lengthen the spine, stretch into the front of the chest and release the shoulders
- From all fours walk the hands forward so that the torso lengthens but the hips stay above the knees
- Feet can be flat to the floor or toes tucked under. To bring some extra love to your knees fold your mat or pop a blanket under your knees
- Be active into the arms and torso. Press into the hands and try to keep the ribs tucked in a little rather than letting them flare. The opening will then move a little away from the back of the body and instead into the chest
A soft standing forward fold which is perfect at any part of the day for letting the neck, back and legs release
- Think of this pose as a place to soften and expand rather than fold as deep as you can
- Keep some softness into the knees and either let the arms hang at their full length or hold the opposite elbows
- Let the chin tuck into the chest slightly so that the back of the neck lengthens and the crown of the head feels like it is releasing to the floor
Thread the needle
A beautiful way to release the shoulders and also tune into your breath by moving with it.
- Starting from all fours, as you inhale sweep one arm to the ceiling, as you exhale reach under the body to the opposite side. Repeat with the breath as many times as you’d like.
- If you would like a deeper stretch into the upper back and shoulders then pause when you reach the arm under. Maybe letting it come to rest on the floor and maybe letting your head come to rest too
I’ll admit for a long time this was not my favourite yoga pose at all. In fact I found it a little scary but I have come to love it for the lengthening it gives to the spine
- To bring yourself into plough lay on your back and bring your legs straight into the air. Find a couple of gentle rocks to bring the bottom up away from the ground and bring your hands to your lower back, from there you can guide your feet a little closer to the ground
- If you are unsure I would start your journey into plough close to a sofa so that when you bring the feet over the top of the head they can rest onto the sofa rather than onto the floor. You can then slowly get more used to the feeling and gradually bring your feet lower. A stack of blocks or books also works here
In my eyes this twist is the perfect way to prepare your body for relaxation.
- When bringing the legs over to one side you can either keep the toes to the ground and let the legs roll over to one side or start from legs on the belly and let them roll over from there until the toes touch the ground. This second option would result in a slightly deeper twist
- Arms can either reach out a shoulder height, come to more of a cactus shape or let one hand rest onto the knees. Try to keep both shoulders in contact with the ground
- If your neck is happy then you can turn the gaze in the opposite direction to the knees.