#3 Legs-up-the-wall (Sarvangasana variation) – 5 minutes
This pose is one of the most beautiful ways to detoxify the body and relieve tired or cramped legs. By resting on your back with your legs up, the heart is given a chance to relax, the mind becomes clearer and stress will begin to melt away. All the while you will be renewing the blood and lymph drainage to the heart area. It is one of my personal favourites when I need to just slow everything down.
Bring your hips close to the wall and swivel around until your buttocks are pressed against the wall, legs are up and you’re resting on your back. Your legs should be at 90 degrees to your body. Gently close your eyes and allow your whole body to relax. You may like to cover your body with a blanket to keep warm. Stay here for 3-5 minutes, maintaining a conscious awareness of your breath. For those who want to take it a little deeper, take your awareness to your heartbeat. While the name doesn’t sound so appealing, Corpse Pose (Savasana) is the most important of all yoga poses. This is a time when you can draw your attention deeply inward to explore the subtle sensations within your body. To really notice what your body feels and needs in the moment. Slow breathing will calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure, and draw you into a state of deep rest.
Lie flat on your back with your legs extended down the length of your mat and your feet softly falling out to the sides. Let the whole body be heavy and completely supported by the earth below you. Keep your arms resting at the side of your body with palms facing the ceiling. Close your eyes and take a few moments to scan the body for any tension you may still be holding on to. As you exhale, try to release this tension. Bring your awareness to your whole body, scanning from your toes all the way to the crown of your head, and consciously allow each part of the body to relax. Stay in the position for 3-5 minutes.
If you take just a few moments each day to practise these poses you will continue through the holiday season with a renewed sense of calm and presence. ■