5/100 ~ Easy Pose (Sukasana) – I’m keeping these beginning yoga days very basic on purpose. Not that I’m going to go all crazy and pretzel-shaped around day 90, but I want to lay the ground work for some poses that are accessible for beginners, and also great for seasoned yogis to revisit and appreciate.
Benefits: This pose helps to settle us down – to ground us when we feel scattered or anxious. It improves posture; stretches the hips, knees and ankles; broadens the chest; lengthens and strengthens the spine; calms the mind, and reduces anxiety, stress and fatigue. As we press into the sit bones to sit taller, we are also strengthening our core muscles.
How to: Sit in a cross-legged position. If you feel tightness in your low back or if your knees are lifted, sit on a folded blanket (or two) to raise the hips a few inches higher. Find your sit bones. (Wait. My what?! The sit bones are the two bones at the base of your bottom – the lowest bones of the pelvis. You can feel them when you sit, just take a moment to notice.) Press into the sit bones equally and lift through the crown of the head to sit nice and tall. Roll your shoulders back and down, letting them lower and relax away from your ears. Relax your face and jaw, and rest your hands on your knees. Gently close your eyes, then practice slowing and deepening the breath. Notice if you start to slouch, and just keep picking yourself back up, sitting as tall as possible.
Add on: Create some gentle neck rolls and shoulder shrugs to release tension in the neck and upper back.