Moving into the warmer months can leave us feeling over-heated and overwhelmed. Sometimes this is reflected in our yoga practice, as we feel drawn to those classes that promise a sexy physique. This simple sequence, which can be practiced at home, is designed to cool down the body, increase calm in the mind and encourage self-acceptance for transitioning into summer with confidence.
Find a comfortable seat and begin to pay attention to your breath. Feel your belly gently moving as you inhale and exhale. Stay here for a few moments until you feel peaceful and calm. Imagine your body enveloped in a cool, white light as you mentally repeat the phrase, I am love, allowing the words to synchronise with your breath. Stay here for three to ten minutes. When you are ready, bring your hands together at your forehead and bow to the teacher within.
Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
From sitting, make your way onto your belly, bringing your hands underneath your shoulders. Gently press into your hands as you elongate your spine and press the pinky toe edges of your feet into the mat. On an inhale, begin to lift your chest. Imagine opening your heart to the full potential of who you are as you remind yourself that you are love. If it feels comfortable for your neck, you can look towards the sky (keeping the back of your neck long), but keep your gaze down if this doesn’t feel right in your body. Stay for five breaths then release one cheek to the floor to rest.
Anuvittasana – Standing Backbend
From Tadasana (Mountain Pose) inhale and extend your arms straight above your head with your fingertips reaching skyward. You may leave your hands shoulder-width apart or, if comfortable for your neck and shoulders, bring your palms together and gaze up. Feel your lower body engage as you lengthen your spine and gently lean back, lifting your heart to the cool sky and gently activating your core. You may wish to support your lower back with your hands if backbends are new for you or if you feel any tenderness in your lower back. Stay for three breaths. To release, use your core strength to slowly make your way back to centre.
Uttanasana – Forward Fold
From standing, sweep your arms above your head as you inhale, and exhale bring your hands through your heart centre as you release forward. Bring your arms down by your sides and rest your hands wherever comfortable (for a more restorative variation, clasp opposite elbows with your hands). Feel your feet grounding down as you allow your knees to soften. Feel the spine lengthen as you gently draw your lower belly in and feel your upper body melting over your lower body. Imagine any cares or worries easily pouring from the crown of your head and your whole body cool and calm. Stay for ten breaths.
Once complete, slowly make your way into Savasana and stay resting for as long as you like, again visualising your body surrounded by white light.