This is one of my favorite poses because it allows me to connect into the present moment and ground myself. I am able to touch base with my support beneath me (the earth) which allows me some moments of comfort especially in times of stress, anxiety and when I generally feel upset. It also has the added benefit of gently stretching the lower back, opening the hips and stimulating the organs in the abdomen which makes it good for digestion.
There are many ways to use this pose but one of my favorites is to start my practice in this position, especially in the version where my hands are in prayer position behind my head (see photo). As I settle in to the pose, my attention immediately comes to my breath and also the connection between my palms. Because I love the way yoga makes me feel, I also take a moment to say thank you for this time to myself and for this practice. It is nice to inhale in to the back of the body and exhale let the whole body sink towards the earth and into a gentle stretch. After about one minute of breathing in this position, I generally feel grounded, centered and ready to move. However, there are days when I stay in this position for my whole practice.
Another great way to use this pose is to calm the mind and body in times of stress. Simply make your way into the pose and begin to take deep breaths, focusing on a longer exhale. I also like to focus on where my body is connecting with the earth beneath me which brings me to the present moment and has a calming effect. Finally, this is a great pose to come into should you ever find yourself overwhelmed in a yoga class.
Pictured are a few options for this pose but please find a version that works best for you. It is best to have your head resting on something so you can use a block or blanket under your forehead if it doesn’t reach the floor easily. You can also put a blanket or pillow under your knees for padding or a blanket behind your knees if the knees feel like they are stretching/bending too much. Also, note that my knees are apart in this photo but you can also bring your knees together under your belly. Arms can be wherever they are comfortable.
As always in Trauma Informed Yoga, please come out of the pose if you feel pain or triggered in any way. It is important to find a place that might feel intense but not painful, a place where you can breathe comfortably.
Give it a try and see what you think! Let me know if you have questions and I would love to hear your comments.