As a yoga teacher who has been teaching for three years, there’s a part of me that strives to be a beacon of constant mental and emotional stillness.
The truth is that most days I meet my mat with a painfully anxious head and heart. I worry about money, love, body image, or I judge myself because I don’t feel I’m being anxious enough.
When anxious, I prefer two types of poses:
1.) Challenging, yet accessible standing poses and arm balances.
2.) Stretch-y, bittersweet reclined or seated hip openers and side bends.
I like standing poses and arm balances that are accessible so I can do them safely without struggle, but are also challenging and robust enough that I don’t have the choice but to get out of my head.
Then, I like to balance out the challenge with seated and reclined poses that I can completely stretch and surrender in. Having the support of the floor after the standing poses and arm balances can feel like even ground after a long flight.
Sprinkling in some gentle hamstring, hips, and side bends can be icing on the yoga cake.
Even yoga teachers get stuck in their heads. When you’re looking to get out of yours, come back to your breath and body. Use these poses to help you tap into the stillness of the moment.
Although I recommend a warm up of three Sun Salutation A and B followed by this entire sequence, you can also perform these poses alone with some preparation.
Vashistasana, Side Plank
Vrksasana, Tree pose
Virabhdrasana 1 with forward bend, hands interlaced behind, Humble Warrior
Goddess with eagle arms
Adho Mukha Vrksasana, handstand
Dolphin pose or Pincha Mayurasana, forearm balance
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge) or Urdhva Dhanurasana, Upward Facing Bow
Parivttra Janu Sirsasana, Revolved Head-to-Knee
Supported Baddha Konasana, Bound Angle
Viparita Upavistha Konasana, Wide Angle
Kim is an alignment based vinyasa teacher in San Francisco, California. Learn more about her at kimsinyoga.com.
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.