November 15, 2014

Rachel Brathen’s Favourite Daily Rituals.

Rachel Brathen legs up wall

This is how our Yoga Girl stays happy and healthy!

Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose)

I do this pose every day. It doesn’t matter how busy I am or where I am in the world, really; every single day.

It’s been a huge part in me healing my back pain, it works beautifully to balance the body while traveling (my go-to to combat jetlag!), it helps to calm the mind and bring awareness to your center and it gives huge release and relaxation to both the lower back and the neck. All in all, it’s a perfect pose to move into after a long day.

Here’s how: 

Come into a side squat on the floor with your outer hip facing the wall. Bring your sit bones down and gently swing your legs up the wall, wiggling your way as close as you can to the wall without your tailbone lifting off the ground.

If your hamstrings are tight your knees can stay slightly bent, or place a folded up blanket beneath your lower back. If you’re comfortable, bring your sit bones (essentially, your butt) all the way to the wall and flex your feet. Let the back of your head rest comfortably on the ground, arms down by your sides with the palms facing up (or any arm variation that feels good to you). Breathe deeply. Relax. Stay present in the pose for as long as you’re comfortable to.

Move out of the pose gently when you’re ready and take a moment in Balasana (Child’s Pose).


Wake up and smell…the hot lemon water!

Drink a big cup of hot water with the juice of half an organic lemon right when you wake up.

Then, stretch your body. Do yoga. Practice meditation; sit in silence. Bow your head in gratitude for everything the day has to bring.

Eat a big breakfast that both nourishes your body and makes your heart happy.

Cuddle your dogs. Hug your kids.

Kiss your husband (or your wife, your boyfriend, your mother, the mailman, anyone appropriate).

Make sure you dedicate the first hours of the day to love and it will resonate throughout the entire weekend.


Relephant Read:

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Author: Rachel Brathen

Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: courtesy of Rachel Brathen 

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Shashwata Nov 17, 2014 7:59am

This is my go to pose to relieve any kind of lower-back pain. It also eases tension in the legs and immensely relaxes my brain. I did this in my college days without knowing I was doing yoga. Between long hours of sitting at my study-desk I’d hop onto my bed or the floor against the wall and get into this pose while I chatted with my friends. They thought I was bonkers! Thanks for posting this. 🙂

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Rachel Brathen

Rachel Brathen is a yogi on a world tour. Born and raised in Sweden, she currently resides in the beautiful island of Aruba where she is busy teaching yoga at a resort in the mornings, coordinating retreats at noon, taking her three somewhat crazy dogs to the beach to keep up with the surf in the afternoon and trying to survive as a vegan (where no vegetables grow!) in the evenings. She firmly believes that life is not black or white – it’s black and white and blue and yellow with rays of pink and sparkle in between. You can teach yoga and still be a party animal. Meditate and ignore your spending problems. Be vegan and eat too much chocolate. Have a Swedish passport and live in the Caribbean. You can do anything, as long as it’s you! You can find Rachel on the beach, probably practicing her Astavakrasana, or on facebook.com/rachelsyoga.