Autumn is such a beautiful season. The colorful leaves, ripened harvest, cool breezes and longer nights, all subtle signs from Nature to slow down and take it easy.
Especially when colds and flu's pop up in your household, it's even more imperative to be patient with your body and rhythms. That doesn't mean, however, that we should neglect our yoga practice and exercise altogether.
When we're feeling sore, stiff and tired, there are still plenty of gentle movements that can actually support your road to recovery or even help prevent your symptoms in the first place.
Here are 3 easy yoga poses for rest and healing:
1) Cat + Cow Vinyasa
When we're not feeling well or laying around a lot, our neck and shoulders tend to carry a lot of the strain. Loosen things up by flowing through Cat Pose (Marjaryasana in Sanskrit) and Cow Pose (Bitilasana).
Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your shoulders directly over your wrists and your hips aligned over your knees. For Cow Pose, on an inhale, melt your chest towards the floor, relaxing your spine down into a gentle arc and look slightly up in front of you without pinching the neck by keeping space between your ears and shoulders. Then to go into Cat Pose, on an exhale, release your head down and round your spine up toward the ceiling. Repeat flowing between the postures for a gentle vinyasa.
2) Happy Baby Pose
This posture (Ananda Balasana in Sanskrit) and Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana) improves digestion and elimination while stretching the low back and lengthening the spine. Lie relaxed on your back and pull both legs in toward your core. Grasp your hands around your knees to gently pull your legs closer into the sides of the chest. Remain in this posture for seven breath cycles or for as long as is comfortable. Massage the internal organs to promote detoxification, and on each exhale draw the legs closer into the body that is home to all the vital organs of elimination. Deep breathing assists with the flow of nourishing blood and oxygen to these areas. After seven breath cycles, release your arms and legs back down to the floor and feel, lengthening down through your sit bones and widening the back of your body as you support your organs and open the hips.
3) Child’s Pose
Starting in a "table" position (on your hands and knees), move your hips back onto your heels. Rest your hips there with the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Arms come back toward your hips and rest on the floor, with your head resting on the mat. Rest, breathe, and soften your hips, jaw, head, back, and ears. Let your head and arms release fully and breathe. Take at least five nourishing breaths.