It’s another round of yoga in my vibrant blue workout gear! This time the intention is finding your center and inner peace. Uncover your tranquility with calm blues and purples, and settle further into the stretch to boost your strength, flexibility, and harmony.
“When you practice yoga, not only does it give you that hour on the mat to feel calm and refreshed, it also gives you insight into and perspective on how you’re living your life.”
Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)
The extended hand-to-big-toe pose works your legs, ankles, hips, and shoulders—while also challenging your balance. In order to stay upright, you need to align your hips to offset the weight of your raised, gravity-defying foot. Not only does this add strength to your core and lower back, but it also causes you to focus on your center of gravity and on your deep breathing.
You can take the foot as high as you’d like for a deeper challenge and stretch, or keep it low if you’re just starting out. Either way, once you’re in this pose, you’ll want to stay like that forever… in the calmness found in the space between your leg and the parallel floor!
Knee-to-Arm (Chaturanga Dandasana)
This knee-to-arm pose, also called the four-limbed staff pose, works your body similarly to a pushup, but it does so much more. It strengthens your body from shoulder to calf, and it develops intense core stability.
In order to stay in this pose, you not only need phenomenal strength but intense focus. Keep your gaze on the floor and focus on the movement of the line in your back. This gets you more in touch with your spine, which is the center and foundation of your entire body.
Knee-to-arm is a preparatory pose for more advanced poses. It is the perfect move to prepare your body and your mind for the following workout’s inversions and balances. Before jumping into more challenging poses—no matter how skilled you are—it’s important to do a prep pose like the knee-to-arm.
I love the locust pose because it literally brings you “down to earth.” If you’ve been feeling stressed out, anxious, or your head’s in a jumble, the locust pose will ground you and pull you back to your center.
It lengthens the spine and opens up the chest, which helps to create good posture and promote deep breathing throughout the day—keeping you calm all day long! The locust pose also massages your organs, improves digestion, and invigorates you to take on the rest of the day! Oh, and it tones your butt too! Hehe
Child Pose (Bālāsana)
Who doesn’t love the child pose? If you ask me, this move is the second most restful pose (after corpse pose). The whole point of child pose is to put your forehead—where your “third eye” rests—on the mat. This instantly soothes the brain and clears it of all that’s running through your mind. By folding your body inwards, you send a signal that you’re safe and it’s time to rest (this is why so many people sleep in the fetal position).
Doing child pose throughout the day can actually invigorate you in the same a catnap does, and it cultivates a renewed sense of balance! I love doing child pose in the middle of my yoga set to bring in a moment of rest, so I’m ready to finish out my workout with a bang.
Head-to-Knee Forward Bend with Stretching
Similar to child’s pose, bringing your forehead to your knee in the head-to-knee forward bend pose can create an instant sense of calm throughout the body. It will also improve the flexibility of the sciatic nerve, again working the back and spine towards a more energized center.
This forward bend also improves circulation throughout the body and tones the reproductive organs and kidneys. This is absolutely necessary for those who have sedentary jobs. This is the perfect pose to stretch out sore legs and back while also re-centering your focus on your inner spirituality.
Plow Pose (Halasana)
Finally, the plow pose is a great way to end out this tranquil and spiritual yoga mini-journey. The plow pose is an inversion of the third eye, your head lifted to the sky while your body is turned inward. This yoga pose is named for the “plow” because it prepares the “field” of the body and mind for a deep rejuvenation and regrowth.
The plow pose is known for its ability to calm the nervous system, reduce stress and anxiety, and overcome symptoms of fatigue. Somehow it’s able to both calm and excite at the same time, making it the perfect pose to end a tranquil workout and begin the rest of your day!
Do you use yoga to regain focus and build your spirituality? What are your favorite poses to find your calm?