Well now the winter is definitely in full swing here in Kathmandu and getting up in the dark and in the oh so cold is getting tougher and tougher, especially with no heating systems in our homes.
But the intention to get up and onto the mat is still there and maybe for some even stronger as we want to start the new year in a positive manor, which can lead to a few frustrations as our mind is battling with our intellect and our bodies, the mind is telling us its ok go back to sleep, our bodies are telling us no I really would like to stretch and the intellect is telling us get your bottom out of this warm cosy place and on the mat, you know that it is good for you!!
So what to do, we all know which one we should be listening to, so here are a few yogic practices that you can do in the bed to make the journey out of there a little easier and a little gentler on our whole being, as winter time is a time more for rest and rejuvenation than pushing ourselves to our limits.
Also for those of us suffering with colds at this time of year rest is actually the best thing for us, but we still would like to practice, so here is how we can rest and practice at the same time - hmmmmm will we ever make it from out under the covers again!!!!!!
You can start by lying in Savasana; on your back with legs apart, arms apart and palms facing upward and begin with some full yogic breathing. Begin by just becoming aware of your natural breathing feeling all the sensations from the tip of your nose down into the lungs and again back out, feeling a warmth on the upper lip with every out breath. Then start to breath more deeply pushing the tummy out as you inhale then pause, continue the inhalation and expand the chest. Then with the exhalation allow the tummy to drop back down toward the spine and then lastly let the chest come down. This breathing is going to bring potential energy for your day into the body and the whole system creating a good intention for the day.
Then you can move into reclining bound angle pose – Supta Baddha Konasana, allowing a gently opening in the hips and the inner thighs. Feel the soles of the feet pressing gently together allowing a flow of prana to journey around the body. The spine can rest in its natural curve on the mattress and feel the shoulders and back of the head resting either on the mattress or on a pillow. Hold for however long you feel you can or as long as time allows and breath into any parts of the body where you are feeling tight or stiff.
Then straighten out your legs and hug one knee up to your chest again hold for some time keeping the other leg firmly pushing downward and then change to the other leg.
Coming into a supine spinal twist – Supta Matsyendrasana, take your arms out to the sides shoulder height, bring one knee up to your chest then drop the knee down over the opposite side of the body and as close to your arm pit as you can, try to keep both shoulders down on the mattress and feel the twist to the spine, encouraging prana to flow through the spinal nerves and giving relief to the lower back. The other leg is kept straight out. Try to lengthen your exhalations in this pose to encourage the body to detox after the stillness of sleep.
Then you can roll over onto your front and come into a nice wide legged childs pose sinking the heart downward and resting the forehead either on the mattress or pillow. Feel a connectedness to the earth as the hips gently open allowing the heart further downward and feel safe in your space as you look into your inner self.
Lastly for now or you will never get up!! Come to your cross legged pose sitting up now in the bed and bring the arms into Gomoukanasana pose, - crossing one arm over the other at the elbow and then connecting the palms together you should feel the forearms pushing against each other, then lift the elbows upward looking up to the finger tips to feel a lovely stretch along the upper back and the shoulders, great to relieve morning stiffness.
Throughout all these practices continually scan your body for new sensatioins as the body wakes up, now you are ready to jump out of the bed with enthusiasm and energy for the day!!
Looking forward to seeing you on the Mat!!!
Wishing you all a joyful and peaceful 2015 full of much love always
Enjoy your bed yoga!
Mangala / nicky