Somebody recently wrote to me asking for a sequence that helps in times of emotional distress. Well in response to that I would encourage the whole of the Sivananda system of yoga will help to regain a sense of balance and contentment, not only practicing the asana and pranayama’s but especially bhakti yoga, devotional practices, chanting can especially help to ease a hardened or painful heart and uplift the whole self. But a good sequence of heart opening asana also will bring a great sense of relief if practice frequently and with the right intention. Dharana is that which flows, or otherwise concentration and in times of trauma or emotional stress the dharana will seem lost, maybe the thought of sitting still for meditation is daunting. The mind will be flipping from this to that and a disturbed mind will also bring a disturbed body. This sequence will help to re-establish the concentration and open into the heart space, feeling a greater sense of nurturing from the universal consciousness and space to feel compassion and contentment and again regain a sense of calmness.
1. lie in Savasana – tense and release each body part to bring instant relaxation. Start at the feet and work up through the body.
2. Sit in easy cross legged pose and chant AUM or make your own prayer.
3. Begin with gentle tension releasers for the neck dropping the right ear toward the right shoulder and breathe there, then change to the otherside. Then drop the chin down to the chest and as you inhale raise the chin up to the sky. Repeat this several times.
4. Stand up for ardha chakrasana, as in the image above, hold for a few breath and repeat 3 times.
1. Practice surya namaskar the sun salutations up to 6 rounds.
Setubandasana – bridge pose, practice holding for some time or 3 shorter rounds
1. Chakrasana – the wheel pose, only attempt this if you are a more advanced practitioner.
1. Matsyasana – the fish pose, try to hold for a minute and breath directly into the heart space.
1. Rest again in savasana.
Dharnuasana – the bow pose, find the mid belly and rest there for as long as is comfortable and slowly increase the time. Do not practice if you are pregnant or have any sever back issues.
1. Ustrasana – the camel pose, again breath into the heart space here. You can lighten this pose by keeping your hands supporting your lower back, fingers to the hips thumbs touching each other.
1. Shashankasan – childs pose. Hold for as long as feels good to you and listen to the sound of your breath. Take your knees out wide and arms stretched out front if you are pregnant.
1. Anahatasana- Melt your heart to the earth and release tension in the mid back, hold for as long as comfortable and follow your breath.
1. Natarajasana – Dancing lord Siva, making sure you focus on a focal point and practice on both legs.
Ardha Chakrasana practice 3 times.
1. Savasana for final relaxation and consciously relax each body part from the toes all the way through the body to the crown of the head. At least 10 minutes
2. Sit in cross legged pose and chant AUM or your own prayer.
Always seek the guidance of a suitably qualified teacher.
AUM Lokha Somasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings find harmony and balance
Let us all be well and happy and peaceful
Love from the heart
Mangala / Nicky
Please do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a word document of this sequence with images of all the postures mentioned. OM shanti OM.