3 poses to bliss
Need a little more bliss in your life? Here are three little steps to heaven, by Sarah Highfield
Hands up if you need a holiday! Most of us have had to forgo or change our usual travel and leisure plans recently, however, that doesn’t stop you from creating your own inner sanctuary and feelings of bliss.
Many scientific studies have proven that the practice of yoga promotes inner peace and calm, and when you find this feeling within you, it will radiate out into everything you do and touch everyone you meet.
Here are my top three poses for creating a sense of bliss from the inside out. Remember: yoga is a journey, so move slowly through these poses, listen to your body, notice how you feel inside, and breathe deeply through your nose. If something doesn’t feel right, slowly come out of the pose and rest.
Half Bound Lotus Seated Forward Fold Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana
This pose relaxes your nervous system and calms your mind, it’s a wonderful way to leave the stresses of your day behind and be in the moment. I love this pose because it’s a real mix; it stretches the back of your legs, your spine, your hips and opens your shoulders.
1. From a seated position, extend your left leg out in front of you and place your right foot up onto your left hip.
2. Wrap your right arm behind your back and hold onto your left big toe. If you cannot bind, you can use a yoga strap to help you. Hold onto your left big toe with your left hand, and again, if you need to use a strap, then do so.
3. With an inhalation lengthen your spine and with an exhalation fold forward.
4. Try to fold from the hips, maintain a flat back and keep your shoulders level.
5. Take five deep breaths here and then repeat on the second side.
Ustrasana Variation Camel Pose Variation
This is a modified version of camel pose. It’s a lot easier than the full version of the pose and stretches the entire front of your body. As with all backbends, it is emotionally uplifting, helps to release tension build-up and boosts your endorphins.
1. Come to kneeling and extend your right leg out to the side. Keep your left foot tucked under and place your left hand on your left heel.
2. Gently press your hips forward and lift your chest up towards the ceiling. Reach your right hand up and back.
3. Feel a gentle stretch in your spine, through the front of your body and under your right arm.
4. Take five deep breaths here and then repeat on the second side.
Salamba Bhujangasana Sphinx Pose on Bolster
This is a gentle and relaxing backbend that opens your chest and heart. By using a bolster, you will feel extra supported and find the pose deeply comforting; promoting a sense of bliss and wellbeing.
1. Lie on your front with a bolster under your chest. Prop yourself up using your forearms. Press down through your hands and ensure that your forearms are shoulder-width distance apart and parallel.
2. Lift your chest up, lengthen your spine, draw your shoulders back and then soften them away from your ears.
3. Feel a gentle stretch in your spine and through the front of your chest.
4. Take five deep breaths here and then relax.