Hatha Yoga Sequences + Advice

Social Media Bringing You Down? Try This Freeing Flow

Unravel texting-Induced tension and reconnect to you with these 8 liberating poses.

Truth check: are you in a long-term relationship with your phone? It’s understandable. After all, you can swap pictures with friends in faraway places, create awesome DIYs and projects in less than five minutes, and even have your cat go viral just for wearing sunglasses. However, as you’re sucked into this tiny magic mirror that puts the world at your fingertips, perhaps you notice an ache in your neck, eye strain, sleeplessness, or maybe an annoying headache obstructs your focus. Though you may not be quite ready to commit to getting that RV and living off the grid, a social media detox would do your mind, body, and soul some good.

If the idea of a social media detox drums up a bit of separation anxiety within you, you’re not alone. That feeling when you’re about to get a text or that phantom sensation of your phone vibrating in your pocket when it’s not there are shared cultural experiences. Social media connects us to friends, family, jobs, our dreams, and worthwhile adventures. We can infinitely scroll for hours without realizing just how much energy we exchange with the people behind the screen.

See also Feeling Overwhelmed? Try This Soothing Sequence

Unplug Devices to Recharge Yourself 

While some photos fill you with bliss, other notifications or profiles may leave you feeling “less than” and energy-depleted. Remember that a curated feed is a highlight reel of others’ lives and growth; it won’t show all the behind-the-scenes complexities. Creating boundaries with and even taking a break from social media is a form of self-care.

Though it can feel invigorating to surround ourselves with influencers and inspirations and to curate our own online shares, we must also cultivate time to validate and admire ourselves in the present moment. Imagine if you gave yourself the same amount of attention and positive reinforcement that you give to those that you look up to as #goals. Your yoga practice is a space for you to create and exist outside the perception of others. It’s a place where you can hold space for yourself, not as a filtered photo others consume, but as a soul experiencing life.

This sequence by Juanita Borges invites you to intentionally recharge and reset your energy. The mindful movements present in this practice act as counterposes to the positions we’re usually in while scrolling on our phones, tablets, and computers. We’re hoping that this refreshing practice will be one you’ll want to like, share, and subscribe to.

Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

Begin in a seated position with your legs outstretched in front of your body. Bend your knees so that your shins cross over each other. Keeping your pelvis centered, inhale and find length throughout your spine. Exhale to place your hands onto your thighs or knees. For receiving energy, keep your palms upturned. For grounding energy, place your palms down. Close your eyes to the outward gaze. Focus solely on your breath and the energies circulating within your body. Stay for 1-3 minutes.

Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose)

Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your feet parallel to each other and firmly grounded into the mat. Press your palms together at your heart center (Anjali Mudra). Exhale and guide your hips back as if you were sitting in a chair. Be mindful to keep your knees behind your toes to protect them. Inhale and keep your chest lifted as the bottom half of your body bears the weight of this pose. Engageyour thighs and abdomen and exhale to twist your torso to your left. Connect your right elbow to the outside of your left thigh. Anchor your heels as your chest shines to the left for about 5 breaths. Inhale to re-center your torso. Exhale into the twist to the right side.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Begin in Tadasana. Place your hands on your hips as you exhale to gently fold your torso forward, hinging from your hips. As you feel your spine lengthening, invite your neck to completely relax as your hands float towards your feet. You can keep a little bend in your knees and bring your hands to grasp onto your elbows to make this pose more comfortable. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

From a kneeling posture, place the tops of your feet on your mat so that your toes can press down. Place your palms onto your lower back with your fingers pointing toward the ground. Inhale to expand your chest open as you lift your gaze toward the ceiling. Exhale and gently press your palms into your low back to encourage a backbend. Remember to relax your neck and head to keep them as an extension of the spine.If you are comfortable here, you can reach your hands towards the heels (or props, such as yoga blocks) for the expression shown in the picture. Stay in this pose for at least 5 breaths. When you’re ready to unravel from this pose, inhale your hands to your low back before coming back up.

Virasana (Hero’s Pose)

Kneel on your mat, placing extra padding under your knees if preferred. You can have the tops of your feet grounded into the mat or tuck your toes as shown, if it is in your scope of practice. Exhale to rest your buttocks onto the soles of your feet,heels, or on a yoga prop (bolsters, blankets, and/or blocks can be great for this.) Inhale to bring your pelvis, spine, and head into alignment as you sit well and tall. Rest your hands effortlessly onto your thighs. Hold for 5-7 breaths.

Sphinx Pose

Lie down on your belly with your legs outstretched behind you and the tops of your feet grounded into the mat. Place your elbows underneath your shoulders and point your fingers toward the top of the mat. With your forearms parallel to each other, inhale to lift your head and upper torso into this backbend. Guide your gaze onto the horizon as you engage your belly. Hold for 5 breaths. Exhale to release your belly, upper torso, and head to the floor.

Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Come to Tabletop Pose with your knees pressing together and the tops of your feet grounded onto the mat. On an exhale, release your hips to sit onto the soles of your feet or on a yoga prop as your hands loosely wrap around your thighs. As your head rests onto the mat or on a yoga prop, bring a deep inhale into your lower back to create space there. Exhale to release everything as you take 5 breaths in this pose. To transition out pose, inhale and shift forward and back up to Tabletop.

Supta Matsyendrasana, variation (Supine Spinal Twist)

Begin in a reclined position with your head, back, and feet resting on the mat. On an inhale, lift your legs toward the sky as if your body is a 90-degree angle. Bend the right knee into your chest and cross your right thigh over your left thigh. If this leg variation is comfortable, you can cross your right ankle behind your left ankle. With the exhale, slowly release your eagle variation legs to the left side of your mat or to props like blankets if desired. Gaze over your right shoulder for a complete twist of your spine. Hold for 5 breaths. To release this pose, inhale your legs back to center as you unravel and straighten them back towards the sky. Repeat this pose on the other side.