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A Short Somatic Yoga Practice

Not sure what to expect from this mindful approach to yoga? Start here.

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This practice from Somatic Yoga founder Eleanor Criswell emphasizes visualizing yourself coming into a pose prior to attempting it. It also emphasizes being aware of sensory feedback from your body.

See also: What You Need to Know About Somatic Yoga

A somatic yoga experience

Visualize yourself lying on your back with your legs extended toward the ceiling. When you’re ready, actually come onto your back, bend your knees, and extend your legs up as far as is comfortable. Hold them there for 20 seconds, breathing normally.

When you’re ready, bend your knees and bring your feet to the floor, then straight out on the ground. Breathe deeply for one minute, repeatedly inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for four. Feel the sensations you’ve created.

Move into half Shoulderstand with your legs lifted and your hands under your buttocks. If you feel you cannot or should not do this, just visualize it. Bring your knees over your body, lift them using your abdominals, then lower your buttocks back onto your hands. Hold here for 20 seconds. Then round your back, and slowly roll down to the floor. Come into Savasana and take a minute of deep breathing and self-sensing.

Next, visualize yourself moving into Cobra Pose. Then roll onto your belly and place your hands on the floor beside your shoulders. On an inhalation, use your back muscles to lift yourself. Hold for 10 seconds, then come down slowly. Repeat three times. Place your hands beneath your forehead and let your head come onto them into Crocodile Pose. Take a minute for breathing and deep sensing.