During uncertain times, a grounding practice is one of the most generous practices you can offer yourself and your loved ones. This sequence by Brooklyn, NY-based teacher Sarah Girard focuses on standing poses to help you access and claim the power you have to trust your support system and return to the present moment. In addition, using blocks under your head in forward bending poses helps quiet and calm your mind.
Kapalabhati (Breath of Fire)
While comfortably seated in Sukhasana (Easy Pose), softly close your lips. Breathe in through your nose to half of your capacity. While maintaining expansion in your ribs, take up to 50 short, quick exhales through your nose. Re-center with a few deep, slow breaths. This pranayama is great for clearing stagnation and it’s always best to have a hanky nearby.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
To come into Mountain Pose, stand tall, spreading your toes and pressing your feet into the ground. Engage your legs, lift your kneecaps, and firm your outer hips into your midline. Broaden your chest while your arms lengthen to your sides. Soften your jaw and allow your chin to dip slightly down toward your throat. Hold for 5 breaths.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Turn your right leg out to about 45 degrees. Bend the turned out leg and lift the foot up the standing leg to rest either above or below your knee. Press your palms together in front of your chest. Keep breathing as you firm your hips into your midline. Hold for 5 breaths.
See also The Truth of Tree Pose
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold) With Block Support
Separate your feet hip-width apart. Fold forward at your hips, creasing where front your pockets are. Bring 1 or 2 blocks under the top of your head so that your neck is supported as you fold. Widen your arms to about shoulder-width apart. Hold for 5 breaths.
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Place your hands under your shoulders and walk your feet back until your body is parallel to the floor. Just like in Mountain Pose, engage your legs and glutes. Keep your chest broad as you softly look forward. Hold for 5 breaths.
See also Plank Pose Step by Step
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) With Block Support
Place a block on its lowest setting in the middle of your mat. From Plank Pose, lift your hips high, taking your body into an upside down “V” shape. Keep your knees bent. As your hips continue to lift up and back, let your head rest on the Soften your jaw and neck muscles. Hold for 5 breaths.
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Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Release your knees down to the floor. Soften your shoulders and let your head move to the ground as you come into a fetal position. Optional: Keep the block under your forehead, as you again soften your neck and jaw. Hold for 5 breaths.
See also A Video Demo of Child’s Pose
Sukhasana (Easy Pose) With Block Support
While sitting, cross your shins so that your feet are under your knees. Hinge forward at your hips. Stacking 1, 2, or more blocks, fold forward to rest your forehead on the support, cultivating ease in your neck and jaw. Hold for 5 breaths.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold) With Block Support
Extend your legs forward, separating them slightly. Stack 1, 2, or more blocks narrowly in between your legs so that as you fold forward your head rests on the blocks. Stay easy in your neck and jaw. Hold for 5 breaths.
See also 3 Paschimottanasana Variations
Savasana (Corpse Pose) With Additional Weight
Just as weighted blankets are soothing for your nervous system, adding weight to your Savasana can help your body relax more deeply into new levels of groundedness. Place one bolster under the bend of your knees and the other bolster lengthwise on top of your body. Release your arms next to your body naturally. Use the weight of the props as encouragement for your body to get heavier and softer. If you don’t have bolsters, you can use pillows or rolled up blankets. Stay for 5 minutes or longer.
Check out these Bolsters to Boost Your Practice
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