It is essential to find moments of comfort and ease when we are navigating uncertainty. A gentle flow merged with a soothing meditation is the perfect medicine when my soul feels trapped in the chaos and heaviness of life. This practice starts with Savasana, which will invoke a nurturing sense of grounding. It closes with a breathing practice that calms the nervous system and lays the foundation for a tranquil meditation. I recommend doing this practice at the end of the day. It’s a wonderful way to slow down and reset.
A comforting flow for times of uncertainty
Come to your back, straighten your legs, and bring your feet wider than hip-distance apart. Take up space as you relax your arms beside you. They can be a few inches away from your body with your palms facing up and your fingers soft. Make yourself comfortable by placing a blanket or towel under your head. A rolled-up blanket or pillow under the knees can ease any tension in the lower back. Adjust as much as you need to, then find stillness with the eyes closed for 3 minutes.
Sukasana (Easy Pose) with Ganesha Mudra
From Savasana, move your body gently and draw your knees toward the chest as you roll to one side. Sit with your legs crossed. (Feel free to sit on a pillow or blanket.) Bring your palms together at the center of your chest. Swivel the palms so the fingers of the right hand move toward the left wrist and vice versa. For this practice, the left palm faces the center of the chest. Keeping your hands together, bend your fingers and slide the hands apart until the fingers lock. Close your eyes, take deep breaths in and out of your nose, and maintain the mudra for 2–5 minutes. Lower the hands to rest on your knees. Remain in stillness and breathe lightly as you meditate for 1 minute.
Marjaryasana–Bitilasana (Cat-Cow )
Come onto your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders, and knees under your hips. Spread your fingers wide. Your spine is in a neutral position with abs engaged. When you inhale, arch your back and lift your chest forward. At the same time, the belly relaxes while the sit bones spread apart. As you exhale, round the back, drawing the belly toward the spine and dropping your chin to your chest. Allow your inhale and exhale to initiate the movement and continue flowing in and out of the poses. Do this for 1–3 minutes. Be mindful not to swing your head vigorously.
From Cat-Cow, slowly begin to walk your hands out in front of you. Keep your hips elevated and your arms shoulder distance apart, then gently release your forehead and chest toward the ground. Maintain active arms by pressing into the palms of your hands and lifting your elbows and forearms away from the ground. Make sure you draw the shoulder blades onto your back, and lengthen the spine in both directions. Hold the pose for 5–10 breaths. To come out of the pose, lift your chest and walk your hands back to return to all fours.
From Tabletop, spread your palms, turn your toes under and begin to lift your knees off the floor. Straighten your legs, directing the hips toward where the ceiling meets the wall. Gently press your heels toward the floor (but keep in mind that your the heels do not need to touch the floor). It may help to keep your knees bent at first as you find length in your spine. Activate your outer arms, press the base of your index fingers into the floor, and lift your inner arms from the wrists to the shoulders. Spread your shoulder blades against the back, then broaden them. Hold the posture for 8–10 breaths.
Parsva Balasana (Thread the Needle Pose)
From Downward Dog, lower your knees and return to all fours with a neutral spine. Begin to slide the right arm under your chest toward the left edge of the mat. Allow your torso to twist naturally as you release your right shoulder onto the mat. Keep both knees and your left hand grounded on the mat. You can extend your left arm up or place the left palm on the mat above your head with the elbow gently bent. Hold for 5–7 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Return to all fours and slowly, mindfully step your right foot to the inside of your right hand. (Know that you can use your right hand to help it along.) Soften your left knee to the floor. If the knee is sensitive, place a blanket beneath it to relieve the pressure. Release the top of your left foot to the ground, and slowly lift your chest. For this version, I’m going to suggest releasing the arms alongside the hips. Keep the hips moving toward the front of the mat while simultaneously pressing down through the top of your left foot and the sole of the right foot. Gently engage your glutes and quads. Finally, isometrically draw the left and right feet toward one another. Hold the posture for 5–7 breaths, then transition to Seated Spinal Twist.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist)
From your lunge, support yourself as needed to slide your left knee to the outside of your right foot and lower yourself to the mat. Your right knee points upward and your right foot rests outside your left thigh. You have the option of keeping your left leg bent or straight. Make sure both hips are firmly grounded to the floor. On the inhale, lengthen the spine. Exhale slowly as you twist your torso to the right. Your head can turn in the direction of the torso or remain in your ideal comfortable position. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Take 5–7 breaths, keeping the inner right foot pressing into the floor and releasing the right groin. Slowly unravel the body, return to all fours, then repeat Low Lunge into a Spinal Twist on the other side.
Return to all fours, keeping your knees aligned with the hips. Know you can also open your knees wider than your hips and bring your big toes together to touch. Breathe in and, as you exhale, slowly draw your hips toward your feet and rest your buttocks on your heels. Relax the upper body and the hips toward the heels. Remain here for 7–8 breaths.
Virasana (Hero Pose) with Ganesha Mudra
From Child’s Pose, lift your chest to come into a kneeling position with the tops of your feet resting on the floor. Bring your knees together and widen your feet more than hip-distance apart. For this pose, you can rest a blanket, pillow, or block between your feet, under your hips and buttocks. Before lowering the hips to the floor or prop, use your hands to draw the flesh of the calf muscles outward and back toward the heels. Gently lower the hips down. Elongate your spine and sit upright so that your shoulders are over your hips. Return your hands to Ganesha Mudra in front of the chest. Close your eyes and take long, deep breaths. Hold the pose for 1 minute.
Sukasana (Easy Pose) with Left Nostril Breathing
From Hero Pose, shift your hips to one side and bring your legs around to return to a crossed-legged position. Place your left hand on your left thigh. Close off your right nostril with your right thumb and keep your other fingers pointing straight up. Begin breathing slowly through your left nostril. Inhale and exhale with your eyes closed. Take you internal gaze between your brow (first eye). Keep your right nostril sealed throughout. Do this for 2–3 minutes. When you are ready, lower your right hand, breathe through both nostrils, and notice how you feel. Remain in a meditative state for 5–10 minutes.
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