As rewarding as motherhood usually is, some days are just overwhelming and exhausting. During those hectic periods when you feel like you need a break from it all, give yourself a “time out” to de-stress your body and connect with your breath. This short sequence from Two Fit Moms includes familiar (yet strong) poses plus an invigorating backbend that will leave you feeling less harried and more empowered. Hold each pose for 5 full breaths before practicing on the other side of your body.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Begin in Downward-Facing Dog, with your tailbone high in the sky. Depending on your hamstring flexibility, you may need to bend your knees and lift your heels to find length in your spine. That’s OK! The goal is to feel empowered by each pose, so do what feels good to you. No critical thoughts allowed.
From Downward-Facing Dog, step your right foot forward in between your hands, and spin your back heel to the floor so that the toes of your left foot are pointing toward the left edge of your mat. Lift your torso for Warrior II. Check your alignment: an imaginary line drawn straight back from the heel of your front foot should intersect the arch of your back foot. Bend your front knee to a 90-degree angle, and gaze over your right middle finger. Stand strong, knowing that your strength comes from within.
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From Warrior II, straighten your front leg and reach forward as far as you can before bringing your fingertips to the pinky-side edge of your right foot. Extend your left arm toward the sky, trying to create a straight line from fingertip to fingertip. If reaching the floor feels like a struggle, place your right hand on top of your shin or a yoga block. You may stay here and find stillness with your arms extended, or you can wrap your left arm around your lower back and reach for your right hip crease. If you choose to take the half bind, focus on rolling your left shoulder back and lifting your chest toward the sky.
From Half-Bound Triangle, re-bend your right knee, untwist your upper body, and bring your left fingertips to the ground. Pivot onto the ball of your back foot for Runner’s Lunge. Stack your right knee over your right ankle and lift your back heel from the floor. Pull your core in, and try to keep the vast majority of your weight in your legs rather than in your hands. Know that you are getting stronger and more centered with each breath.
Runner’s Lunge Twist
From Runner’s Lunge, keep your left fingertips on the ground, and sweep your right arm up toward the sky. Gaze up at your fingertips. If you’d like a deeper stretch across your chest, bend your right elbow and reach around your lower back for your left hip crease. Keep twisting your torso to the right and imagine that you are wringing the stress out of your body with each breath.
Complete your sequence with an empowering backbend. From Runner’s Lunge Twist, untwist your upper body and bring your right fingertips to the mat. Lower your back knee to the floor and untuck your toes. Straighten your right leg, and then bring your torso to an upright position. Place both hands onto your lower back, fingers pointed down. Slowly begin to lean back as you lift your chest toward the sky. Feel free to keep your hands on your lower back or bring your left hand onto your left heel and extend your right arm behind you.
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