Did you know that yoga teachers sometimes draw out their yoga sequences, a set of poses within the practice, using stick figures? Well, welcome to Yogi Stix, a page where you can spy with your little eye a yoga ‘stix’ figure and a description of the pose to help you practice at home!
From standing tall, bend your body in half, at your bellybutton. Place your hands at the top of your yoga space (mat or no mat, we can practice anywhere that there’s stable ground!) and step your feet to the back of your space. Make sure your hands are positioned under your shoulders and that your hips are lifted in line with your torso, trunk, keeping your spine long. Turn your arm bones in your shoulders sockets so that your biceps, the muscle on the inside of your upper arms, turn toward the front of your practice space and give your elbows just a tiny little bend.
Let the tops of your shoulders relax a little bit and stretch across your upper chest and upper back. Soften your ribs together to help engage your upper belly and then imagine cinching your bellybutton to your spine. Reach your tailbone back towards your heels, and lift your inner thighs up toward the ceiling. Press your heels as far back behind you as you can, and always hold your head high, rather than letting it drop toward the ground. Hold for 3 – 5 breaths and gently release to hands and knees or all the way down to your belly, but if you lower to your belly be sure not to let your hips fall out of line. Close your eyes and rest in the sensation of strength and your breath.
As always, remember that the pose can be done in a bunch of different ways, maybe it feels better to you to bring your knees to the floor instead of staying on your toes. Or if your palms flat to the floor hurts your wrists, you could think about balling your hands into fists and pressing into your knuckles, or you could always come to your forearms, lower arm bones, for a slightly more challenging variation. These are just three of the ways to change this pose to make it better, more accessible, for your own body so play, give all of the variations a try to find out what makes you happy in this pose! And grown-up yogis, please remember that this pose looks different in everyone’s bodies so let the kiddo’s bodies do what feels good to them – no cheating, let them find it themselves. ;0)