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 laying your back, with feet standing on the floor so that knees reach towards the ceiling, place your hands by your sides, next to your hips. Take a big breath in and begin to lift your bottom off of the floor until you’re resting your shoulders, arms and feet only. The back of your head stay connected to the floor, but avoid putting pressure on it directly, then open across your chest and let your chin rest away from your body. Press the arms gently into the mat or floor to help keep you supported in the pose. Make your belly strong by imagining squeezing your left and right sides together and pulling your bellybutton back towards your spine.
Let the tops of your shoulders relax a little bit and soften your ribs together. Reach your tailbone long towards the space in front of your toes, so you don’t compress your low back. Keep pressing through the bottoms of your feet, but imagine lifting up the arches, the inside upward curve of your feet. Hold for 3 – 5 breaths and gently release back down to the mat with feet planted or bring your knees into your belly and sway a little side to side. Close your eyes and rest in the sensation of openness across your chest as well as the breath in your lungs.
As always, remember that the pose can be done in a bunch of different ways, maybe it feels better to you to bring a yoga block or big book underneath your hips/lower back and rest there without holding your hips up on your own. Or if you’re feeling really strong in your core, belly and low back, consider being a little silly by lifting one leg at a time up to the ceiling, or bring your hands to together under your body, hugging your fingers together and reaching your knuckles towards your feet. These are just a couple 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)