If the full version of Saddle Pose feels too much then give Half Saddle a try. Like the full version, Half Saddle can also be a satisfying stretch for the quads and hip flexors. This pose also provides a gentle opening of the front body, a release for the upper back as well as extension in the lower back – a lovely counter to sitting for long periods with a rounded back.
In this short video filmed at Embody Wellness I show you some propping options for this pose. On an energetic level, this pose stimulates the Kidney, Urinary, Spleen and Stomach meridian lines.
NB – Proceed with caution if you have knee or back injuries. If any numbness is felt while here then carefully come out of the pose. (Numbness can be a sign that you are putting pressure on your nerves.) Also, if your knee lifts off the ground, then ease yourself out of the pose until your knee is touching the ground again.
Aim to remain in your Half Saddle Pose for 1-3 minutes on each side if you are a beginner or 3-5 minutes if you are an experienced practitioner.
In this short video filmed at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall I am showing you Saddle Pose.
On an energetic level this yin posture stimulates the Kidney and Urinary Bladder meridians – associated with the Winter season – and also the Spleen and Stomach lines. Here I’m using a bolster propped up on two blocks to provide extra support.
Aim to stay in your Saddle Pose for 1-3 minutes.
Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, speak to your doctor before practising yoga.
You can join me here at Embody Wellness every week for Sunday Flow & Release (yoga flow + yin yoga) and Friday Flow & Restore (yoga flow + restorative yoga + yoga nidra) 6-7.15pm
Not able to make it to a class? Find more of my yoga videos here.
After a number of requests I am repeating this workshop. If you missed it last time or think this may be of benefit to someone you know, here are the details. No previous yoga experience is necessary:
Depression can impact our entire being. What we think about, how we feel, how we behave, all altered as depression creates a state of dysregulation in the nervous system. On a physiological level, the whole body, including the respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular and hormonal systems are affected.
In this 2-hour workshop we will practise restorative yoga poses with an emphasis on helping to balance depression.
Although some forms of depression include feelings of anxiety or agitation, more often is the experience of symptoms such as fatigue and lethargy. Because depression can be exhausting, restorative practices have the capacity to play a potent role in cultivating emotional balance and wellness. The props suporting the body in restorative yoga poses allow both body and mind to feel safely held and grounded, and to feel properly rested.
It is not that one pose or workshop will ‘cure’ depression, but the practice can provide us with an active role in moving towards healing. In this workshop we will experience restorative poses that can be used together or separately, along with focussed breathing as part of your own toolkit when you need them. (I will share tips on recreating poses for yourself at home).
About the the teacher: An experienced Restorative Yoga teacher, Paula Hinesis an Advanced Relax Renew Trainer, having studied with Judith Hanson Lasater and has found Restorative Yoga to be an effective tool for addressing her own depression and anxiety.
Numbers are limited to a maximum of 8 people. You can book your place via the Embody Wellness website here or call Embody on 020 7099 0048.
December can be a crazy month for many of us so it can be even more important to find ways to press pause during your day. If you haven’t started a meditation practice but would like to (or if your practice has gone by the wayside and you’d like to re-start), then why not join me for Meditation Advent?
5 minutes (ideally) sitting, each day from 1st – 25th December
This can be done anywhere – at home, on public transport, waiting for the bus (I have busy Mum pals who will lock the bathroom door for 5 mins alone or have their children meditate with them, where possible!)
If you’re able to stick to a regular time each day then great (E.g. I like to sit up in bed upon waking so that it’s the first thing I do). If that’s not possible then take 5 minutes wherever you can.
Set a timer for 5 minutes (I like the bell on the Insight Timer app but you could just use the timer on your phone or any other that suits you.)
While you’re there simply focus on your inhale and exhale. When distractions and thoughts pop up – which they WILL – guide your awareness back to your breath.
Now that we are very much into the yin time of year I’ve been craving warming food and drink. I have been really enjoying this warming tea that is so simple to make. If you’d like to give it a try for yourself here is the recipe:
4-5 cardamon pods
1 tbsp chopped ginger
Half a cinnamon stick
Warm a teapot with boiling water. Crush the cardamon pods and ginger.
Add the cinnamon, ginger and cardamon to the teapot with 2 cups of boiling water.
Steep for 5-8 minutes before drinking. (Pour through a strainer into your cup.)