1. More Stretching
Always begin by stretching. Muscles need to be warm to function effectively, maybe as long as 12-15 minutes. You can include; twists, cross-legged forward bends, stretching with arms overhead and doing a twist in both directions and side bends, extended forward standing bend with arms over head and some knee flexes from side to side. Watch you flexibility continue to increase.
2. More Restorative Postures
Bringing the body to balance and flexibility is a benefit of any yoga practice. However, an extended focus on restorative yoga postures is a grounding and calming experience. It’s a way to let go of mind clutter and decompress from a stressful day. Putting your legs up the wall is a great posture to fully open your heart and pay more attention to the breath. Child’s pose is another way to be fully present to your mind, body and spirit.
3. More Neck Rolls
Neck rolls sound simple, right? You may think it’s kind of an okay thing to do in yoga, but the neck roll movement is so very important to the base of our neck, upper back, shoulders and to the all around line of our spine. One intention in yoga is to keep the neck vertebrae in line with the vertebrae of the spin, which forms a straight line from the crown of the head down to the lumber and sacrum. So spend more time with head rolls rather than glossing through it.
4. More Knee Work in Chaturanga
Putting your knees down first on the floor. That puts less weight on your back, shoulder and arms as you lower yourself down to the mat. This will still strengthen all the muscles involved in the upper back and arms, without the added physical stress.
5. More Time in Savasana
Savasana or corpse pose is the most important posture in a yoga practice. Don’t get antsy because most everything you want to do can wait! With a more meditative and purposeful yoga practice, you give yourself due and mindful respect. Feel the benefits of letting go and gaining acceptance as you end your practice.
Sometimes a (temporary) physical limitation or healing injury can teach you more about the profound benefits of yoga than you could imagine. Go for the longevity of your yoga and meditation practice. Honor your body with greater awareness. Each one of us is perfectly imperfect!