Poses for Finding Stillness in a Changing Universe

Written by on July 9, 2019 in Exercise and Fitness, Health with 0 Comments

If there is one thing that is constant in the Universe it’s that everything is in flux. Every moment of every day is the product of change. It’s easy to want to hold up our hands, to try to somehow stop all this change so that we can simply wrap our heads around what’s going on and get our center. The irony is that we must learn to be at home on the treadmill of life and find a stillness in the movement.  

 

In yoga, the  word for a yoga pose Asana, a Sanskrit word meaning your seat. Each posture is a way of practicing riding that wave of constant motion as you experience the changeability of your body, your, breath, and even your thoughts while you’re in the pose. 


Here are a few simple poses that will help you stay grounded and practice stillness in a Universe that is in constant flux. In addition to practicing being grounded, these poses have myriad other benefits as well. 


 

 

Paschimottanasana—Seated Forward Fold

To do this pose, simply sit on the floor with your legs outstretched and lean forward in the direction of your toes. Negotiate every poses with an intensity that I like to call “comfortably intense.” If you’re very tight, make this posture a little more accessible by bending your knees, raising your seat by sitting on a cushion, or holding onto your calves instead of toes. Give yourself deep breaths in and out of the nostrils. Stay here for 10 breaths.

This seated forward fold is one of my first go-to poses when I feel I need to be grounded. It’s grounding because for one, you’re sitting on the floor—literally grounding. For two, if you’re tight like me, it’s easy to stay present in this pose because there’s a lot of sensation. This posture stretches your calves, hamstrings, and the muscles in your back, especially your lower-back. 

This pose literally means “westward facing stretch.” If you’re facing the sun while doing sun salutations, the “west” side of the body would therefore be your back side, head to heels. In Native American spirituality, the west in ceremony often represents drawing in and meditating. In this posture, it’s very natural to close your eyes, lose yourself in your breaths and the stretch, and arrive at a meditative quality as you get grounded.

 

Suptakapotasana—Lying-Down Figure-Four Stretch

 

I love this pose! If there were a hall of fame for yoga poses, this pose would be in there. I love it because of how good it feels both while you’re doing it and after. This posture is a great counter pose to paschimottanasana, the previous pose, and helps your back relax and stay neutral while stretching your deep hip muscles called the external hip rotators, the muscles that lie beneath your glutes. If you’re tight in these muscles, you’re not alone. 

To do this pose, simply lie on your back and cross one leg over the thigh/knee of your other leg. It’s important to flex your toes of the leg you’re stretching back toward the shin so as to protect your knee. You could either keep your bottom leg on the floor if you feel a stretch or reach through with your arm and hold both hands behind your supporting leg. Give yourself deep breaths in and out of the nostrils. Stay here for 10 breaths on each side.

This pose helps to relax the muscles that are responsible for always keeping us on the go. This pose therefore puts your “on-the-go” quality to rest.

 

Jathara Parivartanasana—Lying-Down Side-Twist

 

Another great counter posture after either of the previous poses, this pose stretches the deep and superficial muscles of your core and helps to keep your spine supple and dynamic, a quality essential for a healthy back. This pose also helps with digestion.


Do this pose by simply lying on your back, bending your knees, and dropping them to one side. It might be helpful to put a cushion under the bottom leg or between the legs. Be careful with this pose if you have a very sensitive back and always err on the side of too easy.  Give yourself deep breaths in and out of the nostrils. Stay here for 10 breaths on each side.

In addition to helping you stay grounded, this pose also wrings out your nervous system by turning your spinal column and therefore spinal chord, the CPU of your nervous system. All the tension you might be feeling from our constantly moving Universe can be set as ease as you rest and breathe in this pose.

I hope that these poses will help you find some grounding in Universe that is constantly changing. May they help you find stillness in motion.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he's not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program

 

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