When I tell people that I teach yoga, their reply is most often a variation on the following: “Oh. I really NEED to do yoga, but…,” followed by some explanation about a lack of time, childcare, flexibility, or money.
In a perfect world, people of all colors, shapes, sizes and abilities would have access to a yoga class that suits their needs This concept of a therapeutic, accessible style or yoga is a new one, but it is slowly replacing the more familiar image of super-bendy, spandex-wearing women.
So, you may be asking if yoga is right for you?
- Do you have a body? Then yes!
- Do you breathe? Yes again!
- Do you like the feeling of being more relaxed? Fantastic!
Welcome to yoga. If this is your first class, put on your stretchy pants (pajamas are completely acceptable yoga-attire) and roll out your mat.
In the coming weeks, I will present five asanas (the sanskrit word for “poses”). These should be safe and accessible for most bodies. However, if anything feels uncomfortable or panic-inducing, then by all means, stop. Yoga is a personal practice – not a competition – and physical/emotional pain is the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve here.
Apana’sana – This pose works with the energy around the belly, or apana. It is also called the wind-relieving pose. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! (wink, wink.)
Contraindications (or, reasons you should NOT try this):
- If you are in the 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy, you could try a variation of this pose in a chair, but not on your back, please.
- It should go without saying that if you experience sharp pain in any area of your back or knees, then this may not be the best pose for you. Don’ worry – we’ll find another.
Let’s get started!
- Begin on your back, with your knees bent. You may wish to lay a folded blanket on top of your mat, for extra cushy-comfort.
- Lift your feet off the mat, bringing your knees towards your chest, with your feet relaxed.
- Place your hands on your knees, with your fingertips pointing towards your feet.
- Now, as you inhale, straighten your arms, moving your knees away from you.
- As you exhale, draw your knees closer toward your chest.
- Repeat as few or as many times as you like. Play with how this feels on your low back and hips, maybe close your eyes and notice how your energy-level changes.
Benefits of This Pose
- This pose is often excellent for those of us suffering with low back pain. It can help the muscles surrounding the low-back to relax.
- The gentle rock across the tailbone can also bring relief to folks with SI joint pain.
- And finally, this is an excellent pose for relieving belly-aches of all sorts. If you’re a mom or dad, you have likely used a similar technique on your baby.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Katie Burrus is an in-home personal trainer and yoga teacher. In order to promote self-awareness and acceptance, she approaches yoga as a marriage between breath and movement. Her therapeutic style of teaching is intended for all bodies, regardless of experience or bendiness.
As a hyper-local website focused on all aspects of parenting in and around Huntsville, AL, and the Tennessee Valley, Rocket City Mom occasionally asks local parents to submit their stories for publication. This is part of our continual effort to represent varied viewpoints and experiences on our site. However, these articles should not be seen as necessarily expressing the views of Rocket City Mom Media Group, LLC.