- Stand with both feet hip distance apart. Take a moment to feel the weight of the body pressing the feet into the ground. Feel your breath. Look ahead and find something on which to focus your gaze. Keeping the eyes steady goes a long way toward keeping the body steady.
- Lean onto the left foot and carefully bring the bottom of the right foot to the inside of the left leg – either at the calf muscle or thigh muscle (it is important to stay clear of the knee).
- Feel your roots growing into the ground. Slowly reach your arms overhead, keeping the shoulders relaxed down away from the ears.
- Wiggle fingers (leaves blowing in the breeze). What kind of tree are you?
- Try to hold steady for three to five relaxing breaths and then switch sides.
Benefits: This pose compresses the joints of the standing leg. It helps to develop concentration and a sense of groundedness.
- Begin as you would for Tree Pose. Stand steady, find a place to focus your gaze and feel your breath.
- Eagles have enormous wings. A female American Bald Eagle can have a wingspan of more than seven feet! Stretch your arms out to the sides at shoulder height just like an eagle.
- Bend your knees and cross the left leg over the right. You can plant your left toes on the ground across your right foot, leave them dangling or maybe even hook your left foot behind your right calf (as shown in the drawing).
- Cross your right arm over your left arm, past the elbows and place your palms together (you may need to approximate this and that’s okay).
- Hold the pose for three to five relaxing breaths and then switch sides.
- After holding steady, take off and soar around the room. Come back to land in your nest.
Benefits: This pose crosses the mid-line of the body helping to develop inter-hemispheric integration in the brain (the two sides of the brain communicating more efficiently). The wrapped arms and legs give deep pressure to the limbs.
- Begin sitting on the floor. Lean back on your hands, legs out in front, knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Use the hands on the floor for support and lift the legs up. This may be your boat pose today. Hold and breathe.
- To accelerate the pose (make it more challenging), begin to straighten the legs so the toes and nose are lined up (as shown in the drawing).
- Bring your arms out to the sides along the legs. Try to breathe evenly without strain and keep the chest lifted so the low back doesn’t round too much.
- Row your boat by clasping the hands together and paddling side-to-side (stroking hands outside one hip then the other). This is a fabulous workout for the oblique muscles and crosses the mid-line of the body (see benefits of Eagle Pose above)
Benefits: This pose engages core postural muscles helping to develop stability in the trunk.
A steady gaze, a still body and even breathing develop the nervous system on all levels. These poses can help you move into a state of balance. Balanced health, balanced perspective and balanced mind.