When I competed in last year’s “Surviving The Blog” challenge, I had the pleasure of working with Ntathu Allen, a London-based yoga teacher. In case you haven’t noticed, yoga is more popular these days than it has ever been- so I decided to give it a go.
The biggest obstacle most people face when starting a new health or fitness routine is sticking with it. They bite off more than they can chew and get frustrated. To that end, I have put together a guide aimed at those who want to ensure they don’t aim too high with their goal-setting.
IMPORTANT: Before starting this, or any other exercise program, always consult with your doctor and ensure you are ready for this sort of activity.
Always make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing. You want to make sure you have full range of movement.
It is critical that you are in a quiet place for these exercises. I don’t mean mentally or spiritually – I mean a place that is literally quiet. No kids running around, dogs barking, vacuum cleaners running, etc.
Pose 1: Seated Child’s Pose
This first asana emulates the position of a child watching television. Place your feet up on a table or ottoman, so that your legs are parallel to the ground. Stare forward and take several deep breaths. Once you become comfortable with this position, try crossing your legs at the ankle.
Pose 2: Lounging Dog
Rest your body across a sofa or love seat, with your head resting in your left hand. For balance, hold a light object- like a television remote- in your right hand. Take several deep breaths and focus straight ahead on the television. Try to imagine that you are in a giant movie theater watching the show alone – and do your best to tune out everyone and everything around you.
After 15 minutes, flip your body to the other side and switch the remote to your left hand (see illustration 3).
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t expect to do these perfectly on day one. The important thing is that you are trying! I promise you, if you dedicate an hour or so to this every day, you will become much more relaxed and comfortable.
Once you have mastered these basic asanas, you can move on to more complicated positions, such as Reclining Road Warrior or Exhausted Cobra.
Go For It
To those of you who challenge yourself to try these new techniques, I wish you the best. May 2012 be your most relaxed year ever.