Yoga is a brilliant thing. Each asana (yoga pose) has a specific impact on the body, both physically and mentally.
Depending on your mood and energy levels your body will need a different combination of asanas when you practice your daily yoga. Being able to tune in to the body and recognise what it needs is an important skill. Many of us are out of tune with our bodies and force ourselves to do things that we don’t want or need. This leads to tiredness and will have the opposite effect to what you want. On the other hand, doing exactly what your body needs will keep your energy levels high and you will be able to live a sustained and balanced life.
So the first thing is actually figuring out how you feel and what you need. Remember what you need and what you want may be separate things. So it is useful to know this and bare it in mind.
I would recommend starting your practice in child’s pose. This is a great pose to tune into your body and breath. ‘Check in’. Notice how you are feeling. Decide what you need.
The next step is matching the asanas to your mood. I will give you a basic overview of what is best for what and then it is down to you to decide what you need. Only you can know.
What is good for what?
- If you are tired and need an energy boost then do the warrior series. These asanas include the warrior poses and chaturangas.
- If you just need a wind down then it is time for surrender to gravity asanas. These are very yin. Supine twist and happy baby are great. As well as savasana (of course).
- If you have a stiff back or are feeling emotional then try any back bends. Bridge pose is especially good for a stiff back and I personally love wheel or camel pose for releasing emotions.
- If you have been sitting all day or have any cramps then hip openers are great. Runners lunge is good if you have been sitting. Frog pose and half pigeon are also very deep hip openers. Since we store a lot of emotions in our hips as well then hip openers can be a great way to release emotions we are holding on too. I find half pigeon especially good for this.
- If you need grounding in your life and need to restore some balance then of course any balancing poses are perfect for this. Tree pose is the best asana for grounding yourself in. Imagine roots spreading down from your feet when you are in tree and it will help ground you even more.
- If you have had an unhealthy few days and want to help your digestive system then twists will do this. These poses include twisted crescent lunge, twisted chair pose and twisted low lunge. But any twisting poses will kick start your digestive system and rinse out the bad toxins.
- Finally if you are feeling ill or have a cold then inversions are what you need. Any inversions are good for the immune system since they flush the body with fresh oxygen and also detox the body and help waste products get removed. Head stand is very good for a cold. But if you want something a little gentler then just having your legs raised against a wall is a very good pose. This is also good for the lower spine!
I hope these have been helpful. I think it is perfect, the fact that yoga can help a lot of physical problems as well as emotional! I always thing that yoga is the best medicine.