18 Jan Cleansing Flow To Release Inner Tension
This Cleansing Flow Will Release A Month’s Worth Of Tension
This is my favourite posture Sirsasana, head balance, the king of asanas. I have noticed that the health of my body and mind has been greatly enhanced by the practice of this asana over the years. While, I understand that this pose may seem scary for beginners, once grasped it offers so many wonderful and exciting benefits. So, nothing helps you gain new perspective faster than literally changing your orientation.
Begin by creating a solid foundation. Grab for opposite elbows to ensure they’re no wider than your shoulders, interlace your fingers with the pinkie side down, and thumbs rolled actively up towards the ceiling. A good trick is to roll the forearms upwards towards the ceiling too. Come onto the crown of your head, specifically the fontanel, which is the last part of the skull to harden when an infant. To locate it place the finger tips inbetween the forehead and crown of the head. The softer part of the skull is the fontanel, and is located more towards the front of the head than students of this pose think at first. Any discomfort felt in this pose is often brought about by students placing their heads on the floor too far back towards the crown.
Tuck your toes and bring yourself into downward-facing dog. Engaged legs are key, to enable the leverage to invert the upper body upwards.
I always teach this pose against the wall at first for beginners.
Physically – strengthens upper body, spine & flushes the muscles and skin of the face, neck and shoulders with fresh blood, giving beautiful skin
Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
Physiologically – Stimulates digestion, immune and lymphatic (waste removal) systems, the lymphatic system works according to gravity, and is stimulated when reversed.
Psychologically, calms the brain, relieves stress and mild depression. They develop our capacity for action and enhances our ability to create, and increase confidence.
After this pose it is important to come into extended child for 2 – 3 minutes to equalise the blood pressure.
Separate your feet hip-width apart, (bend your knees if you wish), and bring your chest to your thighs. Fold forward, grab opposite elbows, and settle into this pose for two to three minutes. While this pose may resemble Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), which is an active stretch of the hamstrings, the goal in this yin pose is to dangle the upper body for a longer period of time to help release the lower back. So feel free to bend your knees if you wish.
Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression, Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus, Improves digestion, Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort, Soothes headache and anxiety and reduces fatigue, Therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis, Traditional texts say that this pose increases appetite, reduces obesity, and cures diseases
This is the ultimate restorative cleansing flow pose because it allows you to withdraw from the external world and quiet your mind.
Twisting with this cleansing flow sequence is a wonderful way to detox and de-stress after indulging.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, buttocks supported on a folded blanket or block. Slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip. Lay the outside of the left leg on the floor.
Exhale and twist toward the inside of the right thigh. Press the right hand against the floor just behind your right buttock, and set your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh near the knee. Pull your front torso and inner right thigh together.
With every inhalation lift a little more through the sternum, pushing the fingers against the floor to help. Twist a little more with every exhalation. Be sure to distribute the twist evenly throughout the entire length of the spine; don’t concentrate it in the lower back. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length of time.
Benefits – Stimulates the liver and kidneys, Stretches the shoulders, hips, and neck, Energizes the spine, Stimulates the digestive fire in the belly, Relieves menstrual discomfort, fatigue, sciatica, and backache.
Carving out a few moments to rest after the hustle and bustle of the holidays does wonders for your nervous and immune systems while improving your mood. If you do only one pose from this list on a daily basis, you are doing well! I always rest in Savasana for at least 3 – 5 minutes after my practice, it’s when all the magic happens! You can always try to spend some time in nature too.
Looking for more ways to make good on your 2018 commitment to self-care? Check out our Events page here for courses and workshops led by our Founder Chris James.
Want more ideas for more nourishing yoga poses? Check out (poses for digestion)