Well no, not my yoga studio but one being used by my friend and fellow Dru Yoga teacher Sylvie More. Now she is teaching in the Himalayas, and her yoga ‘studio’ is a patch of grass outside, but it was still rather unexpected!
It got me thinking about how yoga helps us to deal with the difficult and challenging stuff life throws at you when you least expect it. Since practicing yoga regularly I have really noticed the difference in my resilience to life’s knocks. Being a Yogi doesn’t mean you are immune to tricky, or tragic, things happening in your life, you just carry a very special tool kit with you that helps you to deal with them easier.
The postures we are working with in my classes at the moment help to open up the chest, shoulder and hips – all areas where we store tensions and where constriction can feel most apparent. By opening these parts of the body up we are allowing ourselves to move more freely, both physically and mentally.
Sometimes, though, we need a quick-fix. An easy way to try to assimilate things that happen to us and to be able to release stress and tension quickly. One great way to do that is to use the Crocodile, or Makrasana, posture. This relaxing pose encourages us to focus on the breath, and to release anything that doesn’t serve a good purpose for us, into the earth.
How to do Crocodile posture
- Lie down on your yoga mat or carpeted floor on your front
- Fold your arms above your head and rest your forehead on your folded arms
- Walk your feet away from each other as far as feels comfortable
- Allow your heels to drop inwards, towards the centre of your body
- Bring your focus to your breath, breathing in and out easily, and relax
- Stay for between 1 and 15 minutes – try to see if you can stay a little longer each time you do it
- To come out bring your hands under your shoulders and push your hips up and back on to your heels, folding your abdomen over your thighs and resting your forehead on the floor (Child pose)
- Rest in Child pose for a few breaths before pushing yourself up to sitting