Today is the Summer Solstice, making it the perfect time to head out into your nearest green space, breathe deep and get your asana on. It's also the first ever International Day of Yoga, recognized by the United Nations.
Here are six simple poses to open your heart to new possibilities, ground and connect you to the present moment, and help you consider what you’re cultivating in your life, both on and off the mat.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana) With Anjali Mudra
Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your feet hips-width apart. Consciously root down through the soles of your feet, feeling the connection between your feet, the mat, and the earth beneath you. Bring your hands to your heart in a prayer — Anjali Mudra. Set an intention.
Tadasana With Padma Mudra
Press your thumbs and pinky fingers together and open your other fingers into Padma Mudra. This is the mudra of receptivity. Take 3 cycles of deep, conscious breath here, and breath your intention into your practice.
High Lunge, Crescent Variation (Alanasana)
Bend your knees and shift your weight into the left leg. Step the right foot back to and bend into your left knee, stacking it over your ankle. Press back through your right heel.
Keep your shoulders over your hips and your weight centered. Find a sense of connection and strength as you raise your arms to frame your ears.
High Lunge With Padma Mudra
Bring your palms to Anjali Mudra, take a breath. Open your palms to Padma Mudra, and take another deep cycle of breath, consciously breathing into your intention.
Connect again to the energy of growth and receiving, and take 5 breaths here. Bring your palms back to Anjali Mudra at your heart.
Step forward to Tadasana and repeat on the other side.
Humble Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana) Variation
Hinge forward from the hips and lower to Low Lunge, bringing your palms on the mat. You can lower your back knee down if you choose. Keep the front knee over the ankle and stretch your arms forward to flip your palms toward the sky, knuckles down on the mat.
Think of something that no longer serves you in a positive way and decide to consciously let it go. Breathe it out through three rounds of Lion’s Breath.
Flip your palms and bring them under your shoulders. Step back to a high plank. Step the left foot forward and repeat on this side.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
Lower to your knees, bringing the toes together and knees wider than the hips. Stretch the arms out with the palms facing the sky. Bring the hands toward each other in a gesture of receiving.
Connect to your intention and consciously acknowledge that you are ready to receive it. Take 3 breaths here.
When you are ready, slowly transition to lay down on your back. As you rest in Savasana, bring one palm to your belly and the other to your heart. Remember the importance of rest for growth.
Turn to the wisdom of nature and meditate on this quote by Roman poet, Ovid: “Take rest, for rested fields yield beautiful crops.”
Gallery Credit: Sequence Yoga Brand