yoga pose

Asana for October – Paschimottanasana – seated forward bend

Lengthen and strengthen hamstrings and back muscles equally whilst turning your gaze inward for this meditational, releasing, asana that is perfect for softening muscles and mind into autumns energies.

1. Sit comfortably on the earth – ideally directly on Mother Earth – yes even when cold! You can place a towel down if you wish, so that you can, literally, absorb the rebalancing negative ions up from the earth, and reharmonise your whole system energetically.

2. Send your heels gently forward, which moves your femurs nicely back into your hip sockets

3. Note: !! if you have tight hamstrings feel free to bend your knees gently – or place a rolled towel beneath your knees ( otherwise this places strain on your lumbar spine and cause your upper back to arch and compress the intervertebral discs ).

– the aim of this pose is to first LENGTHEN your spine and then your hamstrings so: press down through the base of your legs, inhale into your diaphragm fully and deeply to expand your ribs, heart and chest space

– now imagine you are shining a light forward from your heart and slide your shoulder blades back and down towards each other

– exhale your heart forward towards and beyond your toes – yet without over arching your upper back – and draw your navel to your spine to gently press out old stale air and energy ready for recycling

– inhale for 4 counts to lift your heart and gaze forward

– exhale for 6 counts and slowly soften your jaw and your mind as you turn your gaze inwards to the tip of your nose

– FEEL into the release through your muscles as you exhale long, slow and deep

– imagine that each breath is a wave which your body is riding – upwards and over and down to release

Repeat 5 – 10 breaths

Observe your mind : is it willing you to go deeper, further, faster, or can your inward focus on your breathing waves and maybe the image of the wave, enable you to be present and at one with where you are – from moment to moment.