When the weather and seasons change, we often feel our bodies respond. When it’s colder outside, we feel more contained and stiff. When it’s warmer, we feel open and supple. But during this transition period, where they may be more rain or flowers blooming, there may be energy and emotions stuck in the heart and the hips that need to move out and around! All you need is a yoga mat, bolsters, and a yoga belt to get yourself on the way to spring cleaning yourself out.
Our hearts are the emotional center of love, joy, gratitude, and peace. However, when we suppress our emotions, they often get stuck down in the hips. And when we go to our yoga mat- we feel it! Here are two poses you can try to get yourself emotionally free today.
Gomukhasana / Cow Face Pose
Here, we will open the hips and the heart together. Start by tucking your left leg underneath your right so the knees are squeezed tightly together in front of you. If this is uncomfortable, simply cross your legs or stack your hips up on a bolster.
Root your sitting bones down into the ground and then reach your right arm up and left your arm back. Reach for the hands behind you or clasp onto your belt for assistance. Take 5 deep breaths here and then fold forward and hold for another 5-10 breaths. Slowly release and either move onto the next pose or practice the other side.
Restorative Pigeon Pose / Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana
Transitioning from Gomukhasana, swing the right leg back and shift the hips so they are square to the front. Make sure the front leg is externally rotated so the knee points toward the front left corner of your mat. For a deep, supportive variation, place a bolster underneath your hips and one in front of you.
Straighten out your back leg and lengthen your spine on an inhale. As you exhale, slowly fold forward. Drape your torso and head over the bolster and give it a nice hug. Exhale all of your stress and old, toxic thoughts and feelings away. Breathe deeply into your hips. Allow yourself to sink and surrender into this supported pigeon pose. Stay for 2 minutes.
Active Pigeon Pose
If you desire a more dynamic practice of pigeon pose, try the full variation. You can still use a bolster for support under the hips if needed. Set the legs up in the same position. This time, keep the torso upright and reach back for your right foot with your right hand. Rotate the arm so that you point the elbow up to the sky and bring the foot closer to your head, eventually reaching back with the other arm.
If this feels out of reach, use one of our yoga belts! Loops the yoga belt around your foot and work on flipping your grip and rotating your arm. Slowly and surely, over time with practice, the belt will make this advanced posture more accessible. The beauty of using props is they can make any pose accessible to anyone!