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Lazy Yoga: My fave asanas for a relaxed night | Healthy Sleep Quest #4

Are you doing yoga? If you are, discover my routine for going from high-torque to peace of mind. It’s insanely easy + great in summer.

A highly personal INTRO

To be honest, I’m not much of a yoga lover.
I’m actually quite the opposite of that.

But it was my Dad who was the Quest giver introduced me to yoga and meditation, as he saw Buddhism books starting to pile up on my desk, – BTW, it’s his birthday today.

Now, to be even more honest with you guys, I didn’t have much time with my Dad; he passed away when I was 17. But I remember him well – an incredible mind, a walking encyclopedia, a logic machine, an extraordinary thinker, an avid reader, a polyglot, a man of honour in that charming, almost old-fashioned way…

Now, my father wasn’t Sherlock Holmes 😉 Gosh, no; Dad was a very kind, attentive, and life-loving man; a good sport, fun and prankish, a fashion lover (Dad, note from Mum: she doesn’t know what to do with all those cufflinks and bowties of yours), a man of many talents, with a “make it, don’t fake it” attitude. One who brought me up beyond gender limits. One who supported my talents and was a harsh critic where criticism was due.
To say that he’s missed is to say nothing.

FIRST STEPS

Dad told me about the scientific stuff behind yoga and meditation and about the how-to; I was willing to try. It’s actually hard to focus on your breath at the crazy age of 13. But I managed! 😀
And while my meditation skills are totally level 80 today, I couldn’t discover any love for yoga inside my heart. Wait… No, nothing.
Not back then, not in my early twenties, not at home and not at a batshit expensive rooftop studio in Berlin-Mitte!
Actually, it was even worse in the studio, surrounded by local “celebrities” and their… factotums.

unwind
What I totally appreciate still, the main takeaway if you wish, are some select asanas (and mudras), those that help me cure “square eyes” and refresh a body tired of too much sitting, and support a good sleep – you remember of course that today’s brightest minds are adepts of sleep? I pick yoga if I need a proper relaxation from a hard, long, crazy day.
And aren’t we all in desperate need of peace of mind these days?

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE A MAT

The totes adorbs super-feature of my moonlight yoga: I just lay on the floor, well, most of the time. Basically I let the gravity and my breath do all the work! How cool’s that?

2016 UPDATE: It’s actually VERY cool, it made me discover Intuitive Yoga by Vanda Scaravelli, and it’s pure bliss.

Now my equipment for that is very basic:
a yoga mat (mine is this one in “fire”, azo- and phtalates-free, by Yogistar),
-clothes that don’t get in the way or interfere with the movements,
-and a quiet room (with open windows).

sunset-yoga

DON’T LEARN YOGA FROM THE INTERNET!

If you’re a newbie, keep this for later, when you’re acquainted with yoga – and can decide if your health allows for this or that asana. Because just as any sport, yoga is contradicted to people recovering from a surgery and to people with certain health conditions (and we might be totally unaware of those!).
When I myself am not feeling well, I don’t practice yoga, I go for meditations & mudras instead.
I know, I know, I’m not showing any “forbidden” asanas here (do they even exist?), and you can find yoga advice and videos everywhere on the net. I simply want to stress my opinion: that it’s not good to learn stuff with that much influence on your body from a monitor. There are reasons for doctors and yoga instructors to exist!

What any newbie can try without any fear though, is meditation & mudra practice.
I think of sharing my favourite “rescue” mudras soon, especially in the context of detox for body & soul and “unplugging” from our beloved wired and wireless devices.

MY LAZY SUNSET (or MOONLIGHT) YOGA ASANAS

So, if you’re an experienced & responsible yoga student (achievement unlocked!), here’s my exact recipe to tune down.

ocean-breath-ujjayi-breath
Step 1. Ujjayi Breathing.
I love this for a warm up. The “ocean breath” strengthens the diaphragm, increases oxygenation, warms up – actually it really heats up. I even pratice it in winter when I’m outside and feeling cold. Bonus: this, ladies and gents, is a great thing to try if you do yoga and want to foray into meditation, but lack the concentration yet.
Step 2. Bhujangasana to open the neck / shoulder regions, to reduce stress, to ease breathing, to strengthen the neck and the abdomen.
Step 3. Sarvangasana – stretches your cervical / thoracic regions.
Gives you a new perspective, too. Well, kind of.
Step 4. Matsyasana – expands the ribcage which is great relief for a desktop workers’ hump.
Step 5. Paschimottanasana to enhance the flexibility of your spine, legs, and hips – tones the nerves of the spine, optimises the blood flow in the inner organs and calms the mind.
My instructor once said those who can’t bend, have issues with their past – and there I sat, stiff like Maggie Smith’s heroine in A Room with a View!
Step 6. Badhakonasana – one of my favourite, highly efficient asanas. Some practice it sitting, I prefer to lie flat on the mat. It helps stretch the groin, the inner thighs, which is incredibly refreshing after hours and hours of sitting! (Hence my preference.)
Then, after every bit of my body is stretched, and the sitting position of many hours is forgotten, it’s time for me to relax the mind.
Step 7. Savasana – another favourite of mine. THE go-to asana for lucid sleeping. And lucid sleeping is another favourite thing of mine. Obviously not for astral travels, mind you, but for the benefits for the brain.
Step 8. Gabrhasana (the easier version) to finish.
You’re welcome 😉

I also combine these asanas with mudras – and matching meditations/affirmations.

So, if you’re a sporty type who has yoga practice, go ahead, try it and let me know what you think about asanas by a yoga hater, haha! 😉

Really. I’m curious. Do tell:

Maybe I’m missing  an asana that would be very helpful here? I’m eager to hear.
Happy Sunday evening/afternoon, Adventurers! 

11 replies »

  1. PS. I am sending a hug and bisous for your Dad’s bday. I know mine’s always makes me sad.

  2. Yay! Absolutely back you up about not learning yoga from the net. I learned because my Mom was a hippy yoga instructor and there is a photo of me doing down-dog when I was five. 🙂
    So I would maybe add that in after the Ujayyi breathing plus Kapotasana? Maybe a very passive reclined spinal twist before going into Savasana?

    • haha, you’re an early yoga bird then 😀

      Kapotasana or maybe Setu Bandhasana? it’s easier for such a lazy brat like Yours Truly. lame, I know 🙂

      • No, no I am so lazy. I like my yoga yin and that is just fine by me. 🙂