Sometimes I really appreciate the challenge of a strenuous yoga routine and the mental focus that it calls for. But other times, I rely on my home yoga practice to keep me calm, stress free, and sane. In those cases, I love gentle restorative poses like Balasana, or child’s pose. Getting into this fetal position helps stretch your hips, thighs, back, knees, and even arms; however, many instructional sites warn not to perform this pose if you have knee troubles, so make sure to be careful. This pose can be performed on its own, or before or after more difficult poses. Since I still consider myself a beginner yogi, I definitely like to fold into it when I get too tired to hold boat pose or chair pose any longer!
One of my most joyful yoga experiences came one early morning while practicing a side-bend sequence that I tore out of my monthly Yoga Journal magazine. As I leaned into Gate Pose, or Parighasana, I felt my body loosening and all of the tension flowing from my limbs, and I just couldn’t help my smile and think how lucky I felt to have wonderful people in my life, a happy and welcoming home, and a peaceful spot to practice yoga. So I really wanted to share Gate Pose with you as the next post in my yoga series in hopes that you might share in some of that joy and, even if just for a minute, let your worries slip away and focus on what you’re most thankful for.