Wednesday, December 7, 2011

slowing down...

I used to be a get-up-and-go person. In my old life. When I was living back home and blessed with tropical sunshine almost every day, I would wake up to glorious morning sunlight streaming into my bedroom from my east-facing window. I would wake up early even on a Saturday to swim laps for almost 2 hours. Or do cartwheels every chance I had.

California, 2006
Those were the days...Where was the boundless energy I used to have in my twenties? I'm not that old!

Sometimes I feel like a different person now - dragging myself to get out of bed when it's so gray and dreary outside. I don't know what it is, but sunshine just has a tremendous influence on my mood and energy. It's always such a challenge during the winter season.

My yoga practice has changed quite a bit, as well. My beginning yoga practice during my twenty-something years were filled with a very active and dynamic practice 5x a week. And that's in addition to running and Pilates. Now, it's been a real challenge to "salute the sun" in vigorous sun salutations/Surya Namaskara when I can't see the sun in the morning. And on those days, all I want to do is this:

Seated Twist/Ardha Matsyendrasana/Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
photo from

Sometimes, this pose is the most active pose of my day:

Low Lunge/Crescent Pose/Anjaneyasana
photo from

I haven't been practicing headstand for a while. Lately this is all the energy I can muster for an inversion:

Legs-up-the-wall pose/Viparita Karani
photo from

And this one below is probably my all-time favorite on days like this:

restorative forward bend
photo from
All of these are great poses though - the seated twist is a really good spine and hip stretch. Crescent pose always feels incredible in the hip flexors after extended periods of sitting (which I tend to do for work). With legs-up-the-wall we reverse the flow of gravity in an inversion - just like you would in a headstand but in a more supported way. And the restorative forward bend is so great for decompressing the lower back.

I hope to get out of this low-energy phase soon... but in the meantime, I'll enjoy my restorative poses.

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