Over the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on what Rodney Yee calls the “preparatory poses.” These postures are good for starting your yoga practice. As Rodney wrote in his first book, Yoga, the Poetry of the Body, “They enable you to check in with your entire body and bring your awareness to areas that feel discordant, stiff, or just plain yucky at the beginning of a personal practice.” They are simple poses that give you time to settle into the present moment.
Happy Baby Pose
Happy Baby Pose gently brings a greater awareness to the hip joints, stretches the inner groins and the back spine, calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue.
Lie on your back and hold the outsides of your feet with your hands. As you release inside your hip sockets, feel your sacrum spread onto the ground. The principal movement should be your spine cascading onto the earth. The pull of your legs is secondary.
Keep your feet over your knees and let them be awake and alive. Keep your chest broad; your neck and throat relaxed. Stay for 30 seconds to 1minute breathing evenly, even laughing.
Modification: If you cannot reach your feet without distorting your spine, use a strap across the bottoms of your feet. Doing so will allow you to pay more attention to the opening of your hip sockets and will facilitate moving your spine naturally and allowing you to breathe easily.