Thursday, 8 August 2013

Daily posturing: Yoga positions for everyone.

Yeah Right.  

I've spoken before about my love of yoga.  I only do it once a week, and I'm quite crap at it, but I can feel it working on my poor unstretchy body and I hate it when other obligations keep me from it.

My yoga class is on a Wednesday.  In between classes my teacher says we should try to practice positions to keep us strong and flexible.  She would do a full solo session every morning before spending the day teaching other people.  And as I've said before, she is amazing.  While I'm nowhere near this level of commitment, I do try to practice a few positions throughout the day.

But because I'm not very good at the traditional poses, except downward dog which I can do like a champion and frog pose which is very hard to get wrong, I've decided to make a few up.  These positions or asanas are very easy to incorporate into your daily life and you may find you're doing several of them without realising it.

Sitting in the car-asana

As the car pool queen, I do this one a lot.  Driving people to all points.  Making sure I have the correct kids.  This position is deceptively simple from a physical point of view, because all you have to do is sit in the car, pressing pedals and turning the steering wheel.  But mentally it's an enormous challenge.  Keeping a clear head while Karmin sings A'cappella at vol 26, with 5 people in the back shouting along to it is no mean feat.  Add to that remembering where you're going, who you have in the car and ignoring your phone beeping text messages at you and you have one hell of an asana.

One of the more challenging asanas which doesn't appear to be getting easier with time.
I look exactly like this when I'm doing yoga. 

Waiting for the coffee-asana

Now this position can take a range of forms.  The easy form, if you're a bit tired, simply involves standing at the counter chatting to anyone who'll stand still long enough to start a conversation.  If you're feeling energetic, you can turn this asana into a veritable multi-tasking championship, buying bread, meat, picking up the dry cleaning or nipping round to the IGA, before charging back into the coffee shop and collecting your prize.

A flexible position, and a crucial part of any morning practice.

Standing at the front door waiting-asana

This asana happens far too often, and I don't find it at all relaxing or restorative.  It's quite a vocal position, usually involving repetition of the chant "PUT YOUR SHOES ON! or "DON'T FORGET YOUR FLEECE!" If you wish to add a cardio element you can pace back and forth, but be careful of doing this esp if doing a renovation as you may trip on your new tiles.

Standing in the supermarket check out queue-asana

There's a lot of bending and stretching for this position, firstly as you carefully construct the worlds most detailed check out arrangement with all food types separated into appropriate groupings.  Depending on who's with your there could also be the discovery of unauthorised items.  There is then the flicking of magazine pages, providing a nice upper body workout.  Finally, a last minute dash to grab sour cream/sakatas/toothpaste gives a final cardio burst.

Thank goodness this asana only happens once a week.  If you wish to avoid it altogether can I suggest Coles online?

Waiting outside the classroom-asana

This is an asana I have a difficult relationship with.   Because I'm now in my 5th year at the school, I can usually find a friendly face up there.  So I can assume this position and chat for Australia for far longer than is good or right.  (Don't get me wrong, I love a chat, and I love the people I meet there, but I have been caught out as the last woman chatting too many times to count eg. not home from drop off til 10AM!) So my version of this position has evolved to the point that I now skid into school at the last possible second (living 50m from the school makes this possible), grab or dump the child/children I'm responsible for and hoon out again.

Times I perform this asana successfully: about once a fortnight.  The rest of the time: chat city.

Sitting on the couch-asana

My holy grail of poses, which I do every night I can.  This involves sitting on the chaise part of the lounge, multitasking on various devices which may include my laptop, phone and ipad.  The TV is also on (of course).  My husband sits beside me in the same position (we love doing yoga together).  Sometimes we email each other.  On a good night, I can be in this asana by 7:30pm.  But some nights, it's more like 9pm.

The nights I don't manage to get into this pose, I am cranky pants.  Unless it's because I'm doing the counter pose: Going out with my friends-asana.  Which needs to be done carefully if you are to avoid pain the next day.

So that's it, a range of poses to get you through the day, even if you can't make it to an actual yoga class.  Call me guru.

Note: Any similarity between my poses and a real yoga pose is pure coincidence, and very unlikely.

Pictures courtesy of Free Digital Photos: samuiblu & ambro