I hope everyone is having a brilliant January so far; whether it’s dry January or a continuation of wetter times :)! January is often considered a hard month because the festivities of Christmas and New Year Celebrations have passed and then we soldier into the colder months with no fairy lights. Well, that’s one way to look at it, but I like to try to shift perspective and view it as the month to challenge yourself to get any New Year’s resolutions on track and plan a few things to look forward to like little breaks away, even if that’s going to another place in the UK to visit a friend! I have taken up tennis lessons again in a bid not to totally lose the tennis skills I gained in lessons growing up. But, I am not denying that this cold could make things a little harder; I mean I’ve been playing tennis with gloves and a coat on, not ideal :)!
This pose, lying in a banana shape on the floor, is Banana Yoga pose, and I am always telling my clients about it to stretch out their whole side body, from the IT band (the fascia at the outer edge of the thigh from knee to hip); the hips; the quadratus lumborum (the side waist under the ribs); the side intercostal muscles; oblique stomach muscles; and the shoulders. It’s a lovely relaxing pose too and you can even add a side neck stretch in there!
Getting Into the Pose:
Lying on your back with your legs together and straight on the floor, reach the arms overhead and clasp your hands or elbows. With your buttocks firmly grounded into the earth, move your feet and upper body to the right. Arch like a banana. Be careful not to twist or roll your hips off the floor. Find your first edge (the moment before feeling any strain). When your body opens more, move both feet further to the right and pull your upper body further to the right, as well. Keep playing this edge. Don’t forget to do both sides! You might notice one side feels tighter than the other, and in the process your mindfulness increases. If one side does feel tighter, hold it for a bit longer. You can hold this pose for as long as you like, ideally at least one and half minutes on each side.
Also, the cold is a killer for making us tense up in a bid to keep warm, so book in for personalised massage and/or yoga classes to release all that binding stiffness and warm up to the bone :)!