It’s Day 7 of BeachYogaGirl’s Instagram Challenge, and today the pose is Happy Baby or Ananda Balasana.
This is a great relaxation pose, and a wonderful stretch for the hamstrings and glutes. Your tailbone and your shoulders should be on the ground as you are reaching for your feet. If you cannot reach your feet without lifting these parts off of the ground, try grabbing behind your knees and pulling your legs down into your armpits. It should feel very nice. I also like to rock side to side in this position for a little low back massage.
Today, I practiced in my bedroom and without a mat mostly because I wasn’t feeling well, and I didn’t want to do anything strenuous or move a lot of furniture. It reminded me somewhat of when I started out doing yoga in my studio apartment almost 10 years ago. I didn’t have a mat or any special clothes, and I didn’t even need that much space. It was just me. I sometimes giggle at myself when I go to a hot yoga class at all the equipment I bring: my mat, mat towel, hand towel, water bottle, and an extra change of clothes. It can get a bit out of hand.
It had me thinking about what is really necessary for my yoga practice. Maybe all the extra stuff is just a distraction. The mat is probably necessary for a studio class (although most places you can rent one so you don’t really even need to own one). The mat towel is great for being able to grip the mat when you get sweaty, but when I think about it are we just wanting to grip the mat so we can look better doing a pose? Are we grossed out by our own sweat? The water bottle probably isn’t that necessary either. If you are well hydrated, one hour of heat isn’t going to send you into a heat stroke unless you have a health problem. I really love a certain brand of 80 dollar yoga pants, but I could just as easily practice in something cheaper. This isn’t to judge or condemn anyone. I am as guilty as the next person of getting involved in the yoga marketing machine.
I’m just challenging you this week to look at all the things you feel necessary to practice, and inquire about whether they truly are necessary. I’m definitely going to reduce my yoga items I bring to class, and I’ll let you all know how it goes.