Today we’re keeping it fun and easy. I came up with this routine on the spot one day when I was feeling really bad. That general bummed out feel can really stick with you, and it’s hard to shake off, so I created this to help us relax, smile, and maybe laugh a little.
I encourage you to insert your own poses into this practice, especially poses which you love doing. This practice isn’t about perfecting your downward facing dog, it is 100% about feeling better. So do what you need to do to feel better.
I’ll purposefully keep instructions to a minimum today so that you can find your own practice within this one. I also encourage doing this practice in a bed for that extra level of comfort.
Yoga for a Bad Day
Seated Breathing: Sit however you’d like. This is your moment to focus in and relax. Take some really deep breaths, maybe even sigh if it feels good. Smile a little and move around. There is no need to sit completely motionless and still. If it helps, imagine blowing your stresses away. You can also picture them rolling off of your body. Close your eyes in this pose and take your time.
Neck circles: Draw smooth and slow circles with your nose. Try to do the same amount in both directions. Keep them small and sweet. We’re just working out the kinks, you don’t need to push your limits.
Seated Cat variation: If you know how to do Cat pose on all-fours, this is the same thing, only seated. Hollow out your stomach, round your back let your chin drop to your chest. Hang out here for a moment before leading with your nose and drawing an arc for your spine to follow. Now your back is arched and you can look up slightly. Go back and forth between these two. You can do them with your breath, or hold each side for a moment.
Shoulder stretch: Drop your right hand and arm. let them dangle very loose. To discourage myself from putting weight on my right palm, I keep the back of my right hand on my mat behind me. Weave your left hand and forearm behind you and hold onto the inside of your right elbow. Now drop your left ear to your left shoulder. Your left hand here can act as a weight and intensify the stretch. If you don’t like it, you can relax your hands in your lap or wherever you’d like. Move your head around. Turn to look up slightly and down. This can help you target tight spots. Switch sides!
Cobbler’s Pose: Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall out to the sides. Have fun here and rock side to side, or make small pulses forward. We’re trying to loosen any tension in the hips and inner thighs, but this pose is an opportunity to have fun as well.
Seated Knees to Chest: Still seated on the floor, bring your knees into your chest. Now give your legs a big hug. You’re hugging yourself here. Rock side-to-side, front-to-back, or simply remain still. It can honestly feel good to give yourself a little bit of love. That’s all this pose is about. When you are ready, slowly roll onto your back, perhaps you’d like to back out of this pose a little bit before doing so.
Knees to Chest Pose: Once again draw your knees in toward your chest. Rock on your back and give yourself a nice little back massage. Place your hands on the tops of your knees and draw big circles with them. Have fun, move, breath, and smile.
Ankle rolls: If you’d like to remain in the position above, that’s absolutely an option. I like to do this as if I’m sitting in a chair that has fallen on it’s back. So my thighs are straight up and my shins are parallel to the floor. Make circles with your toes. You can also point and flex your toes.
Modified forward fold: You’ll need to sit back up for this one, if you’re feeling playful, bring your legs up as if you were about to enter Plow Pose, Your lets should be fairly straight, and your knees will be near your nose. Then swing your legs down and sit up! You can rock back and forth like this too, though I find doing it too fast on a hard floor can be uncomfortable.
From your seated position we will come into a forward fold, however, unless it is easy for you to relax with your legs completely straight, keep a bend in your knees. Keep your knees bent enough that your upper body can rest on your thighs. As your legs feel looser, you can scoot your heels farther away and straighten your legs more, but until then, enjoy this sweet modified forward fold. (Perhaps still try even if you can do a complete forward fold.)
Happy Baby: Lay back once more. This is my absolute favorite pose to do to cheer myself up. It’s the goofiest pose out there too, and it’s great for you! Bring your knees to your chest again, but this time draw your knees toward your armpits. Use your hands to hold the outside of your feet, or your index and middle fingers to your big toes. Draw your feet up so your knees are at about a 90 degree angle. From here you can rock side to side, alternate bending your legs. And remember, you’re a happy baby! You can smile and laugh!
Savasana: Let go and lay back. Now is the perfect chance to add in any other poses you would like to. If you’re ready to settle down though, let your feet relax. Maybe grab a pillow for under your head. Feel comfortable! I would normally say you should relax your face in Savasana, but today, you can enjoy a little smile.
Taking steps to feel better is so important. Even if we still feel a little stress after a practice like these, you have still done something to help yourself feel better. That is amazing! Even if you only started the practice or did 1 or 2 poses, you still did it.
You are wonderful.