Namaste (Thank you, I bow to you) and Anjali mudra (prayer pose)

We usually practice the Anjali mudra pose at the end of class, when the mind has been cleared and the body is ready to relax. I often say “Namaste” (NAH-mah-stay) at this time as a way to respectfully thank my students. This position signifies love and respect and is therefore centered on the heart or the “third eye” (middle of forehead).

Usually we are in a seated position, although it can also be done standing.

Eyes are traditionally closed, but eyes open is fine as well.

Bend your elbows at a little more than a right angle.

Bring the palms of your hands together, slightly higher than the level of your elbows, with fingers pointing toward the ceiling.

Bring your palms close to (but not touching) the center of your chest, to be near your heart center, while lifting your chest toward your thumbs.

Relax your shoulders and face.

Close your eyes, bow your head slightly, and breathe slowly and naturally.

Duration:
Keep the pose for 1- 2 minutes (cane be held for 5-10 minutes).

Benefits:
• Relaxes body and spirit
• Reduces depression, anxiety, stress
• Reduces nervousness and insomnia
• Creates a feeling of gratitude and spiritual connection to others
• Develops greater sense of self
• Makes you feel GREAT!

Savasana (Corpse pose)

Lie down on your back, allowing your legs and feet to relax and fall naturally to either side.

Turn the palms of your hands to face the ceiling. Your arms should be relaxed and slightly separated from your body.

Close your eyes and relax your face.

Breathe slowly but naturally while you allow your entire body to relax completely. Lie down on your belly with your feet together and your toes pointing.

A blanket is often used to cover the body to assist in relaxation. A bolster or pillow may also be used under your knees if this feels more comfortable.

Duration:
Keep the pose for 5- 10 minutes depending upon the age of the kids.

Benefits:
• Helps relieve stress and fatigue
• Improves circulation
• Sharpens concentration
• Reduces nervousness and insomnia
• Relieves indigestion and constipation
• Therapeutic for asthma

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

Lie down on your belly with your feet together and your toes pointing.

Place your hands under your shoulders and elbows close to your body.

Breathe in. Gently push off your hands, lifting your head and chest off the ground.

Slightly tilt your head back looking at the ceiling.

And now, hiss like a snake.

Duration:
Keep the pose for 4- 5 seconds and repeat it 8 – 10 times.

Benefits:
• Strengthens the spine
• Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
• Stimulates abdominal organs
• Helps relieve stress and fatigue
• Opens the heart and lungs
• Relieves constipation
• Therapeutic for asthma