I believe yoga has the power to transform us. Yoga practice can provide us with the tools to navigating major life changes with grace and resiliency.
Yoga isn’t just about making your body stronger and more flexible. It’s also about strengthening your mind and opening your heart. As you bend your body into various shapes, you’re also bending your perspective and opening yourself up to new ways of thinking.
Here are five poses suitable for all levels to help you better navigate uncertain times. Add these to your yoga practice to strengthen the mind-body connection.
Warrior 2 — Virabhadrasana II
The warrior finds power and resilience by staying anchored in hope and maintaining a clear vision for the future. In this pose, tap into your strength and remember you can do hard things. This is a pose for stamina and endurance.
Step your right leg forward and your left leg back. Turn your right foot to point towards the top of the mat and align your left foot parallel to the back of your mat. Bend your right knee generously. Extend your arms out, palms facing down. Hold for 5-10 breaths before repeating on the other side.
Camel Pose – Ustrasana
If life changes have left you heartbroken, closed off, or uncertain, camel pose will stoke the heart fire within to reignite the flame of love. Backbends require vulnerability and trust. They activate the heart anahata chakra, relating to love and empathy. Breathe deeply while reminding yourself of your heart’s ability to mend and expand with compassion.
Kneel on your mat and align your pelvis over your knees. Place your hands on your lower back as you lift from your chest and arch back into your backbend. Keep your hands where they are, or lower them onto your ankles for an added challenge. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Corpse Pose — Savasana
Sometimes the best way to navigate change is by cultivating inner stillness and letting go. Take sacred pause by resting deeply in Savasana and give yourself the gift of calmness and ease. This pose reminds us that every ending is followed by a new beginning.
Lay on your mat and extend your arms and legs out. Close your eyes and relax your entire body. Hold this pose for 5 minutes or longer.
Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
This pose activates the root muladhara chakra for safety, grounding, and connection. Practicing bridge pose reminds you to stay rooted in your truth and connects you to the healing energy of the earth.
Lay on your back with your knees bent so your feet are flat on the floor. Roll your shoulders away from your ears. Push your feet into the ground to lift your hips up. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Tree Pose — Vrksasana
Change is a balancing act, oftentimes challenging. Use tree pose to improve your physical balance and reflect on how to balance your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. This pose reminds us even the strongest trees bend and sway in the wind. Balance is about moving with pressure rather than struggling against it.
Stand tall and bring your right foot along the inside of your left leg. Engage your glutes to rotate your right hip. Keep your hands at your heart, or extend your arms overhead for an added challenge. Hold for 5-10 breaths before repeating on the other side.
The physical benefits of having a regular practice are numerous, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg. The real power of the practice lies in its ability to sharpen our minds, build our resolve, and remind us of our connection to something greater. It helps us cultivate compassion for ourselves as we go through hardship, giving us the courage and stamina to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
As you flow through life, remember to find solace on your yoga mat. Your practice is always waiting for you, ready to accept you just as you are.