That, my peeps, is called the Yoganidrasana or to us, English speaking peeps, it's called the Yogic Sleep Pose or the Sleeping Yogi Pose.
This post is not about teaching you how to "nail" the pose. No. I'm not even going to attempt to get to the pose - I would probably get a herniated disc. Yes, I could probably create a juicy flow to warm up the body to get those hips and shoulders to open.
But no… I'm going tell you how to make the Yoga-nidrasana easy! I’m not taking the easy way out but I’m giving you the easy way in. You can thank me later.
The Yoga-nidrasana pose is part of the Ashtanga Intermediate Series (which means you either need to have practised the Primary series a million times plus in your sleep or you are genetically inhumanly flexible)
They say if you can do Kurmasana and the variations and/or Eka Pada Sirsana (yep throwing all the fancy sanskrits names out, if this is the only way I can impress you;) - this pose will be chicken feed.
I can’t. Not yet. Not in this lifetime.
I didn't even there's such a pose until we had to doit in Hatha 3 and had to google to know the name. Boom! New crazy pose unlocked!
The truth is I’m ok with not being able to get it right there and then as long as I tried my best and get as close (it was very far actually) as I can. But I have to share a funny experience I had while I was attempting to contort my body into impossibilities.
One of the senior students happened to be looking my way, and she asked or "stated" was more like it - “You can’t bring your shoulders more underneath your legs.”
"No - I can’t , you witch! I’m trying my best here, and there’s you trying to make me feel bad for my inflexilibility - if you can't help me out or just shut it!"
Of course I didn't say that to her.
But I was just annoyed by the way she said it - and she even commented to my partner matter-of-factly - “oh she got tight hamstrings, so she can’t do it but her shoulders are flexible!"
I know it's my story but she made me feel guilty for having this shitty body and not practising yoga everyday (which I'm sure she does #yogaeverydamnday).
Thankfully I’m an adult now (Uhuh)! I’m way past this need to be flexible, and I’m always up to learn something new. Come on! This pose is impractical and not at all functional! Why would I want to learn to kiss my ass? (Voice in my head whispers - "for a better sex life, sophie! T would like it.)
Mmm….. no! I think we're good! heheheh
Anyways I discovered a new way of getting into it, without straining my hips or face and going through the hoopla AND still receive the same benefits of 'relaxing the body, mind & soul and awesome for people who can't get peaceful sleep. yadayadayada'
Here it what it looks like:
I’m calling it the Sleeping Baby Pose.
***Do be mindful if you have Existing hip, lower back, knee or neck issues or you suffer from Sciatica or Hernia.
SLEEPING BABY POSE
-The ALTERNATIVE TO THE yoginidrasana POSE
Props Needed: Strap
Start with a Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
* Begin lying flat on your back.* Bend both knees and hold onto the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands. Keep your arms on the outsides of your legs. Gently use your upper body strength to equally press both knees to the floor below your armpits. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest but keep everything relaxed. * Stay here for 5-10 breath or 3-5 mins * You can choose to move your body side to or stay in stillness
From here, grab your strap, create a big loop.
* In your Happy Baby, place the each end of the loop around the feet and press feet apart. * With one hand, grab on to BOTH straps from between the feet and bring BOTH straps behind the head (right behind ears, avoid the neck) * Allow your toes to come towards each other and keep your knees apart * Hold on to the strap on either side of the head. and gauge if you need to open up the strap or make the loop smaller. Make sure the metal part of strap is away from any body part.
* Once you are in it, drop your chin to your chest and press your head back on to the strap AND AT THE SAME TIME, kick your heels up and back TO KEEP THE BALANCE. Allow your tailbone to lift. It’s going to feel as if you are kissing your ass. * From here, move your arms to the insides of your legs. * Sleep for 5-10 breaths or 3 - 5 mins (for the YIN version)
* To release, remove strap from the head first bring both legs to the floor. For a counter-pose, do Fish or bridge pose
Check out this video on how to get into it!
- Suggested Yoga Sequence for Yoga Nidrasana https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/it-s-a-wrap
- Ways to get into full pose here http://ashtangayogaproject.com/pose-of-the-week-yogi-nidrasana/
- For anatomy geeks - here are the muscles that are involved in this pose: External Hip Rotators A group of small muscles (Piriformis, Gemellus Superior, Obturator Internus, Gemellus Inferior, Obturator Externus, Quadratus Femoris) located in the hip area that is responsible for externally rotating the femur / thigh bone. Sartorius The longest muscle in the body, the Sartorius is located in the inner thigh and assists in the external rotation of the hip. The primary actions are to assist in flexion of the hip, abduction of the hip, and lateral rotation of the hip. It is also responsible for assisting two movements at the knee joint: flexion of the knee and medial rotation of the knee once it’s in a flexed position. Gluteus Being one of the strongest muscles of the body, the Gluteus assists in extending the hip and the trunk. Erector Spinae A muscle group found in the back which extends the vertebral column in forward and backward bending. This muscle is responsible for returning the vertebral column to the erect position after motion.
- Always consult your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. Note that not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Modify when you need and if unsure, practicing under the direct supervision and guidance of a qualified instructor, in addition to the direction of your healthcare provider, can also help determine what poses are suitable for your body.
- If you are just starting out, it's ok to rest in Child’s Pose in between the exercises. Don't worry about the timing. Just try your best, and you will get stronger with practice.
- If you are feeling a little stronger, you can attempt to move through the 7 exercises without stopping.
- For the uber stronger ones, repeat the flow 2 or more times with a 30 second rest in childs pose in between and then see how fast you go per set.
- Breathing is very important in a flow. In the description below each of the exercises, I have listed the recommended breathwork ; however if its hard to follow, then just do it and just follow your own breath pattern.
Most importantly - Don't forget to breathe! Be mindful about how your body feels, and rest whenever needed. . ♥♥♥
With lots of Love, Hugs and Light,
PS. If you like this post, and want more like this, please feel free to comment below.