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Photo: Rebekah Lowin
A couple years ago, I heard ABC News anchor Dan Harris speak at Chicago Ideas Week. He told all of us in the audience how mindfulness meditation changed his life. He was a self-proclaimed "fidgety skeptic" who had an on-air panic attack, then discovered meditation and became a happier, more focused person. I was sold.
Full Wheel Pose, Shoulder Opening Variation
Lie on back with knees bent and feet on the ground, hip-width apart. Bend elbows and place hands on either side of head, shoulder-width apart with fingers pointing toward shoulders. Pressing into feet and hands equally, lift hips and lengthen arms. Keep pressing into feet through the big toes and reach chest away from feet. To deepen the pose, walk your feet closer to your hands, keeping them parallel to one another. Straighten your arms and press into your big toes to reach your chest beyond your wrists. Breathe here for at least 5 deep breaths.
Photo: Jon Anderson
Fully Bound King Dancer Pose
Begin standing at the front of your mat holding a strap. Transfer your weight into your left foot, and, keeping your knees closed, bend your right knee and loop the strap around the top of your right foot. Feel all four corners of your left foot rooting into the ground. Soften through your left knee and breathe. Next, hold the strap in your right hand and, giving yourself slack in the strap, bend your right elbow behind your head and start to lightly press your right foot into the strap, opening the shoulder. Bend your left elbow over and behind your head as well, and grab the strap with that hand. Breathe here. Crawl your hands slowly down the strap toward your foot, one hand at a time, breathing each hand movement along the way. Take hold of the foot with your hands and lightly press your foot up into your hands and away. Drop strap if you like. Breathe here for at least 3 deep breaths, and then come out of the pose as slowly as you came in and repeat on the other side.
Photo: Jon Anderson