Make an asana out of yourself

Like many yoga teachers, I practise yoga regularly because it puts me one step closer to nailing a lifelong goal of getting my legs behind my head. But apart from having your right foot hooked around your left ear, one of the best things about yoga is the pose names. Not so much the ones like ‘hand to big toe’ posture and ‘three parts forward bend pose’ but the ones with cool animal names like eagle, king pigeon, and fish. And because yoga should be carried into all aspects of everyday life, here are a few ways to get the best poses into your day:

Pigeon. One of my top skills in life is being able to make a very convincing pigeon sound, so I scatter pigeons throughout my day to keep things chirpy. For another pigeon variation, try walking around during lunch hour with your head bopping  and your eyes glaring all menacingly at people’s lunches.

Fish. Best practised first thing after waking up. The alarm pulls you like a fishing line to the surface, bringing you gasping from the sea of sleep to slap down in the cold damp deck of Monday morning. I like to brighten things up with a few actual fish impressions: maybe clap my hands to my cheeks and flap them like gills, or wriggle around a whole lot like a fish in a bucket. It helps to get a partner involved as well, then you can wriggle and bash each other until one of you feels awake enough to make tea while the other goes back to exhausted gill-gasping.

Turtle. Use the turtle to round off the day as a counter pose to fish. Lie tummy-down on the bed and tug the duvet over your back with legs and arms sticking out. Quite fun here to swim around a bit on the mattress until you get comfy, then put the turtle to sleep by drawing in arms, legs, and head into a ball of warm comfort.

Copyright © 2012 Galen O’Hanlon.

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