After years of practicing yoga I am most grateful for such moments of utter calm that arise during my practice. Though Yoganidrasana may look kind of crazy (I know!), once you’re in it, it provides that rare experience of true stillness. Legend has it that the ancient yogis fell asleep in this pose. It may sound a little out there, but with patience and perseverance, anything is possible! This challenge is not to turn you into a pretzel, but rather to deeply stretch your lower back and hamstrings. It does require extreme flexibility in the hips and backs of the legs, but just attempting this pose, and taking it as far as you can will do wonders for a tight lower back. You ready to try this challenge? Let’s BEGIN –
- 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. This pose is called Happy Baby, and it’s a great prep for Sleeping Yogi.
- From here, move your arms to the insides of your legs. Use both hands to help your left knee come behind your left shoulder, and eventually your foot behind your head. Then bring the right knee behind your right shoulder, and your right ankle behind your left ankle.
- Whether both legs are behind your head or not, bring both hands to your lower back, and try to clasp them together.
- Remain into the posture for as long as it is comfortable while breathing deeply.
This is one of my favorite challenging poses.