Unity of Body, Mind & Soul
Yoga of Unity – that was the title of the Autumn Challenge on Instagram, in which I was also a host.
So many yoga postures can help you to find your very own unity. You can find a few of them here.
Since not everyone is yoga-skilled, the focus of our autumn challenge was to show that UNITY IS POSSIBLE FOR EVERYONE.
Therefore, there are different variations for all asanas (postures) – from easy to challenging. Feel free to find your own variation and remember: Yoga is also effective in the supported version. So you can relax on the path to your own inner unity.
SIRSASANA – The Headstand
The headstand. My absolute favourite asana! Among other things, the headstand increases your mental clarity. If you practice it regularly, you develop courage, willpower and strengthen your balance – physically and mentally. All these skills are also very valuable to become one with yourself.
You can practise the headstand with different arm positions.
If you are a beginner, start with the half headstand. To do this, sit on your heels and place your hands in your elbows. Now place your elbows on the floor, making sure to keep the distance between them. Come onto your feet and walk as far forward as possible.
You can also try lifting one leg in turn.
If you want to go one step further, first make yourself stable in the torso by drawing the shoulder blades together and tensing the torso muscles. Raise both legs bent.
From here you can now try to extend one leg at a time and come into headstand.
Alternatively, you can begin in the clown pose.
From a kneeling position, place the top of your head on the floor in front. Now lift your buttocks and bring your knees up onto your elbows. From here you can also extend your legs upwards one after the other. Make sure that you have enough torso tension here as well.
SARVANGASANA – The Shoulderstand
The shoulder stand pose gives you the feeling of wholeness. The feeling of being one with yourself. It helps you to accept yourself and your life as it is or as you are.
You can practise a simple variation of the shoulder stand pose by stretching your legs upwards along a wall.
One level further, in the lying back position, place a cushion under your lower back and then stretch your legs upwards.
For half shoulder stand pose, come up from lying on your back with your legs. Your hands support you – with closed fingers – to the right and left of the spine. The knees may be loosely bent. If it is comfortable for you, you can also rest them on your forehead.
If you wish, try extending your legs and come into the supported shoulder stand pose.
Advanced practitioners release the hands from this position and extend the arms upwards to perform the unsupported shoulder stand pose.
HALASANA – The Plow Pose
The plow pose gives the strength to initiate long-term changes and to wait patiently for their effects. This is also absolutely necessary on the path to oneness – to be patient.
The plow pose also supports you in finding your inner centre.
For an easy variation of the plow pose, simply place your feet backwards on a chair from a supine position.
Or on a pillow tower.
If you want to do the plow pose without any props, start from the supine position, stretch both legs upwards and then return them downwards towards your head.
If you can’t get your feet on the floor, you can rest your knees on your forehead.
Or keep your knees bent so that your feet can touch the floor. Support yourself well with your hands on the back to the left and right of the spine.
If you can place your feet on the floor, you may also release your hands and place them crossed or stretched out on the floor.
A variation for advanced practitioners, but the ultimate asana to find your oneness with yourself, is the Pratyahara Plow Pose (at least that’s what I call it). Pratyahara means: Withdrawal of all senses.
To do this, from the plow pose you drop your knees to the floor to the right and left of your ears. Generally you can close your eyes during the asanas. In Pratyahara Plow Pose I particularly recommend it.
ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA – Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
The Half Lord of the Fishes Pose gives you the strength to remain in inner balance, even when external circumstances change. In this way you can find and maintain your unity with yourself. It has a stress-reducing, calming and harmonising effect.
Even the simple variation unfolds all physical, mental and energetic effects.
Come into a kneeling position and place your hands loosely on the back of your head. Turn from the torso first to the right and then to the left side.
For the version most are familiar with, sit on the left side of the heels starting from the heel seat. Place the right foot next to the left knee. When your buttocks are no longer fully on the floor, extend your left leg. Hug the right knee with the left arm. Inhaling stretch the right arm long upwards and come into the rotation with the exhalation.
If you want to make it more difficult, bring your left arm stretched out to your right lower leg.
Alternatively, you can do the Half Lord of the Fishes Pose bound. Bound means that you dip your left arm under your upright leg to the back and grasp your right hand there.
Make sure that you practise both sides in the same way and for the same length of time.
TRIKONASANA – The Triangel Pose
The triangle pose helps you to see the world from a different perspective and to open yourself to new things.
Especially when you are on the path to Unity, you sometimes have to change your perspective. Pull down the limiting walls in your mind, give up your boundaries. And only look at the big and whole.
For the triangle pose, stand with your legs apart. Your feet are parallel to each other and about a leg’s length apart. Inhaling bring your right arm to your right ear. Exhaling bend to the left.
Make sure that your hips continue to point forward.
When you notice that you are leaning on your left knee, give your left hand to your lower back.
A variation of the triangle pose is the twisted triangle pose.
Use a block to create a more comfortable position. Depending on how you set it up, you can vary the assistance.
For the twisted triangle pose, turn your left foot so that it is parallel to the longer side of the mat. Inhaling lengthen upwards and exhaling place your left hand on the block or on the floor. Extend your right arm upwards and look towards your hand.
Another alternative is the forward-bending triangle pose.
Again, align your left foot parallel to the long end of the mat. Inhaling lengthen the upper body and exhaling bend the upper body straight towards the left foot. You can stretch your arms upwards or – for the more experienced and flexible – cross them behind your back in the prayer posture, anjali mudra.
Make sure that you practise both sides in the same variation and for the same time.
DHYANASANA – The Meditation Position
No yoga posture brings you more to yourself than the meditation position. Of course, it is helpful to meditate here as well.
Which position you take in meditation is very individual. You should be able to sit upright yet comfortably in order to practice a relaxed meditation.
A simple option is to meditate sitting on a chair. Make sure that your feet touch the floor. Ideally, you should sit upright and without leaning.
If you don’t want to sit with your legs crossed, but still prefer to sit on the floor, you can also sit on your heels.
The simplest variation of sitting with legs crossed is cross-legged.
Followed by another simple cross-legged position, for which you rest both lower legs on the floor and let the knees fall loosely to the floor.
For half lotus – the next difficulty variation – place your foot in the opposite hip flexion. If you are very flexible in the hips (as you can see, I am not, because the photo is missing here) you can now also place the other foot on the opposite thigh for full lotus pose.
Very important: Don’t force anything here ROT The opening of the hips is not only dependent on the elasticity of your muscles. Every person has a different bone structure. This means that under certain circumstances you can do as many stretching exercises as you like and still not be able to perform various postures because of your anatomy.
But that is also yoga – accepting these very things and still being in harmony with yourself.
As another alternative, you can try the cow face pose.
For this, starting from a quadruped position, put one leg over the other (see what is more comfortable for you) and then spread your lower legs so far apart that you can place your buttocks between your heels.
In this position you could also meditate wonderfully and come into unity with yourself and your surroundings.
SHAVASANA – The Corpse Pose
Absolute oneness. I find this in Shavasana, the corpse pose. (More about Shavasana you can find here.)
In the corpse pose, stress hormones are reduced and happiness hormones are released. The parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for relaxation and regeneration, is activated. Inner peace and balance are achieved. One of the most important asanas of all, in my opinion #yogadereinheit
For the corpse pose, lie on your back with your arms relaxed and spread out beside your body. The palms of your hands are facing upwards, the fingers are very loose and naturally bent. If you want to give your spine a little more length, pull your chin towards your sternum without lifting your head.
If you have problems in your lower back, the pyramid corpse pose is the most suitable way to relax. Place your feet on the outer edge of the mat. The knees touch each other.
Another variation that is pleasant for the back and especially for shortened leg muscles is to rest the knees on two cushions.
It could also be more relaxing to rest your head on a folded blanket.
The classic way to get into Shavasana is to stretch your legs out on the mat and place them hip-width to mat-width apart. The toes fall outwards in a relaxed manner. (And it’s even more pleasant when the yoga teacher comes and pulls your legs down a bit… I’d like to be a yoga student again).
Alternatively, you can try the pentagram pose – very metal-like. To do this, extend your arms upwards instead of resting them next to your body.
Don’t be afraid to use aids in yoga and especially in Shavasana or to choose a simpler variation.
The path to unity is not a competition, but should feel good and pleasant despite all the difficulties. Especially in the corpse pose it is important that you can release. And that is just possible when you are lying in a completely relaxed position.
I wish you not only a lot of pleasure in practising the asanas, but above all a lot of success on your very own path to your unity.
Sometimes such a path is very rocky and sometimes everything seems to flow by itself. Please do not give up on the difficult sections of the path. Remember that all asanas unfold their full effect when supported.
In this way, you can take a relaxed journey at your own pace to find your unity within yourself.
NAMASTÉ & STAY TUNED