Photo: Twodolla; Art Direction: The Magazine of Yoga
Poet in Residence
Bodies and Voices
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST CARYN MIRRIAM-GOLDBERG
I live for the bath, and I’ve even had some four-bath days when life was particularly searing and awful. There’s just nothing like immersing myself in warm water and returning to the sea of life.
Given that I’ve drank coffee in the bath (often, in fact), read books in the bath, and had long talks with friends on the phone in the bath (careful not to drop the phone in the tub), it’s no wonder that several years ago, I began doing yoga in the tub.
Of course, it is essential to be super careful when doing bathtub yoga because surfaces are slippery, but with enough presence, such a routine can be deeply relaxing, a little thrilling and a lot comforting.
Here’s my routine for a gentle, short yoga routine in and out of the water:
1. Utkatasana (Chair Pose) Step into the tub and into this pose, holding it for several breaths.
2. Malsana (Squat) Inhale as you squat, balancing on your feet with hands in prayer position.
3. Rock back and forth from heels to toes to stretch out your doggies.
4. Dandasana (Staff pose) Sit down in this pose and take several breaths. If you want to wash your face, inhale (mouth closed!) as you aim your face toward your knees.
5. Janusirshana variation (leg lifting while in Staff pose) Sitting in Dandasana, lift one leg up at a time toward your nose. Breathe for a while, and then switch legs.
6. Sethubandasana (Bridge) Slowly move yourself into modified bridge (keeping your head up) to wash your hair.
7. Puripurna (Boat pose) Of course, while in the water, you should do boat pose. Balance carefully, and hold onto the tub sides as need be.
8. Buddha Konasana (Butterfly or Cobbler pose) Unless you have a very wide tub, turn sideways to do butterfly pose.
9. Virasana (Hero pose) Time to move onto your knees, using the heat of the water to stretch in this pose.
10. Ustrasana (Camel pose) Move into camel pose as your final pose in the water.
11. Parvottasana (forward bend with legs apart, back concave) Cimb out, and use the side of the tub to do this pose as you towel off.
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.