Getting ready for a big meal? Practice this sequence after the meal to help relax and allow your body to focus on digestion after all that food! Twisting the belly, opening the hips and chest, and taking a few minutes to invert will all help the impending food coma. The sequence takes about 10 minutes total, so you’ll still have plenty of time to take a post-thanksgiving nap.
Start in chair pose, sitting the hips back. Bring the hands to heart center (Anjali mudra) and twist over to the right, hooking the left elbow over the knees. Do your best to keep both knees in one straight line, and prevent one from jutting out more than the other. Lengthen the spine and twist the ribcage up towards the ceiling. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on either side.
Sit the hips back, and cross the right leg up over left, keeping the left toes up off the ground. Perhaps you try and cross the right toes around the back of the left calf. Cross the right arm under the left and grab hands to opposite shoulders, or cross the forearms and touch the palms together. Squeeze the legs together and lift up through the belly and spine. Keep your eyes on a still point (drishti point). Hold for 5-10 breaths, and repeat on other side.
Separate your feet mat width apart, pointing the toes slightly towards the outside. Sit the hips down a few inches off the floor. Bring the hands to heart center and use the elbows to gently push out the knees towards the outside. Lengthen the spine and engage the legs. Hold for 1 minute.
Lie down on your back. Bring the feet close together and point the toes. Lift your upper body up, supported by your forearms. Bring the chest up towards the ceiling. If you have no neck sensitivity, tilt the head back, opening the throat. The top of your head might rest on the ground. Keep the chest lifted and engaged throughout. Stay for 5-10 breaths.
Sit on the ground facing the wall. Lift the legs up onto the wall and then shift the hips as close to the wall as you can. Let the legs straighten against the wall, and relax the upper body into the floor in a supported inversion. You can support your low back with a blanket or pillow if you’re uncomfortable. Stay for 5 minutes or come down sooner if you feel uncomfortable.