First off, if you have not read I Am NOT Going to Get up Today! by Dr. Seuss, it’s pretty awesome. Second, I know I definitely have days like that, both physically and mentally. This is the practice that I use when my inner “not going to get up today” makes me mentally averse to working out. (While it may be suitable for some people with chronic illnesses or injuries, that’s going to be an individual thing. It is not my intent to portray this as a generally restorative practice.) Sometimes, granting myself that concession is what it takes to get me off my butt — or onto my butt, as the case may be — and to just do something.
Some of the poses here are prone or reclining. However, some do involve kneeling upright or getting onto the hands and knees. I like to convince myself that that doesn’t “count” as getting up.
- This Toe Stretch — I hold it long enough to do some slow shoulder circles (8 forward, 8 backward) and some slow neck circles (full or half, depending on how I’m feeling, 4 in each direction). Did I mention? I do a lot of things in this series slowly.
- Thunderbolt to stretch out the tops of my feet and ankles. I repeat the shoulder and neck circles here.
- Child’s Pose Series going from the traditional expression to this palms-up variation (I usually manage 3-4 reps on each side before my shoulders are maxed out). I spend another few breaths at center, then off to traveling child’s pose on each side, then back to center again for a few breaths. On a really low energy day, I would probably be happy to repeat just this sequence until I felt done with my asana practice.
- Modified Locust — Rather than lifting up both the upper body and the legs at once, I alternate. No need to get super strenuous. I probably repeat as a vinyasa for 3-5 rounds.
- This shoulder stretch. OMG, people, it seriously took me So. Long. on the Internet to find that. Google, why can you not read my mind?
- This wrist stretch. If my wrists are already fairly happy, I can do both hands at once. If they’re feeling tighter, though, I go one at a time.
- Sunbird — Enough reps until I decide I’m done. Often this is between 8 and 10, but not always.
- Thread the Needle with maybe one more visit to child’s pose before flipping onto my bum.
- Navasana, maybe 3 repetitions, holding for 5-10 breaths each. However, I generally do not even try to straighten my legs until the last couple of breaths (of the last repetition only) if at all.
- Rolling Bridge, again, until I feel done. If I’m feeling very adventurous, I’ll come to my knees and throw in a camel pose.
- Fire Log followed by Bharadvaja’s Twist on that same side. That is, if my right leg is on top for fire log, I switch the rotation of that leg — still keeping the right leg on tip — the first time I do the twist. Special note: Apparently, a lot of people feel like fire log pose is hell on a mat. (I don’t, and I use the pose because I feel moderate hip stretching.) Substituting something like reclining pigeon pose might be an alternative.
- Seated Wide-Legged Forward Fold — I must have mentioned this before, yes? Any practice that includes both camel and a wide legged forward fold is my idea of a good time. I’ll usually finish with legs up the wall because after my quads have been so strenuously engaged as they are in the forward fold, the sudden support and virtual weightlessness feels delightful.
And then, eventually, I do get up and go about the rest of my day.