You don’t have to be part of a couple this Valentine’s Day to celebrate commitment and love. This February, why not show yourself how much you care with gentle wraps and warming hugs via creative yoga poses? Cradle and rock yourself. Hold your own hand! You’ll not only come away feeling more centered, you’ll develop increased openness, flexibility and balance…which, incidentally, are great qualities when it comes to any relationship.
4 Yoga Poses Will Have You Hugging Yourself
Many lasting relationships start with a series of baby steps. Be gentle with yourself before getting into the more involved poses that follow. First, lie on your back. Bend your knees and bring them toward your stomach. Take your knees apart and grab your big toes to get into Happy Baby. Rock side to side gently to loosen any tension in your legs and back.
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Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your right leg, open your hip and let your knee point toward the right wall as you cradle your right calf in your arms. Slowly bring your foot toward your chest. Keep your chest open and your shoulders and hips aligned as you cradle your leg and rock it. Repeat on the other side.
If your hips are warm and open from the cradle it’s time to go a step further and try a twist on a traditional hug! Sit in Lotus Pose so your legs are crossed and your feet rest at the bend in your hips. Cross your arms behind your body so your right hand grasps your left foot and your left hand grasps your right foot.
Like some relationships, this one sounds complicated, but it’s well worth the effort. Position your feet wider than your shoulders. Point your right toes toward the side wall. Extend your arms to both sides and start bending your right knees as you lean toward the right. Your left leg should remain straight. Once you are in Extended Side Angle Pose, reach your right hand toward the ground in front of your right knee. Extend your left arm to the ceiling. Focus on your balance and soften your right elbow so that it falls closer to the ground below your knee. Gently bring your left arm down; bending your elbow so your palm faces the back wall and the back of your hand rests on the right side of your lower back. Reach your right arm under your right leg and clasp your hands together. You made it! Give your own hand a loving squeeze and take several deep breaths before trying it on the other side.