Here are 5 poses which will remind you of the desert. Whether you are reading a book about deserts, are lost in a desert right now, or plan on camping out in a desert real soon, these poses will get you pumped up and feeling good about the occasion. Do them preferably in order and remember, you can always add more or repeat the cycle a few times.
Rabbit Pose: This pose helps alleviate stress in the shoulders and neck. It stretches the back and spine. This pose is great for headaches, sinus problems, and even insomnia.
How to: Sit on your shins, bend forward and rest the top of your head on the mat in front of your knees. Grasp your fingers together behind your back, roll the shoulders down the back, away from the ears, then lift your arms over your head. Breathe deeply, then reverse the clasp of your hands and stay here for 5 more breaths.
Snake Pose: This pose is a good counter stretch to Rabbit pose. It stretches and strengthens the back, arms, and shoulders. It opens up our chest and heart.
How to: Lie down on your belly with your feet together and legs straight, like a strong snake tail. Place hands next to your shoulders, palms down. Press down, lifting your chest off the ground. Breathe deeply for the count of five and then lower the chest back down to the floor.
Fox Pose (really Downward Dog Pose): This pose is great for strengthening the arms, wrists and shoulders. It stretches your back and legs. You can run in place, which is great cardio-vascular exercise. This inverted pose is also good for energizing the body and calming the brain.
How to: Start by posing on your hands and knees (like a baby ready to crawl). Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Lift your seat up into the air as if your body is making a triangle, where the floor is one side, your legs are another side, and your arms and back are a third side. Your booty is an angle, as well as your toes curled under and your hands pressed down to the ground. Take 5 deep breaths.
Prehistoric Desert Sloth: This pose is a great stretch for the back and legs. It alleviates stress which accumulates in the shoulders and neck.
How to: From Fox/Dog pose, walk your feet towards your hands. Then, lift your hands from the floor and let them hang, as well as your head and neck. Your legs should be straight and your whole upper body should be dangling from your hips. Stay in this pose for a few deep breaths to get the best stretch for your body. This is not a stretch you should do quickly. When done, slowly lift your upper body-stacking one vertebrate at a time until you are standing straight and tall.
Hawk or Eagle Pose: This pose is great for balance and stability. It helps one feel confident and happy, and can exert enough energy where you will feel heat rising from your body.
How to: From a standing position, cross one ankle over the other Extend your arms out in front of you and cross them over your wrists. Turn your thumbs down to the floor, so your palms are facing each other and interlace your fingers. Bring your clasped hands toward your body, resting them on your sternum. Breath deeply. For an added challenge, try crossing your front leg over and wrapping it around the calf of your other leg. You should be balancing on one leg. Also, bend forward and try to touch your legs with your arms. Feel the heat.
Children have the best imaginations and you can, too with this desert adventure. It's a great little break from sitting and reading or driving long distances, such as a road trip. Tell a story about being in the desert and about coming across these animals. Do the poses while you talk about the adventure, adding in details whenever needed. For example, "Did you know that rattlesnakes don't lay eggs like other snakes? Or that the biggest sloth on Earth was the prehistoric sloth which lived in the Southwest deserts of the United States millions of years ago. It was the size of a bear! Have fun while stretching and feeling fit.