Becky Taylor talks us through a yoga practice inspired by our beloved houseplants
Yoga and nature are intrinsically linked, and so having a home yoga space surrounded by plants can super boost your practise to a whole new level. In yoga we are essentially working to connect with our deepest selves and our innate nature, through breathwork, movement and meditation. So it makes sense that being literally surrounded by nature in our yoga space can help us do this!
House plants help to purify the air, and if you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you’ll know that breathwork is a key element of any yoga practise. So practising yoga in plant-filled space can help us to breathe deeper and find more connection to our breath, which helps us get deeper into yoga postures and find stillness in our minds.
House plants also help to create a calming, relaxing space. When we practise yoga amongst them, plants can serve as a great meditation anchor to focus on.
We also talk about rooting down into the ground a lot in various yoga postures, to feel the connection between ourselves and the ground beneath us, and a beautiful reminder of this is having plants nearby who are doing just that – rooting downwards in order to grow upwards!
Lastly, for many yoga represents growth and new beginnings. Each time we step onto our mats we learn a bit more about our body, our mind, and our capabilities. Much like plants, we need to grow and change with the seasons.
Here are five yoga poses inspired by beautiful house plants:
1. The pose: Tree pose. The plant: Bird of paradise
The Bird of Paradise plant has elegant long stems and leaves than fan out to create a beautiful shape. The shape is much like Tree Pose, which requires the lengthening of our body, rooting down through the feet and the crown of the head lifting upwards. The bent elbows and knee in this pose mimic the shape of the Bird of Paradise plant fanning out to the sides.
2. The pose: Seated Reverse Prayer. The plant: Croton Plant
A beautiful plant that creates interesting, layered angles – the Croton Plant beautifully mirrors the shape of the Seated Reverse Prayer pose in yoga. This pose strengthens the arms and shoulders and opens the chest up so that we can grow taller in the trunk towards the light above.
3. The pose: Reverse Warrior. The plant: Fishbone Cactus
The fishbone cactus has stems that begin by growing upwards but that eventually trail down. Much like the gorgeous shape of Reverse Warrior pose, we first reach upwards towards the sky with one hand before arching our backs and using the other hand to slide down the blackleg and reach towards the floor.
4. The pose: Reclined Hand to Toe Stretch. The plant: Bromelia Guzmania
The Bromelia Guzmania is known as a low maintenance houseplant the makes a big impact over time, as it flowers for months on end. Similar to the Reclined Hand to Toe stretch in yoga, this pose can seem fairly basic at first but stretching out the hamstrings and lower back consistently over time yields great flexibility and the benefit will be seen in other, more advanced, postures.
5. The pose: Dancer's Pose. The tree: Coconut Palm
The Coconut Palm has stunning tall green foliage that shoots up and out from the stem, much like the very instagrammable Dancer’s Pose in yoga. A relatively advanced yoga pose, it requires strong legs, great balance and flexibility in the spine, hips and legs. Similar to the Coconut Palm, this pose requires regular care in order for any damage to be avoided!