Mini Practices

Intro to Mini Practices

Pause, notice. What might you need in this moment? A brief introduction to why these mini practices might be of benefit.

Checking In

What do I mean by ‘checking in’? How might this practice, be useful?

Narrow vs a wide focus

How might your eyes, your view, the focus of your attention affect your breath and muscle tension? You might be surprised.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (1.34 min long).

just, rest

Not a nap, not laying on your bed, but rather a little supportive, constructive rest. I do this daily, usually late afternoon, for about 5 to 10 minutes. It allows for rest, a ‘letting go’, a re-set and energy for the rest of the day. Try it out, even for 5 minutes, and let me know how it goes.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube ( 1.12 min long).


Rest, while laying supine, with legs on a chair. You could also have legs up on your bed or sofa, depending on the height. Also, be sure your pelvis is fully on the ground. Add a tie or belt around the mid-thigh to provide additional support. Rest here for 5 to 15 minutes. This will often feel easeful, restful, supportive for someone experiencing low back pain or if feeling overall fatigue.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (2.20 min long).

Adding weight, while at rest

Constructive rest with the addition of various props to add weight, a sense of grounding, feeling secure in the earth below. This may, or may not … be helpful for someone feeling a little anxious, scattered, unable to settle. What feels helpful for one person, may not for another. Which is why you need to test it out, bit by bit, adding a little weight and notice how you feel. Let me know how it goes, or if you have any questions.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (3.26 min long).

Breath, 3-dimensional

Where do you notice your breath moving in your body with each breath in and each breath out. Often we’ll notice it in the front of the body as that’s where our attention seems to go, to where we can see and feel most easily. But what about the sides of the body, or the back of the body. Can you, do you, notice any movement there as you breathe? This short practice will allow you to explore all three areas, with some feedback gained by the use of either a theraband, maybe a long scarf you have available or even by using your hands.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (3.28 min long).

Leg rolls with bent knees

I think this is actually a Feldenkrais movement and not a ‘yoga’ movement, but I find it’s easeful and you can really get a sense of how your leg bones move in both internal and external rotation in the hip sockets. You might begin by making the movements very small at first, increasing the range as it feels safe and comfortable to do so. Check it out and let me know how it goes.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (1 min long).

Restorative pose, using a z-fold blanket

This restorative pose, might be useful to help bring some support to the spine but also to create a slight back bend, opening up the front of the body. If you’re sitting in front of a screen a big part of the day, or just feel like you hold some kind of pattern of curling in. Which is all fine and good. Not wrong, by any means.

But at times, it might feel useful to create a sense of expansion, openness, freedom in the front of the body. A blanket or a large towel can be used. You’ll see how to fold it in a way that allows for this easeful, soft, and hopefully supportive position Let me know how it goes.

As a bonus, an introduction to our dog, Lucy…. who’s just had a COVID, homespun haircut. I miss her curls, but they’ll grow back soon enough.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (1.57 min long).

Restorative pose, forward fold & forward fold with a twist

Forward folds can sometimes provide a sense of quiet, this almost ‘coming in to ourselves’. A natural curling up in a bit of a fetal position. Safe. Secure. It might also feel the opposite. Claustrophobic, heavy. Which is why it’s important to bring curiosity to how it is for you, in this moment.

If you don’t have a bolster like the one I used for the twist, you might use a stack of towels, blankets, or pillows instead. I also used bolster for the first position as it’s more easeful for my hips. Again, you might use blankets, or a block or whatever else you have handy if some extra height feels right for you as well.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (2.44 min long).

Bring awareness to the feet

Use a ball to bring some awareness to the feet. Taking time to easefully roll a ball underneath each foot. Noticing any particular sensations, how they feel before and after rolling. Just be curious, see if anything changes. If you notice anything different about your feet on the floor, maybe your legs, hips.

You can use a tennis ball or any ball, really. It just depends. If your feet are quite sensitive, experience pain, etc. you might want to use a ball that is softer, more pliable than a harder type one.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (1.34 min long).

Easeful twist, while seated

Most of our day is spent in rather forward and back movements (saggital plane). Not so much twisting, or moving in the transverse plane. Yet even for walking, there is this kind of movement required, to be easeful, comfortable.

So it might be useful to practice this a little during your day. Then, when you need to twist/turn and look out your rear-view mirror when driving, you might find some movement coming from the rotation of your rib-cage around the spine, rather than it all needing to come from the movement of your head, which sometimes creates pain and strain for people.

Anyways, check it out. See how it feels in your body. Keep practicing and notice if anything changes over time. Let me know how it goes!

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (0.35 min long).

arms overhead

This practice will bring some awareness to how your arms are moving at the shoulder joint. Laying in supine and moving the arms overhead, notice how they move? How far feels comfortable to move them? Try not to allow your ribs to poke out, or for your spine to move into a backbend. You really just want to focus on the arm movement. Being, easeful, smooth.

If there is any clicking or clunking in the joint, or if you’r experiencing pain, move in a smaller range. Work there for a while and probably over a week or two you might notice a change. Let me know how it goes!

Forward fold, on a chair

Using a chair and pillows or blankets, sit comfortably on the floor and then just forward (hinging at the hips) fold over so your head and arms feel supported by the props. Add more or less height (adding more pillows or blankets – or using a higher chair seat) as is most comfortable for you. Stay here as long as you like and when ready, slowly move back to an upright position.

I began with cross-legs, but you may want your legs stretched out in front of you. You may also like to do this sitting in a chair and then supporting your torso, head, arms on a table or desk. Again, using pillows or blankets for added comfort and support.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (0.57 min long).

Legs up the Wall

This might be a useful pose for when you’re feeling fatigued, or if you just want to rest. Perhaps when you’re ready to go to bed and just want some calming to your nervous system.

Laying on your back, with hip about 6 to 12 inches away from the wall, swing and raise your legs towards and against the wall. Notice if the position is comfortable for you. If you feel any strain at the back of the leg, move further away from the wall. Notice that your pelvis is in a neutral position, that is fully on the floor, neither tilting or tucking of the pelvis.

Rest here as long as you like. When ready, swing your legs back towards the floor and slowly, sit up.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (2.34 min long).

Forward Fold, using a bolsteR

Using a bolster, pillows, blankets or other cushions, position them so they’re at a height that will support you comfortably. That is, your torso or upper part of the body including your head, is fully supported. Stay here as long as feels appropriate or useful for you. When ready, slowly sit back up.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube (1.34 min long).

I’m taking a break from doing these but if there’s something you’re interested in or curious about let me know and I’m happy to provide something that might be of use. You can always go to yogatoolsforlife on Facebook and click “Follow” to keep up to date with all new offerings.