When you’re in a yoga class, your teacher designs a whole sequence of poses, transitions, and rebounds. Poses are more obvious: Warrior 1, 2, or 3. Chaturanga. Frog pose. But I want to focus on transitions and rebounds … and how they aren’t just for the mat, but for everyday life.
Transition Poses in Yoga
This is the pose we do to move from one yoga pose into the next. A transition pose involves movement and basically prepares us for the next pose.
Two examples of transition yoga poses are:
- From standing to sitting: mountain pose, transition into squat pose, drop down on your bottom, and finally sit in square pose or easy pose
- From downward dog to corpse pose: downward dog, transition into plank, transition into belly pose face down (prone pose), and finally flip your body to transition into corpse pose
Rebound Poses in Yoga
This is the release of the poses we just did prior to the rebound. It is a pose that offers a period of rest and elicits a relaxation response.
Three examples of rebound yoga poses are:
- Savasana/corpse pose, which is the most traditional rebound pose
- Child’s pose (after table pose or all fours pose, for example)
- Staff pose (after caterpillar pose, for example)
Using Transitions and Rebounds In Everyday Life
Yes, rebounds are imperative in yoga, but the same is true in everyday life!
The goal of a rebound yoga pose is to let our bodies absorb the work we just did in our prior, more active poses (or even passive poses in yin yoga) – it is a period of rest that offers us a chance to repair, recharge, and rejuvenate.
Similar to the goal of a yoga rebounds, the goal of a rebound in everyday life is to take a moment to ourselves to absorb the activities we just did – it is a period of rest and relaxation to give the mind a chance to process and integrate what we accomplished during our various activities.
Transition Activities in Everyday Life
This is the activity we do to move from one item on our to-do list to the next. A transition activity, just as with a transition pose in yoga, involves movement and basically prepares us for the next activity.
Here is one personal example of a transition:
I am currently on a flight from Chicago to San Diego writing this blog. Once I finish writing, it will be time to deboard the plane. A logical transition activity between this activity – writing – and the next activity – deboarding and heading to baggage claim to fetch my luggage – will be to save my blog content on my desktop, put my computer away, and make sure I pack all my carry-on belongings, so I don’t leave any personal items behind.
Here is one transition example for parents with young children:
You are at the playground and need to leave to go to the grocery store within the next 5 minutes. In order to help your 3-year-old child transition to the next activity more smoothly, you give them a warning and tell them “You have 5 minutes left at the playground and then we need to leave to go grocery shopping” or “We need to leave and go to the store to buy groceries. You have two choices: we leave the playground right now or you can go down the slide two more times, and then we leave right after that.”
The warning helps the child transition. The transition is the act of leaving the playground immediately, or going down the slide twice and then leaving the playground, to enter the car and then drive to the store.
Rebound Activities in Everyday Life
This is the process of letting go of / surrendering to the activity we just did prior to the rebound. Just as with a rebound pose in yoga, it is a calming yield to yin activity that offers a period of rest and elicits a relaxation response.
Here is one personal example of a rebound:
After I save my blog content, put my computer away, as well as my other items, I close my eyes, and focus on slowing down my breathing for 5 minutes. One possible breathing technique I can do quietly on the plane is box breathing. Another rebound option is to put in my airpods and listen to some relaxing music. After this rebound, I am now ready to more calmly and mindfully transition into deboarding and heading to baggage claim.
Here is a rebound example for parents with young children:
After you leave the playground and strap your 3-year-old child in the carseat, you step into the driver seat and before driving to the next location, you say something like this: “Wow, you played so hard just now. I saw you running around playing catch and I also saw how you were sharing your sand toys with the other kids. I noticed they really enjoyed playing with you. I’m wondering if you need a little break. I can actually use a little break myself between the playground and the grocery store. Let’s listen to one of your favorite songs or stories – do you want me to turn on the dinosaur song, or the story about the giant and the mouse?” After this rebound, you and your child are now ready to more calming and mindfully transition into grocery shopping.
Transitions vs. Rebounds
- Transitions are automatic whereas rebounds are intentional
- Transitions are still mostly yang activities whereas rebounds are yin
- Rebounds are mindful activities–we take care of ourselves by giving ourselves little breaks throughout the day
- Rebound mini-breaks prevent energy stagnation and the development of blockages
- No time for yin rebounds in your everyday life? – then just do more mindful transitions instead of automatic ones
Ways To Use Rebounds (yin) In Between Your Daily To-Do List (yang)?
Rebound time, both yoga rebound and everyday rebound, is the ideal time to acknowledge our work and express gratitude for our accomplishments, big or small.
- repair, recharge, rejuvenate
- process, integrate
- acknowledge, express gratitude
That way we can grow, evolve, and expand.
Instead of moving from one yang “stimulating” activity straight into the next yang activity, how do we include a few seconds, or even minutes, for a yin “rest and digest” activity in between two yang activities? This is especially relevant at times when we feel frazzled, stressed, sad, or really are experiencing any kind of emotional dysregulation.
How do we provide more continuous balance on a day-to-day basis, so the yin can strengthen the yang (and vice versa)? How do we stop from feeling depleted at the end of each day when we realize we were in constant yang energy throughout the day without mindfully and regularly including yin energy?
10 Examples of Simple Yin Rebounds for Everyday Life:
- Take eleven deep, full, and slow breaths
- Close your eyes and visualize yourself in your favorite place – what do you see, smell, hear, touch and taste?
- Make and drink a cup of calming tea (chamomile, lavender, peppermint)
- Go to the bathroom and run ice cold water over your wrists
- Turn on your scented oil diffuser (lavender, sweet orange, clary sage)
- Listen to a song that calms you down or elevates your mood in any other way
- Listen to a short section of an inspirational podcast
- Read a few paragraphs in a self-help book or a book of poems
- Stand up and stretch according to your body’s needs (tree pose, standing forward bend, triangle pose)
- Find a private spot and lie on the floor in fish pose, legs-up-the-wall pose, or savasana/corpse pose.
⚠️The fetal pose you move into when transitioning out of a final yoga rebound, corpse pose, signifies “rebirth.” You leave the yoga session feeling more “renewed” compared to when you first started it. Remember this highlight when you consider incorporating simple yin rebounds in your day-to-day life; expect some type of mini-recovery or revival each time you sprinkle yield to yin activities in your day.
- Healing Card Deck: A Therapist’s Advice 55-Card Healing Deck by Sara Cloostermans
- Book Recommendation: Practicing Mindfulness – 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday by Matthew Sockolov
- Mantra: I AM REBOUND // repeat with diaphragmatic breathing
- Yin Yoga Asana: Corpse Pose
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