This is not a happy, light-hearted yoga practice that will bring peace and rainbows to your heart. Oh no. This super-short sequence is about death, madness, betrayal and manifesting whatever you damn well please. And wargs. With the season finale of “Game of Thrones” looming, you need to get into the right place, and that place is less zen studio and more cold, dark dungeon full of reincarnated dead people and pissed off dragons.
ASone would like to remind you should always consult with your trainer, gym professional, physiotherapist, rheumatologist or GP before starting any new exercise programme to find out if it is suitable and beneficial for your ankylosing spondylitis. Everyone is different and you should always tailor your exercise routine to your personal needs. Remember, you want to ‘stop the wheel’ not ‘break the wheel’.
Before you start, press play on this tower-rending cello version of the theme song to set the ambience.
Easy seated pose
Bring your hands to your evil heart’s center and set an intention. Maybe your intention is to be more cunning. Maybe it’s a list of people who have wronged you and will meet their end by your sword’s justice. We don’t judge.
Warm-up sun salutations
(3x) Ground yourself in mountain pose, then forward fold over your legs. Show gratitude for every body part that hasn’t (yet) been chopped off by a vengeful enemy. Come to a halfway lift and forward fold again. Repeat this three times because winter is coming, and this may be the last sun you ever salute.
From a forward fold, sit back into chair pose. Put yourself in Cersei’s body for three deep, long breaths, embracing the effort of desperately holding this iron throne at the price of all you hold dear. If you doubt you’d sell your kids out for power, you’re probably playing the wrong game and you should just lay down in savasana now, you coward.
Set your hands down and jump back into plank, lower into chaturanga, then lift into upward dire wolf. Move back to plank and walk your feet as wide as the mat to position yourself like the flayed man on stupid Ramsey’s stupid banner. Hold this plank for three breaths, engaging your core and letting the hate for that guy’s creep-tastic grin fire up in the pit of your stomach.
Bring your left foot up between your hands into a lunge. A girl has no name as you come up to Warrior II. Look past your front fingertips and imagine your sword aiming for some soon-to-be-dead guy’s heart as you sink deeper into the front leg. Make sure the Mountain isn’t creeping up behind you by straightening your front leg and pivoting your feet to come to a Warrior II position facing the back of your mat. En garde!
Sweep your arms up over your head and align your hips to the short edge of your mat. Put a bend in your front leg and lever downlift into Warrior III like a dragon taking off to kick some slave-owner ass. Inhale and exhale a roar of fire and fury (seriously, do it—it’s so cathartic and makes you feel like a scaly badass) before bending your standing knee, reaching down to plant your hands in front of your foot and lowering your left leg to meet the right in a forward fold.
Ground yourself and place your weight into your hands. If the former Lord Commander is still the commander of your heart, hop into crow. If he’s not, you’re a liar and Castle Black hates liars. Do crow anyway to get back on their good side.
Set your feet down and step back with your left foot into lunge. Whirl up again into Warrior II, bringing your useless golden left hand to your lower back and gaze over your right arm. Straighten your legs and pivot your feet to come to Warrior II facing the other side of your mat for the reverse side.
Square your hips to the front of your mat, and lift off like a fiery dragon again. Once you’ve incinerated a couple sheep for dinner, step your back foot up into a forward fold before sweeping your arms back to mountain pose.
Ground yourself like the roots of a tree are literally growing through your body. Wrap up your arm branches into eagle arms, and if you really want to get freaky, roll your eyes up into your head. This will test your balance, and you might also have a disappointing vision of your parents as nerdy teenagers. Switch sides and hope you don’t meet a freaky white guy this time.
Easy seated twist
Come to the floor and do an easy seated twist on each side, looking over your shoulder the way Sansa has to every damn day of her life. So not fair.
Come to boat, then slowly lower your torso and legs to the floor. Remember to enjoy your last breaths as you sink lower and lower beneath the waves.
As the most common pose in Game of Thrones, corpse pose allows you to forget all your worldly troubles and surrender into the embrace of the Many-Faced God. Release the betrayals of the Boltons, release the greed of the Lannisters, release the get-nowhere, nice-guy optimism of the Starks. When you’re ready, pull a Jon Snow and resurrect yourself into a seated position.
This sequence was just a ploy to distract you from the army of frozen undead creeping up on you.
Sorry. Good luck.
After her diagnosis in 2011, Katie has worked to find the right blend of Western and holistic therapies. In order to pass on what she’s learned to others, Katie is now a registered yoga, aerial yoga, and standup paddle board yoga teacher as well as a certified health coach specializing in autoimmune disorders. Writing and travel are her passions beyond the mat. Visit her at katieoyoga.com.