3 poses to help you rest, relax, restore

Viparita Karani (variation with legs on chair)

This a wonderful pose to help relieve tension in your feet, legs, and low back.Plus, by placing your head lower than your heart, you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, inviting a deep sense of quiet to your nervous system and mind. (if you have low back issues, reflux or are pregnant this may not be the pose for you.

As with any physical/exercise program you should always consult your doctor before trying a new practice.)

Basic Set UP

  • Place a chair at the edge of your mat. 
  • Fold 1 blanket so it makes a rectangular shape about 7 inches wide and 24 inches long – or use a bolster.
  • Stack one folded blanket on top of the other.
  • Roll onto your back and onto the blanket set-up so that your legs rest on the chair, your hips are on the blanket and your spine and neck are on your mat.
  • Make sure your spine and neck are fully supported. If you need support, feel free to add an additional blanket.
  • Make sure the curve in your low back is fully supported. Your tailbone will gently drop toward the ground into the space between the chair and the blanket – your tailbone should not be not touching the ground, however.
  • Your arms can either release out to the sides or make a cactus shape.
  • Allow the back of your neck to lengthen by softening the chin towards the throat. This will help activate the parasympathetic nervous system – the more quieting, restful part of our nervous system.

Go Deeper

  • Notice your legs draining of tension.
  • Feel your thighbones melt into your pelvis.
  • Feel your spine lengthening and releasing with each breath in and each breath out.
  • Watch and enjoy the rise and fall of your breath.

Lie here and rest anywhere from 5-15 minutes

 

Supported Child’s Pose

This a wonderful restorative pose that encourages a sense of quiet and security, invites deep connection, and helps relieve low back discomfort as well as menstrual cramps . (If you have chronic back pain, disc disease, nerve issues, knee injuries or are more than 3 months pregnant, this pose may not be for you. As with any physical/exercise program you should always consult your doctor before trying a new practice.)

Basic set up

  • Place a bolster (or use 2 pillows stacked one on top of the other or 3 to 4 rolled-up blankets to make a bolster) on the floor lengthwise. Place a blanket folded in half or a pillow across one end of the bolster to act as a pillow for your head.
  • Wedge a yoga block or a thick book under the pillow-end of the bolster to raise the area where your head will rest (about a 45 degree angle is good).
  • Sit on your shins facing the bolster with your knees slightly separated, straddling the bolster between your thighs (about hip-width apart). Point your toes straight out behind you. If your knees or ankles are sensitive, place a blanket under your shins with the tops of your feet off the blanket edge. You can also sit on a yoga block, thick book or firm pillow.
  • Fold forward, resting your torso on the bolster. Your belly and chest should be completely supported by the bolster. If they are not, add more blankets until they are easily resting on the bolster.
  • Release your tailbone toward your heels. Your spine should have a nice even roundedness from the back of your head to your tail with your tail slightly lower than your head.
  • Allow your arms to rest easily either alongside the bolster or wrap them underneath the bolster.
  • Turn your head to one side making sure your head and neck feel supported. Remember to turn your head to the opposite side halfway through your stay in the pose.

Go Deeper

  • Breathe slow deep breaths, allowing your shoulders to melt away from your ears. Feel the breath massaging the back of your body.
  • Allow your belly to soften and release onto the bolster.
  • Close your eyes and pay soft attention to the rhythm of your breath.
  • Enjoy the sense of quiet and introspection.

Stay here, letting go and relaxing anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes.


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose/Goddess Pose - my favorite!!!!!) A delicious pose that gentle opens the hips, belly and heart as it cradles you.

 

 

 

Basic Set up

  •  Fold up 2-3 blankets individually so they each form a rectangle about 2 feet wide and 3 feet long. 
  • Stack the blankets one on top of the other. 
  • Roll the blankets from long side to long side into a nice thick bolster. 
  • Sit about 1 or 2 inches in front of the short side of the bolster and lie back on it. 
  • Draw the soles of the feet together and let the knees fall out to the sides. 
  • Place a pillow under each thigh to support the hips and knees - there should not be any strain on the hips and knees. Prop your knees high enough so they feel like they can release into the pillows without any discomfort. 
  • Feel free to place another blanket, folded to make a "pillow", under your head. 
  • Rest your hands on your hip points or let the arms drizzle out to the sides and rest on the ground (you can even prop the wrists and hands gently on blankets or pillows).Close your eyes and take rest.

Go Deeper

  • Feel your breath very free - lightly rising and falling. 
  • Allow yourself to release fully into the support of the bolsters. Feel like you are being held or cradled by the bolsters and by the earth. 
  • Release from the tasks of doing and simply BE! Lie here and rest anywhere from 5 -20 minutes, This is a wonderful way to restore the body, mind, and soul, and open up the heart, chest, shoulders and hips without any effort!

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