September 20, 2011 Restorative Series

I woke up in a fog this morning, uh literally!  Shook the cobwebs from my nighttime brain and saw some light peeking through.  I then donned my silly hat and decided to awaken my inner child.  We all have things to do, responsibilities to be met, but doing and seeing them in a childlike light will keep you and them floating above the fog.  Why is it that summer seems to stretch on forever for a child, whereas in my existence as an adult, it is gone in a flash?  They stop to smell the roses, take in all that is around like it is the first time for that experience. Time then seems to roll at a much slower pace.  Awaken all of those senses; vision, smell, taste, sound, and touch (maybe not at the same time = overload) but one at a time to drink in what you may be missing.  Time may just stretch out a little bit longer.


<Insert Drum Roll here>  See below for the poses and the breath that we practiced together.  Lightness and joviality and the journal question are way, way at the bottom.  Read on........


The Breath
Buzzing Bee Breath (Brahmari Breath)
On the spot relaxation, soothing.
Sit comfortably either on the floor or in a chair with spine straight and shoulders relaxed.  Hand placement is as follows:
Index and middle fingers of each hand lay across the eyes. Can place one at brow line and one on bridge of nose.  Ring fingers touch at upper lip.  Thumbs gently placed at indentation by ears. The pinkie fingers can rest on the lower part of the face or just hang there.  Breathe in and on the exhale, make a buzzing sound until all air is exhaled. Begin again with the deep inhale, exhale with the buzzing sound.  Continue for at least 5 breaths until you feel a sense of peace, calm wash over you.  If you feel like you are forcing the exhale, come back to your normal breath.


The Poses
Wide-angle Forward Fold (Upavishta Konasana)






Props: bolster, two blocks, 4 or more blankets, neck roll (optional)
Benefits: releases the pelvis which can help release tension in the buttocks, hips, belly and lower back.  Quiets the organs of digestion and elimination. Opens lower back area. As head rests on bolster, releases tension in frontalis where we hold stress in contracted state. Cooling and calming to overall body.
Depending upon the length of your torso, you may or may not need the blocks under the bolster.  A double-folded blanket folded over one more time adds height and comfort.  Place as many of these as you need on top of the bolster. Cushions and pillows are also good.  You will straddle the props bringing them in as close to your body as possible to support you as you forward fold.  Forehead can be resting on a neck pillow or turn side to side on props. Arms can be by sides of props, resting on legs or if using blocks under the props.  To lesson any strain in the lower back, sit on a single or double-fold blanket.  Stay for 20 minutes. 
*note that for some students the breath can be constrained. Practice belly breaths to begin with.

Sublime Side Lean Stretch

Props: 2 or 3 pillows or blankets
Benefits: Stretches the torso and provides a gentle twist which allows a release in tension in the lower back area.
Place 2 or 3 blankets or pillows lengthwise. Lie on right side with hip at the base of the blankets or pillows.  Torso should rest on the stack.  Right arm should be under the head.  The left arm can reach over the head to increase the stretch.  Close your eyes and allow your body to relax and release any stress or tension. Slowly sit up and switch sides for the same amount of time.
Focus on your breath.  Breath into your right side allowing that gentle stretch to travel from the tip of your fingers down your lower spine.  Sense the left side of your body gently melting and surrendering to the ground beneath you.  All tension and stress being recycled by mother earth.  Sense the gentle letting go of your muscles and knowing that you are safe and supported.  Breath deep and exhale soft and long.

Elevated Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani) with a bolster variation



Props: 1-2 blankets, strap, eye pillow, blanket for warmth, neck roll, maybe a bolster (see photo)
Benefits: increases circulation and helps venous and lymphatic flow from the lower body; relieves swelling and fatigue in the legs; helps relieve muscular skeletal stress in pelvis; quiets the mind and can help promote ease in meditation and sleep.
Begin with using a double-folded blanket to be placed right above sacrum (see photo), setting it approx. distance 6-8" from wall (adjust in pose). Sit down on the blanket with one hip pressed right up against the wall. As you lower down, swing your legs up the wall. Once in the pose, you can adjust distance to wall, angle of legs to all, blanket and placement of legs all for comfort.  Hips and tailbone will be in space between wall and blanket. Arms rest by your side, palms face up or variation with Goddess arms (photo above).  
Variations: To ground legs, blanket or sandbag to hang from soles of the feet.  Strap can be placed around calves, so you lose the feeling of holding up legs.  Tight hamstrings or really uncomfortable with legs directly up the wall? Try a bolster angled into the wall to rest legs on, add blankets for more support or move hips further from wall.  Another variation is Legs up on a Chair or on a bolster with blankets on top to bring knees into a 90 degree angle.


A Lighter Side (not laugh out loud but worth a chortle or a chuckle)
What are prehistoric monsters called when they sleep?
A dinosnore!
What do elves do after school?
Gnomework!

If Ireland sank into the sea, what county wouldn't sink?
Cork!

How do we know that the Earth won't come to an end?
Because it's round!

I'd tell you another joke about a pencil.
But it doesn't have any point!



compliments of www.ahajokes.com


And more.....
Have you heard about the three-star restaurant on the Champs-Élysées that makes omelets with only one egg? Apparently in Paris, one egg is un oeuf.
X: I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith
y: Really! What's the name of his other leg?

Finally.....
A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning.The wife said, "You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee".The husband said, " You are in charge of the cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee."Wife replies, "No you should do it, and besides it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee."Husband replies, " I can't believe that, show me."So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and shows him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says: "HEBREWS"
compliments of www.thejokeyard.com


Journal Question of the Week


How will you help your inner child shine on a daily basis based on what you learned in Restorative on Tuesday, September 20th?



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