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May 21 Restore Series

The first wave of heat has arrived.  We are all feeling it and may escape to whatever cooling device works for you.  I like many of my female peers and peeps, am feeling a little extra these days from menopause.  I saw the production of Menopause about 8 years ago and couldn't believe that it would happen to me.  Life is such a journey........

THINK COOLNESS!
video

BOREVANA

Switching gears from moments of intense heat and sweating, to Being Bored!  Do you recall a certain childhood summer, where none of your friends were around, nothing to do and possibly it was a rainy day.  You lamented this fact to your parents and you were bored.  Oh to have that time back!  We are now overstimulated with mind-numbing electronics, feel as though if we are not doing anything that we are wasting time, and possibly afraid to have time to ourselves to think, feel.  Well, all of that busyness may add up to dis-ease.  We need downtime, boredom as a counterbalance, to bring on peace and inspiration.

Overstimulation can lead us to shut down any indepth connection we may have with others as we harden ourselves to so much stimuli.  It may be time to turn off the TV during relaxation time, walk without your tunes so you can reconnect with the rhythm of nature and yourself, or even set your phone on "quiet" mode for a few hours a day.  You may discover some really cool stuff in the ordinary again.

We are productive people and downtime is non-productive.  I am super pleased with myself when I cross yet another thing off of my "To Do" list.  But did I really get to enjoy my "To Do's" (yes, even this blog)?  But space and time for boredom may be just the thing to spur your creativity and come up with inspired ideas.  These ideas may help your life become more efficient and more idle time for more ideas and so on and so on.   Try scheduling a block of time to do absolutely nothing.  And see what you are inspired to do then.  Also use the small periods of time where you are waiting in line, or on the phone or at the traffic light, to be present and notice your surroundings.

And we may just not want to go there.  Meaning, if I am quiet, still, I may have to deal with hidden feelings, or realities.  We all love our comfy restorative practice, propped up, supported but it can also be a very difficult practice, as a feeling may arise that for years you have pushed down further and further.  It may arise as a physical sensation, or a thought but now you must face it, breathe into it.  Sit with the discomfort and you can begin to address what is at the root of it.

The Breath
Elevator Breath

(compliments of Rudy Pierce, gentleyogi.com)

The Elevator Breath is a simple, yet profound breathing technique. You can do it just about anywhere.

Inhale to a count of four. Then exhale to a count of four (same count as the inhale.)  Go at your own pace. No strain. Smooth and easy.

Then inhale to a count of five. Exhale to a count of five.
The breath can be held in or out for a moment in between the inhale and exhale.  If that doesn't feel okay then keep your breathing continuous.

Then Inhale to six. Exhale to six.
You can use the word “inhale” or “exhale” instead of the number one if it’s helpful, like this:
Inhale two, three, four, five, six.
Exhale two, three, four, five, six.
Inhale two, three, four, five, six, seven.
Exhale two, three, four, five, six, seven.

Continue for a few more rounds. You may increase the count to further lengthen the breath if you can remain comfortable. The number you count to doesn't matter; there's no goal of achieving any particular count.  It's your breath, your body.

Now release all control of the breath. Observe the breath as it self-regulates.
And notice how you feel….physically….emotionally….mentally. 

The Poses
Reclined Twist
Props: bolster, 2-4 blocks, 4 blankets, neck roll, eye pillow
Extras: blanket for warmth
Benefits: Allows breath to come in to the rib cage and belly more freely. Detoxifying. Can reduce high blood pressure. Relieves fatigue and insomnia.  Safe for a Prenatal twist.

This can be a very prop intensive pose but once you are in it, it is worth it.  Begin with right side of body, place the bottom of your right foot against the wall with leg extended. Left leg is bent at a 90 deg. angle and propped up with two blocks and a bolster with maybe a blanket on top. at least two blankets, S-fold blankets, and/or pillows placed along spine for support, lengthwise.  Extend your left arm out to the left side and lay it on a smaller stack of blankets either s-fold or triple-fold out to your side.  Right arm extends out to the right.  This means the left arm is at a higher elevation than right. Head can remain neutral to ceiling or turn to one side.   Extra blankets can be placed in spaces that need more support.  Neck roll for cervical spine and eye pillow.

Legs up on Bolster

Props: bolster, 2 blocks, 1-2 blankets, add'l strap, eye pillow, neck roll
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. Great variation if your hamstrings are tight or legs are aching.

Begin with using a double-folded blanket to be placed right above sacrum or under hips (see photo), setting it approx. distance 6-8" from bolster (adjust in pose). Sit down on the blanket and place your legs on the bolster.  Arms rest by your side, palms face up or with Goddess arms.  
Variations: To ground legs, blanket or sandbag placed on belly or legs.  Strap can be placed around calves, so you lose the feeling of holding up legs.  




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