The video blog...
Sit yourself in front of your computer, iPad, phone or even your television for the next few videos. The first one is Jillian Pransky's short video for Prevention Magazine - Easy Yoga for Weight Loss. Then there are two more videos on the Cleansing Breath from YouTube. Sending light and love your way. Now where is my popcorn and JuJu Fruits?
There are several techniques for the cleansing breath presented online. Some suggest doing this breath to center yourself as you begin your practice, while others suggest that it is best prior to savasana. Here are two takes on this breath. Try both and see which supports you in your practice and life. Please be aware that if you get dizzy or out of breath, return to your normal breath and rest. As in any practice, both pranayamic and movement-related, be mindful of your state of being.
Wide Angle Forward Fold with Chair
Props: chair, 2 blankets
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 and provides a nice transition from day. Can help with sleep.
Add a folded blanket to seat of chair and another for you to sit on. You will straddle the chair bringing it in as close to your body as possible to support you as you forward fold. Rest arms on the chair. Avoid too much pressure on the eyes. To lesson any strain in the lower back, sit on a single or double-fold blanket. Can add blanket rolls under the knees. Stay for 5 to 10 minutes.
Sublime Side Lean
*note that for some students the breath can be constrained. Practice belly breaths to begin with.
Props: bolster or 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 bolster or the 2 or 3 blankets or pillows horizontally on your mat or floor. Lie on right side with hip at the base of the blankets or pillows. Torso should rest on the stack. Right arm rest on the floor with the palm up. 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.
Labels: Cleansing Breath, Sublime Side Lean, Wide Angle Forward Fold (chair)