January 12 Restore


Inspiration, what a beautiful word. Inspiration as defined by a medical dictionary, the drawing of air into the lungs.  As defined by Merriams, something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone
: a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something
: a good idea
...a force or influence that inspires someone.  Could this be the prana energy or chi that the breath embodies?

I feel that the drawing of air into the lungs does inspire me, my ideas, my creativity.  The act fuels my desire to create.  Just like the cycle of breath, inhalation to exhalation back to inhalation, there is a cycle of breath to creation.  An idea, a glimmer takes hold, then it grows in embodiment and quite possibly the idea passes from the inception to fruition which may spurn on more ideas. So when I focus on the breath flowing in and out, I can make the space for my ideas to cycle in and out. Maybe some of those ideas stick, maybe they pass on through.  However, when the breath becomes disjointed, shortened, erratic, it is like a stop gap to those ideas.  I get stuck. some ideas may still be born but they become lodged like my breath and my body.


There are a few breathing techniques that may inspire us to generate more ideas.  1) Controlled breathing where you breath in and out for the same count, perhaps adding to the count on the exhalation as you are able to, 2) alternate nostril breath (nadi shodhana) and 3) retaining the breath for as long as you can and then exhaling fully and completely.  This will improve mental clarity, balance the two hemispheres of the brain and relax the mind.

For an additional method to facilitating creativity, try this short meditation in the morning on the visualizing your intention and creativity.

Breath
Peace Breath


Steady flow of breath in and out at an even rate on the inhalation and exhalation while silently saying these affirmations (can create your own affirmations depending upon what you need).

Breath in Peace, Breathe out quiet
Breathe in Quiet, Breathe out stillness
Breathe in Stillness, Breathe out Balance
Breathe in Balance, Breathe out Light
Breathe in Light, Breathe out Love
Breathe in Love, Breathe out Peace

Lions Breath (Simhasana)


Sit comfortably either in Sukhasana (Easy Seat) or on your heels. Take a deep inhalation through the nose. Then simultaneously open your mouth wide and stretch your tongue out, curling its tip down toward the chin, open your eyes wide, contract the muscles on the front of your throat, and exhale the breath slowly out through your mouth with a distinct "ha" sound. The breath should pass over the back of the throat.
Some texts instruct us to set our gaze (drishti) at the spot between the eyebrows. This is called "mid-brow gazing" (bhru-madhya-drishti; bhru = the brow; madhya = middle).Other texts direct the eyes to the tip of the nose (nasa-agra-drishti; nasa = nose; agra = foremost point or part, i.e., tip).
You can roar two or three times. Then change the cross of the legs and repeat for the same number of times.
Benefits: Useful for people with bad breath, relieves stress and can be used when you need to ease a tense situation, relieves tension in the chest and face, move stagnation in sinuses.
(Yoga Journal)

Poses

Childs Pose
Props: bolster, two blocks, 2-3 blankets
Benefits: Gently stretches the lower back, relieves shoulder tension and quiets the mind.  Give a sense of security. Feeling support and release.
Extras:sandbag for sacrum

Place the two blocks at either the lowest or medium height, equidistant from each other bolster lengthwise on top of blocks. A s-fold or triple fold blanket on top of bolster.  It may be more comfortable without blocks.  Legs straddle the props at one end, and lengthen body over them. Head will rest on props.  Additional blanket(s) may be used behind knees. Ideally props should extend all the way to the pelvis area but this may not be the case with your body structure.   Stay here for 10 minutes to begin with, rotating head side to side. 

Modify as needed with a chair or as a straddle.


Reclined Bound Angle on floor, minimal support (Baddhakonasana)
Benefits: opens the hips and groin facilitating blood and energy flow to the urinary tract and reproductive organs. Opens the chest and abdomen benefiting breathing problems. 
Props: bolster or firm pillows,  or rolled-up blankets,  one extra blanket for warmth, strap and eye pillow

Set up blanket lengthwise on mat, add neck pillow to top. Place pillows or rolled up blankets on either side to support legs. Recline over bolster or pillow and bring soles of the feet together, with bent knees, open legs to either side.   Strap can be added to contain the legs and deepen pose.  Place around your midsection and other end goes around edges of feet. Tighten so that legs get a feeling of being held up.  Wrap a blanket around your feet to create a feeling of containment.  Stay in the pose for 10 to 15 minutes.

Nesting Pose
Props: blankets, bolster
Benefits; Nurturing, sense of security, well-supported pose to regulate the nervous system, good for when you are feeling anxious, keeps body in alignment, supportive for the spine, hips, shoulders, head.  Allows for optimal healing and sleeping position. nurturing, sense of security, optimal for sleeping

Create a big enough folded blanket to place between the knees to align the legs in Tadasana. Add a folded blanket to rest your top arm on. Recline on a side that is comfortable, resting your head on a blanket. A neck roll can go under the ankles for support.  Bolster can rest along spine for further support and grounding. Finally, cover yourself with a blanket from head to toes.  Sink down with each long exhalation.  Mantra to accompany pose "I am safe, I am supported".

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