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April 28 Restore Series

I am coming down to earth again. And it feels good to feel my feet on the earth - literally!  Last week was a flurry of motion and not much time to ground myself.  This week, I am going barefoot.



The Poses
Supported Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirasana)

Props: bolster, blankets, neck roll

Benefits: Stretches hamstring and back of leg, centering and calming to central nervous system, gently stretches back, mild hip opener.

In the variation that we practiced in class, we placed the bolster upright on short end on our thigh and draped the arms over it letting the fingers and hands relax.  Use blanket support under knee and possibly to sit on to take pressure off of the low back.  Add a neck pillow or other cushioning for the head to rest on.  Stay for up to 5 minutes and switch sides mindfully.  We warmed up some with a flowing Head to Knee pose prior.  Try out the Mental Alternate Nostril Breathing.


Supported Bridge Pose


Props: bolster, two blocks, strap, additional blankets, neck roll for comfort
Benefits: Expands the chest muscles, opens the lungs, balances the glands, quiets the nerves and releases tension in the nervous system, increases oxygen intake to the brain, can stimulate the immune system (thyroid). stretch out lower back, release tension in the shoulders.

 Lay bolster lengthwise on mat and place one block at about 9 inches away from bolster and the other block about 9 inches from the first block.  Place a strap around the middle of your thighs and tighten so that legs are hip distance apart. Sit on bolster and gently recline yourself down onto the blocks. Adjust the first block to be directly under the shoulder blades and adjust the other block so that your head is resting on it like a pillow.  Shoulders should drape between the blocks.  You may need to add blankets to the blocks for further comfort.  Stay in pose for at least 5 minutes.  Take care when rolling off the bolster and blocks. May bring knees to bend.  Pause before lifting up to sitting. 


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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Supported Forward Fold with Legs Extended (Paschimottasana)
Benefits: calming, gently stretches lower back, nice transition from the days activities.  A good pose to do if you need a few minutes break from your daily work, easy to do and easily accessible.  Good for headaches.  Breathing is easier since muscles of the respiratory system are relaxed. Massage for the digestive system.
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Bridge Pose - Supported
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