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Restore Sept. 6

Books, pencils, folders, oh my!  Yes, we hit Staples this year and contrary to the ad on TV, I did not dance through the aisles.  The summer flew by, the days and nights melded into each other, - as one long sigh.  The earth letting the weight of its layers lie even heavier.  Awakening to the sound of the high school kids getting on the school bus, this is but a reminder, that we are in transition - some attachment to where we were but hope for where we are going.  With this in mind, I share with you the mantra for Overcoming Obstacles, setting forth from our very root and connection to the earth - springing forth from the long sigh of summer.

The Inspiration
Ganesh Mantra



OM GAM GANAPATAYE NAMAHA
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4552/Remove-Obstacles-with-This-Ganesh-Mantra.html

The Breath
3-Part Breath (Dirga Pranayama) - Expanding energy, circulation

Come to a comfortable seated or supine position, fully supported. Place hands on your belly and breathe in enough so that you feel the abdomen rise into your hand on the inhale and relax on the exhale.  Stay with the awareness of the rise and fall of the belly for at least 4 breaths (Part 1 of Breath).  Next, place the hands alongside your ribs.  Inhale deeply to feel the belly rise and the ribs expand under your fingers. Exhale and feel those parts relax and release.  At least 4 breaths here, (Part 2 of breath) slowly expanding the lungs.  The final part of this 3-part breath, is to place the hands on the chest, below the collarbones. Breathe in to feel the belly expand, the ribs separate slightly and the chest lift into the hands - filled with light and openness.  Exhale and witness the release of your body through the chest, ribs and belly.  4 breaths.

The Poses
Kyphosis Roll
Benefits: open thoracic spine to release tension in between shoulder blades, shoulders, stretch the pectoral muscles on front of the chest, relaxing, open breathing passageways, slightly energizing so can be used when you are feeling lethargic, not motivated.Great release after a long day.
Props: blanket rolled to height desired. Less = less opening

Create your blanket roll and place on your mat.  Come to sit in front of roll and lower yourself down onto your back so that the roll fits along the bra line.  Legs can lie flat on the mat or as pictured or any other position you want.  Adjust for comfort and ensure that the shoulders and shoulder blades are spilling over the roll. Add a small pillow for the head, a neck roll or an eye pillow to go deeper in.  Stay for at least 5 minutes.

Bridge Pose
(adding energy, vitalization)
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)
Props: 4 blankets, neck roll, eye pillow, can also use bolster for more stretch
Extras: blanket for warmth

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift butt and slide the stack of 2 or 4 blankets under the base of your spine. Find a comfortable position, then let the upper back release on the floor. Arms are relaxed at sides or resting on belly. Feel chest and belly rise with each breath. Roll gently to one side when done and inhale up to seated.

Legs up the Wall

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.
Props: 1-2 blankets, strap, eye pillow, blanket for warmth, neck roll, maybe a bolster (see photo)

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.


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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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