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October 18 Restore

This too shall pass
So why the photos of rug cleaner, paper towels and a sponge?  Isn't it obvious that we now have a puppy in our household?  Armed with these three things, I can get through this puppy "pee" stage.  But I just don't want to get through it. I want to thrive and be in the moment during our new family member's young life.  Flashback 12  1/2 years ago, when I had a newborn baby girl to take care of.  My mantra then was "This too shall pass".  Oh, pass it did, and too fast. She is twelve now and where did the years go? What I wouldn't do to get those twelve years back.  Armed with this knowledge and my arsenal in the photo, I am determined not to adopt the same mantra.  I am living for all of the moments with this baby boy (actually toddler now).  I look into his brown, brown eyes and the world lights up.

On the human side, my day to day interactions with my daughters are less and less, as they grow up, and develop into the beautiful young ladies they are inside and out.  But when we are together, I am looking into their brown and hazel eyes, and seeing all the luminescence of the world too.  At least they are housebroken by now!

Had to place cute puppy pic here

The Breath
Apa Japa Breath - The Breath of Awareness
Come to a comfortable seated or supine position, supporting your posture.  Direct your attention inward.  Keep your breath natural, not changing it at all.  Focus on the length of the inhalation and exhalation.  Notice the air moving in the nostrils and out of the nostrils.  Where do you feel the breath? Do you fee lit as it comes in through the nostrils to the lungs and then out?  Notice expansion in your ribs, your chest and any other expansive feelings in the body as you breathe in.  Notice the release or relaxation of your body as you breathe out.  Stay for at least 2 minutes of this breath awareness, working up to 5 minutes with practice.

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.
*we are digging placing the arms in Goddess pose (not pictured) so try that one out as well. Place blanket support under arms. 

Mountain Brook (2 Versions)
Props: 2-3 blankets, neck roll, two bolsters
Benefits: counteracts the slumped position of our posture from sitting, computer use, driving, everyday activities. Opens the chest to help breathe easier. Improves digestion, reduces fatigue and can lift your mood.

Just like a babbling brook with boulders (soft ones!), imagine your body like the soft rushing waters laying over those boulders, smooth, flowing.  It will allow the natural curves of the body to be held up gently and the breath to flow.

On your mat, place one bolster where your knees will be and another where your lower legs can rest, one blanket rolled up where the bra line is (base of scapula), and a neck roll for the cervical spine.  Shoulders rest on the floor, arms to side with palms facing up or come into Goddess arms.  If ankles need support, use rolled-up blanket or dish towel.  Eye pillows can lightly rest on eyes or even be used on forehead (useful for headaches) or even on shoulders (wherever you need to release tension). To begin with stay in pose for 10 minutes working up to 20 minutes.  Great to use in savasana. Feel the heart open, the strain from holding yourself up all day evaporate.
Variations: Feeling cranky in the lumbar spine? Place blanket to fill the curves.  Want to feel more grounded while still opening the heart? Place rolled up blanket against wall and soles of feet touching blanket.  Need to feel cuddled? Swaddle your head in a blanket cradle.

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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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