|Versace's Golden Throne i.e. Comfort and Ease|
Deep Thoughts not Deep Pockets
Within the past two weeks, I have been a driven Christmas shopper. I cringe as I think about my credit card bill at month's end. I have savings for but it still will be a jaw dropper. As I have been gathering gifts for others in my closet and mentally going through the wish lists, I have come to the conclusion that this Christmas has a theme. Unbeknownst to the people on my gift list, this theme has everything to do with Comfort and Ease. Without going into the gift list (just in case prying eyes may see this), 99.9% of the gifts that I have bought, could bring some comfort or ease to a person's life. Think snuggly, warm things. Or gifts that make a persons life a bit easier. I didn't intend to go this direction but honestly, maybe it is me that needs some comfort and ease right now. If I need some, perhaps others do as well. I am not going down that political road, but there is a lot of unease out there. Whatever party, candidate, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual persuasion, and multitude of diversities that exist in our world, we could all use some comfort and ease.
Think of your own wish list and what three things are most important to you? This may translate to a material gift you give yourself, an experience that you will have, or even a relationship that you develop with yourself or another. What do you seek this Christmas?
Breath of Joy - Conduct your own Joy
From standing mountain, inhale and bring arms out in front, continue to inhale as you swing arms horizontally by your side, then continue with inhalation as you again swing arms out front, finally exhale as you forward fold and arms come down towards the floor. Repeat at least 6 times and on the final exhale, hang there limply enjoying the energy you just created through breath. As with any breath, if you begin to feel lightheaded, return to a neutral position and your normal breath.
Reclined Bound Angle
Props: bolster, 4 blocks (or firm cushions, pillows or rolled-up blankets), 4 blankets and one extra blanket for warmth, strap and eye pillow
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.
*This week's class featured a foot wrap, adding comfort and support for the feet, as well as a way to bring the feet in closer to your groin, opening the hips a little more. Hope that you enjoyed.
Place a block lengthwise under one end of a bolster to prop it up on an incline, add another block under bolster for stability. We used the wall in this week's class placing the bolster at a higher elevation. Place a double-fold blanket on floor next to low end of bolster and a long rolled blanket on top next to bolster (for sacral support). Sit with your back to the short, low end of the bolster. Place two blocks where your knees will rest (can top with a soft blanket or use other props as necessary for propping knees) Bring your legs into Bound Angle Pose with the soles of your feet together. Wrap a blanket around your feet to create a feeling of containment. Lie back on the bolster. Place supports under your arms so that they are not dangling and there is no feeling of stretch in the chest. Stay in the pose for 10 to 15 minutes.
Supported Forward Fold with Chair or Bolsters
Benefits: great transition for decompressing the mind and body. Energy flow to the urinary tract, digestive and reproductive organs. Relaxes the back and releases tension in the neck.
Props: bolster, 3 blankets or 1 blocks (firm cushions and pillows are always an option)
Place a block at lowest height and rest the bolster on it horizontally. Sit on a blanket in front of the props and swing your legs over top of the bolster. Adjust the height of the set-up to fit your legs. If your feet do not reach the floor, add a blanket or block. Before folding over the bolster, extend the spine on an inhale and then fold over. Rest hands either on the bolster or on the floor. Add support under arms and wherever else needed. Forehead rests on bolster maybe adding a neck roll. Stay for 5-10 minutes.
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.
Labels: Breath of Joy, Legs Up the Wall, Reclined Bound Angle, Supported Forward Fold with chair