February 7 Restore

I suggest reading this article in Yoga Journal on a Buddhist approach to dealing with difficult times that may be out of your control. It is from Tara Brach's book, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart. Click the link for the full article.
http://www.yogajournal.com/article/philosophy/let-it-rain/

In a nutshell, RAIN stands for 
R - Recognize what is happening
A - Allow life to be just as it is
I - Investigate with an intimate attention
N - Nonidentification: Rest in Natural Awareness

The Poses
Support Childs Pose
Props: bolster,  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 bolster in front of you and a blanket on your lap with one end folded over. Before folding into the shape of childs pose, inhale to lengthen the spine. Rest your forehead on the bolster with space to breathe easily. Adjust blanket if it is too confining.  If you feel tension in the ankles or behind the knees, add another blanket.  Stay for up to 5 minutes. 

Supported Bridge Pose (2 variations shown)

Props: 3 blankets, neck roll, eye pillow, bolster, block
Extras: blanket for warmth
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)

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.


Half Legs Up

Props: 2 blocks, bolster, 2 blankets, eye and neck pillow
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.

Use the 2 blocks, setting one at a lower height than the other, place bolster lengthwise on the blocks inclined.  One leg will rest on the floor with a blanket covering and one leg will rest on the inclined bolster with blanket covering.  Arms can stay at your side, move to Goddess (shown) or hands can rest at belly. cover yourself for more warmth and add an eye pillow to shut out the light for deeper relaxation.


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