Just like life, we are constantly constructing, deconstructing, analyzing, planning and reacting to so many things that surround us. There is always something to be done, thoughts racing through our minds and often it doesn’t seem as though there are enough hours in the day. With these simple postures, you can reset, reenergize and give rebirth to your mind, body and spirit. This restorative yoga practice is for everyone and easily accessible at home if not in your favorite studio. We will be working with the simplest of yoga props: Two Blocks, a blanket and a bolster or large pillow.
1. Stand up your first block at its tallest height, take the second block at its second level and place it in front of the first leaving space between the two as though there were a third block. Place your bolster or pillow on the floor and rest it diagonally across the two blocks. Give it a nice, strong pat to ensure that it is solid and steady. Fold your blanket in the shape of a large rectangle and place it under your hips for added cushion and warmth to stimulate blood circulation to the hip joints, psoas muscles and to release your tailbone. Lie your spine down across the structure that you’ve built and allow the soles of your feet to naturally come together as you fully release your spine into the bolster. Place your left palm across your heart center and your right palm across your belly. Begin to trace the sensation of your natural breath pattern through your nose and feel your belly and heart rise and as you ease the breath in and out of your nostrils like a warm summer breeze or a gentle ocean wave. Remaining here for 20 minutes can reset your body to the equivalent of taking a two-hour nap.
Relieves symptoms of nausea, indigestion, constipation, anxiety, head, neck and shoulder stress. Releases tension and anxiety from the heart center. Reattunes your internal electrical system triggering the gray matter in your brain to send the most oxygenated blood to the small and large intestines stimulating movement, heat and digestion to anything that has been remaining stagnant in this space. Allowing the soles of your feet to connect stimulates and resets all the internal systems in your body as well as releases emotional tension and tightness from the hips, flexors and psoas muscles.
2. Having difficulty sleeping? The next pose will recenter your soul and help you to find bliss. Placing your first block at its second level under the base of your neck (not against your ear) lengthening through your vagus nerve, find a full and solid release into your left or right hip on top of your folded blanket slip your arm/shoulder completely flush to the earth underneath your body. Draw your knees toward your chest and open them wide, gently place your bolster in between your thighs (not your knees), releasing pressure in your sciatic nerve, opening the groin and relieving tightness around the pelvic bone. Drape your opposite arm over the blanket and allow your palm or forearm (depending on your range of motion) to rest gently on top of your second block in front of the bolster. Allow your body to get extremely heavy, letting gravity to fully take over. With your mouth closed, soften your tongue from the roof of your mouth and fill your lungs with air, ease the air out gently through your nose and give a soft muscular press on your navel to release the stale air from your body. Ten breaths here will begin to relax your mind, encourage full body breathing and immediate relaxation encouraging restful sleep.
Relieves feelings of anxiety, stress, prepares the body for restful sleep, calms the nervous system and gives a full sensation of your breath overriding all outside sources of distraction. Physically creates space and release to your shoulder blades, rotator cuff, tightness in the chest, lengthens the diaphragm and opens the ribcage.
3. Suffering from serious indigestion? Is everything stagnant in your digestive tract or are you suffering discomfort in your urinary bladder tract? Simply place a block underneath each foot raising your knees to a comfortable position. Take your blanket from the large rectangular shape and gently roll it into a small bolster. Ease the miniature bolster underneath your psoas muscles and underneath your lower spine. Fidget or wiggle as much as you need to become settled and ease your vertebrae one at a time onto your bolster. Spread your palms wide and place them fully over your lower belly and relax your head, neck and shoulders. Allow your belly to swell with breath, drawing the air all the way up into your chest up to your collarbones. Ease the air out gently as you allow your heart to sink back down and press your belly softly to release the stale air from your body once again.
Aids in stimulating the bowels, releases pressure in the spine, gives equal balance to your urinary bladder and removes pressure from your head neck and shoulders.