The neighborhood is quiet, no humming of mowers, no weedwackers wacking – ahhhhh….. quiet. Wait, within the quiet is a symphony of sound. I witness the bees buzzing around the bush in front of me, buzz, buzz. A conversation three houses down about football. My mums reaching for the last remaining rays of daylight. Finally the crickets add their own chorus summoning the end of a day. I try as I may but there is no silence, there is always a hum, a vibration out there. My moment in all of this cacophony is to find stillness not silence.
Coming into the Now
Listen to your breath, hear the air come in and go out. Feel the qualities of this breath, the sound, the temperature, the sensation in your nostrils, any vibrations and movement made in your body as the breathes moves through you. Now tune into the bones, the muscles of your body, the blood flow, your heartbeat.
Practice for Releasing Fear
Lie down in a comfortable spot or sit comfortably in a chair. Inhale and let your belly expand, hold for a few seconds, then exhale quickly through your mouth. Place one hand on your solar plexus and one on your heart center. Take a few slow deep breaths into your solar plexus and relax that area. Then take a few slow deep breaths into your heart center and relax it as well. Be present with whatever comes up without judging it. If it is fear that comes up, make space for it and release. (Source: Yoga Journal 10/2011)
Supported Wide Angle Forward Fold
Supta Baddakonasana (Supported Bound Angle)
Reclined Hero’s or Half Hero’s Pose, Supported
Benefits: Can improve your ability to breathe better while resting and break up some congestion. Reduce anxiety due to breathing problems. Relieves pressure in the head from sinus problems. Reduce fatigue in the legs from walking or standing. And relieve indigestion and nausea by lifting the diaphragm off the stomach and liver.
Props: bolster, two blocks, pillow, 3-4 blankets, neck roll, eye pillow. Extra: hand towels.
Precautions: This is a very intense stretch through the quadriceps. Limit the time in it to 3 minutes at the most. May cause discomfort in tops of your feet. If you feel a sharp pull or pain in or around the knees, come out of the pose right away.*
*Note: It is best to try out the seated variation of Hero’s beforehand to see how much support you may need under support you may need to sit on. Kneel with your legs hip-width apart and feet pointing straight back. Gently sit down with your buttocks resting solidly between your legs on the floor. If you can sit easily and do not feel any discomfort in your knees, ankles or feet, proceed to supported Heros. If not, try sitting on a block, or a folded blanket stacked. If knees are still uncomfortable, come up on shins and reach down and gently pull the calf muscles away from the knees and sit back down. If ankles need extra support, place a rolled up towel under each.
Create an incline with two blocks under bolster and place a folded blanket at lower end of bolster. Add a folded blanket to top end of bolster. Come to lower end of bolster and sit in Heros pose. Carefully, lower yourself onto bolster support with back on bolster and head on upper blanket. Fill in any gaps where you feel discomfort in back with blankets or hand towels. Some student may prefer to have bolster at a slightly vertical incline against the wall. Create a pillow with blankets at top then. Arms can rest on single-fold blankets at either side or with palms up on legs.
Variation – try with one leg extended and one bent into Heros pose. Switch legs after 2 minutes.
Philly Area Restorative Offerings
When you just need a little more restorative in your life, try these other classes in the area.
Sun Dog Yoga in Doylestown
Prancing Peacock in Yardley
Yoga Garden in Narberth
Kripalu On-line Classes