Carmen shared a beautiful breathing technique where you breathe in from one place on the body and breathe out through another. You may decide to breathe in through a place on your body that feels open and out through a place that feel stuck. Or breathe in to a place that has pain or trauma and breathe out through that same place. Or what if you breathe in the word “Peace” and breathe out “Stress”. Create this moving breath to fit what you need for that day, that moment. The possibilities are endless.
Supine Heart Opener
Benefits: open chest, relax lower back and hips, create better flow of breath, open shoulders
Props: 2-3 blankets
Place one blanket, larger rectangle shape down lengthwise on mat, then another blanket on top but fold over top end to create a pillow for the head and neck. As you recline over the blankets, bring the hips to the floor. Knees bend touching, feet wide on mat. Stay for at least 5 minutes.
Supported Pigeon’s Pose
Props: bolster, blankets
Benefits: gentle hip opener, grounding, aids in digestion, stretches out spine, upper leg, mild stretch in chest wall
Sitting on a blanket, bring one hip next to bolster bending bottom leg so foot rests lightly against upper leg kneecap. On an inhalation, lengthen upward and on an exhalation, recline over the bolster face down. Arms drape on either side of the bolster. Add an extra blanket to bolster for more comfort and any other blankets to give a feeling of grounding. Stay for 5 to 8 minutes and change sides.
Reclined Bound Angle with Swaddling
Props: bolster, 4 blocks (or firm cushions, pillows or rolled-up blankets), 4 blankets and one extra blanket for warmth, strap and eye pillow
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
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