Backyard Barbeques, Burgers and Babies

Celebrating the Fourth of July with my extended family has always been about backyard barbeques, burgers and babies.  One of the aunts and uncles would host our rather large family, grill up some burgers and dogs, and the parade of babies would begin. We have a very prolific family.  Catching up was finding out who was pregnant, who was due next and chatting about the kids running around.  Back then, I was one of the rugrats running around and enjoyed these 4th of July outings immensely. Time travel to the present day and they still are enjoyable.  But now I am one of the aunts, and even my own kids are out of the running around stage.  We watch one aspiring gymnast (all of 7 years old) turn cartwheels in the yard, a future financial wizard sell miniature flags he just colored in, and the someday Phillies ball player throwing the baseball to his younger brother.  

I take great hope in these children and these moments as I watch them do their own growing.  The 4th may be about celebrating the independence of our country but it is also about celebrating how independent these children are in manifesting their own life.

Have a monumental 4th everyone – Over and Out until Restore returns in September. Time for me to unwind and restore myself.

The Breath
Gentle Ujjayi Breath (Classic Kriya) – A gentle version ocean sounding breath
Benefits: relaxes the body and calms the mind, support concentration, great for a meditation practice, breath control, stimulates circulation of the blood and increases prana (energy)

Come into a comfortable seated position supported on a pillow or blanket to keep the spine erect or even lie down on your back to practice. Imagine that your ear drums can drop into your head, relaxing the jaw hinge along the way.  Your tongue is resting behind the top teeth towards the roof of your mouth. Slightly constrict the back of your throat, feeling it draw upwards towards the crown of your head. And feeling the root of your tongue drop down towards your heart.  As you breathe in and out a soft hissing sound may be heard.  As you continue with this breath, make the breath Longer, Smoother and Softer each time.  If at any time you feel dizzy or short of breath, stop and return to the Ujjayi breath when you are ready.

The Poses
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.

Fish Pose Supported

version of Fish Pose

Props: blankets or bolster, depending upon the amount of opening you desire. Neck roll, eye pillow.

Benefits:stretches the chest wall muscles, releases tightness in the shoulders and low back. Starts to balance nervous system. 

Lay two blankets on top of each other or one bolster, add a blanket for sitting on when using the bolster. With bent legs, begin to lower yourself down on to the props while elongating the spine. Leg position can be bent as seen in photo or straight legs or even bound angle with soles of the feet together. Find a comfortable position for arms either by your side or in Goddess position. Adjust neck roll to blankets to support the cervical space.

Head Wrap

Props: one blanket or longer wider scarf
Benefits: use when you have a migraine or headache, to feel supported, wrapped. Helps the senses turn inward for complete relaxation, benefit of touch which is healing