An October Welcome

October just snuck in, sneaky little month.  I find myself still putting September dates on things like checks, written correspondence and my calendar entries.  And each day whips by like the tilt-a-wheel at the amusement park.  If it wasn’t for my restorative yoga practice, I would not be able to slow down long enough to enjoy what the day has to offer.  Restorative offers up the opportunity to be present with how my body feels in each moment, what my breath is doing and even how my thoughts are moving or not moving.  Remember the benefits and effects of Restorative Yoga are cumulative – the more that you practice, the easier it will be to settle into the poses and gain more benefits from it.

Ida Mudra  – Gesture of the Lunar Nadi

Source: LePage, Joseph, and Lillian, Mudras for Healing and Transformation. Integrative Yoga Therapy. 2014.

Breath of Joy – Conduct your own Joy
From standing mountain, inhale and bring arms out in front, continue to inhale as you swing arms horizontally by your side, then continue with inhalation as you again swing arms out front, finally exhale as you forward fold and arms come down towards the floor. Repeat at least 6 times and on the final exhale, hang there limply enjoying the energy you just created through breath.  As with any breath, if you begin to feel lightheaded, return to a neutral position and your normal breath.

Supported Reclining Tree

Props: bolster, block, 1-2 blankets and neck roll
Benefits: gently open the hips, upper chest and back, release tension from shoulders, bring better awareness and circulation to the pelvis and 2nd chakra to align fluidity.

Place block at lowest height and bolster on top vertically. Place a folded or rolled blanket at the base of the bolster to support the lumbar spine.  Sit on blanket or floor and recline over bolster. Slide your right foot into inner thigh as pictured and extend left leg. Further support for the bent leg may be a blanket, pillow or towel under the knee.  Add a neck roll or eye pillow or any other props for comfort. Stay in pose for at least 5 minutes and then switch sides, maybe with some movement in between.

Belly Down Pose with Hip Opener

Props: 2 blankets, neck roll or small pillow for head
Benefits: gently opens hips, lengthens leg muscles and tops of the feet, soothing for the belly, shoulder opener, grounding, lessens anxiety

Stack one or two blankets to the side folded in half. As you release to the floor, lengthen the body and then bend the leg at 90 degree angles to lay on the blankets to the side. Arms can come to goddess position, head turned to the side or stack hands as a pillow.  For those with tight shoulders, extend arms by the sides of the body.  When you need to turn the head, do so with a soft inhalation.