The Space Beside Me
I reach out to the space besides me
seeking a hold, the residual heat
that memorializes a once connection
that is no longer an anchor.
The space beside me once occupied in total
now resonates with the filaments of my mind.
Dense flashes piercing my heart,
until they pile up in a wash of vinegar.
The space beside me once filled
once called me home.
Now I call my home,
the space inside me.
The Lotus Flower
Bring forth gratitude with this powerful video of a Lotus opening up, petal by petal, not tearing apart, giving and receiving prana, the life force within us and around us.
Poses (from two weeks)
Reclined Bound Angle
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 minutes.
Heart Opening Pose (Minimal Prop) – 3 Versions
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.
Props: blanket folded
Benefits: supports breathing, stretching the chest and shoulders, releases low back, can provide energy for someone lethargic
Legs up Variations
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. Great variation if your hamstrings are tight or legs are aching.
Begin with using a double-folded blanket to be placed right above sacrum or under hips (see photo), setting it approx. distance 6-8″ from bolster (adjust in pose). Sit down on the blanket and place your legs on the bolster. Arms rest by your side, palms face up or with Goddess arms.
Variations: To ground legs, blanket or sandbag placed on belly or legs. Strap can be placed around calves, so you lose the feeling of holding up legs.
Props: 2 bolsters, 3 or more blankets, eye pillow, neck rolls
Benefits: grounding, calming to the nervous system, allows the lymph to drain supporting the immune system, releases tension from the legs and feet, helpful for insomnia.
Place one bolster vertically on your mat, lay a long blanket over it horizontally and then another bolster on top of the blanket. Lay your legs on top bolster and pull one end of the blanket over tucking under your legs. Other end of blanket lays over the first layer. Add a blanket to the belly and neck pillows for under the neck and wrists. Eye pillow for the eyes.
Sublime Side Lean (Minimal Prop)
Benefits: Stretches the torso and provides a gentle twist which allows a release in tension in the lower back area. Emphasis on three-part breath. Elongates side body.
Create a bolster fold from one blanket. Fold a blanket into smaller rectangle from a a full half fold. Lay flat on floor and fold in thirds, the final third folding under (s-fold) then fold 1/3 in and other third in with fringe on top third. Lie on right side with hip at the base of the blanket. Torso should rest on the blanket. Right arm rest on the floor with the palm up. The left arm can reach over the head to increase the stretch. Close your eyes and allow your body to relax and release any stress or tension. Slowly sit up and switch sides for the same amount of time.
Focus on your breath. Breath into your right side allowing that gentle stretch to travel from the tip of your fingers down your lower spine. Sense the left side of your body gently melting and surrendering to the ground beneath you. All tension and stress being recycled by mother earth. Sense the gentle letting go of your muscles and knowing that you are safe and supported. Breath deep and exhale soft and long.