Monday, October 11, 2010

On Solid Ground ~ Part II

Here's the 2nd part of the Yoga Journal article on Restorative Yoga that was published in the magazine in the winter of 2010.

Rest Easy 
By Karen Macklin 
Sequence by Jillian Pransky

The poses in this sequence are designed to give you the experience of being cradled and protected while providing the opportunity for deep relaxation and rejuvenation. When you're practicing them for the first time, it can be helpful to have a friend assist you in setting up the props. Warm up with a few rounds of Cat-Cow Pose, or any other gentle poses that help you connect with your breath. Once you're propped and positioned, take the first few minutes in each pose to sense where you connect with the floor or the props. What part of your body rests most heavily on the support underneath you? Let this area be like an anchor rooting you to the earth. Slowly allow this sense of connection to spread to all the areas where you meet the ground and the props.

When your body feels completely supported, let your attention turn toward your breath. Like an ocean wave, each breath will rise and fall on its own. Rest your mind on the tide of your breath. Throughout each pose, let your attention move back and forth between the earthlike qualities of your body and the fluidlike qualities of your breath.

Stay in each pose for up to 15 minutes. Even a few minutes will make a difference. If you feel restless but want to stay in the pose, you can do small vinyasa movements with your hands to help yourself settle down: Roll your open palms to the sky as you inhale; roll them back to the ground as you exhale. 

Sara's note: To read the first part of this article, click here. If you would like to read the entire article at Yoga Journal's website click here. The next post will feature the 1st Restorative pose in the sequence, Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose), variation.