Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Day Relaxation Challenge - Week 2

You made it through your first week of the 

You are creating a new habit of softness in your breath and body. This week we have two new postures, a new breath practice and a new guided meditation and deep relaxation practice.

Remember, the "challenge" part of this class is the homework - you must claim 10-15 minutes (or more) each day for 30 days and consciously relax. Also, continue to repeat your sankalpa (intention) to yourself 3x both before and after your relaxation practice to help your deepest desire come to fruition. Continue to journal if this is helpful to you.

For our first week we practiced building breath awareness with Equal Breathing or Sama Vritta Pranayama. Our breath practice will start this way every time and then we may move into a different breath practice. This week we will practice the 3-Part Breath or Dirga Pranayama.

3-Part Breath: 3min43sec.

The postures we learned this week are Legs-up-the-Wall and Supported Reclining Bound Angle.

Legs up the Wall

Legs up the wall pose is a great pose to do if you don't have any props. All you need is a wall. It can be a little tricky to come in to but once you get the hang of it you'll be hanging around upside down all the time.

Getting into this pose is very much like getting into Legs on a Chair pose. Sit down next to the wall with one hip towards the wall. As you start to lay back, you must also swing your legs up and your body around so your bottom is towards the wall. When you are turned tail to the wall, settle your body on the floor and your legs up the wall.

If you cannot straighten your legs or if your tail is curling up, you are too close to the wall. Push yourself back a little. Now your legs won't be straight up, they will be more at a slant, but that's ok. Let yourself soften here. Watch your breath. Let the belly rise and fall naturally with the breath. Let the arms rest out to the sides, palms up. Stay here for as long as you are comfortable. For more information and variations on this pose click here.

Supported Reclining Bound Angle

 Supported Reclining Bound Angle

Sit on the floor in front of a pile of pillows, folded blankets or a bolster propped up at a slant. Lay back on your bolster/pillow pile. Allow your knees to open out to the sides, resting them on pillows, blocks or blankets for comfort. Draw your feet in close to the body. Let the arms rest out at your sides, palms facing up. There should be no strain on the shoulders or neck from the arms pulling down towards the floor. Support the arms with blocks, blankets or pillows as needed. Close the eyes and try to keep your attention on watching the breath. Stay as long as you like. For more information and variations on this pose click here.

In the coming weeks we will learn more poses and more breathwork. I encourage you to continue to journal your experiences, noticing how you feel, and taking note of any changes in your attitude, mind, body or spirit.

Best of luck relaxing. Enjoy!