Spring offers us the opportunity to look at life’s circumstances with a fresh new outlook. As nature continues its cycle from winter—a time to be inward—we’re now encouraged to come out of our cocoon of comfort and explore new boundaries. Nature springs forth its beauty and abundance reminding us to celebrate the renewal of life within and without. Animals and plants procreate, while people create new opportunities to live in harmony with their surroundings. Try this restorative pose regularly to deepen your ability to receive willingly all that comes your way.
- Calming and cooling for the brain and nervous system
- Quiets the mind
- Opens and elongates the entire backside of the body (especially hips, hamstrings, buttocks, and lower back)
- Helps release feelings of insecurity and fear, promoting contentment and inner peace
- Improves peristalsis
1 chair or couch
1 additional blanket under sit bones, and
1 additional blanket under each knee to avoid hyper-
1-2 additional blankets under forearms and/or head
Place 2 blankets on a chair and 1 blanket a couple of feet in front of the chair on the floor. Sit on the edge of the floor blanket (with its front edge under your sit bones) and spread your legs wide into a “V” position with each leg on either side of the chair legs. Inhale and lengthen, exhale and bend forward primarily from the hip creases (rather than from the waist, which causes the spine to round) and rest your head on your forearms and/or on the blankets comfortably.
Try to keep the spine fairly straight in this pose, with as little rounding as possible. Relax your entre upper body with a sense of length in the spine and openness in the chest.
Hold the pose for 3-7 minutes, while breathing deeply and diaphragmatically. Silently Affirm: “I welcome every opportunity for further growth.”
- If you have tight hamstrings, try sitting on two blankets to help tip the pelvis further forward. If you do sit on two blankets, be sure to also place a blanket under each knee to avoid hyperextension.
- If this pose becomes uncomfortable at any time try this gentler version: sit cross-legged with each knee supported by a blanket.
To exit, slowly begin to wiggle your toes, flex and point your feet, or rotate your ankles. On your next inhalation, press your forearms into the blankets as you slowly lift your head upright. Sit tall and relaxed for several deep breaths. Feel the openness in your hips, low back, and spine. Then place your hands on the edge of the seat to push the chair away from you. Place your hands behind you on the floor as you bend your knees and sit cross-legged. Relax and enjoy the effects of the pose.
- Spinal Injuries: Avoid flexing the injured area. (Some injuries may contraindicate the pose, but for others you can practice modifications appropriate for the injury e.g., keep the spine straight, knees bent and supported by blankets throughout the pose.)
- Osteoporosis: Avoid flexion of the spine. Sitting on 2 blankets, supporting each knee, and stacking more blankets on the chair may help a student achieve a neutral spine. You may need to keep neck neutral by not resting forehead on blankets.