Winter Restorative Yoga Pose

Winter is a time for comfort, staying warm, and withdrawing from outer activity. Unlike the other seasons, winter gives us the opportunity to stay indoors and take notice of the changes that are needed to create better balance in our busy lives.

We know from experience, that when we become overstimulated or overexerted, both our bodies and immune systems reap the effects, often leaving us feeling weak, fatigued, and depleted. It is well known today that stress is one of the main contributing factors to illness, whereas relaxation actually strengthens the immune system. Therefore, a truly relaxing activity should leave one feeling restored, which means to have new strength, vigor, and vitality. Practice this restorative pose at home for 5–20 minutes to nurture your body, and relax your mind.

‘Secure in myself, I accept whatever is’

Supported Bound-Angle Pose

Benefits

  • Reduces fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and agitation
  • Opens the pelvis, abdomen, and chest
  • Gently stretches the inner thighs
  • Beneficial for women during menstrual cycles, throughout pregnancy, and menopause

Cautions

  • Make sure your lower back is supported and not excessively arched
  • Make sure your chin is lower than your forehead
  • Spinal injuries: practice with caution and comfort

Props

  • 5 narrow-folded (NF) blankets: one fold more than square-folded
  • 1 bed pillow

Optional Props

  • Additional blanket to cover your body
  • More or fewer blankets under torso
  • Additional pillows or blankets under forearms
  • Eye pillow

Variations

  • Leg options for comfort: cross-legged or straight-legged with bolster under knees

Instructions

Create a stack of three NF blankets with the 2nd (middle) blanket folded in half so that you have a recliner. (See blue pillow in photo.) Place your bed pillow at the top end of your stack, and sit with your lower back against the base of your stack. Draw the soles of your feet together as you open your knees out to each side. Keep your heels at least 12 inches away from the groin (not going for a stretch here), and place a NF blanket folded in half under each knee.

To enter the pose, place your hands on the floor behind you, inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale as you gently lower yourself back onto the recliner and relax your head onto the pillow. Ideally your forehead should be higher than your chin; if it’s not, try folding your bed pillow in half. Open your arms out to the sides, palms facing up.

If your lower back is uncomfortable try tucking your tailbone under and away from the stack of blankets, or place a square-folded blanket underneath your buttocks.

Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath — the rise and fall of your belly. As your abdomen relaxes, feel your heart open, and silently affirm: “Secure in myself, I accept whatever is.”

Hold this pose for 5-20 minutes. To exit, gently press yourself upright into a comfortable seated position. Pause to enjoy the effects of the pose.

Join us for:

Restorative Yoga Retreat

2-day weekend: May 12-14, 2017

Click here for program description

Course Testimonial:

“I came to the weekend seeking calmness and balance, and leave feeling at peace with all around me. I slept through the night, both nights, for the first time in a long time.” —Michelle P, Grass Valley, CA

Restorative Yoga Teacher Training

3-day course

Click here for upcoming dates

Course Testimonial:

“Melody is a gifted yoga teacher and a joy to learn from.  She clearly articulates the essence of restorative yoga and how to guide others in a safe and supportive environment.  Her enthusiasm for its benefits is infectious and will inspire you to share this treasure with your students.”

— Michelle, Massachusetts

 

 

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