Autumn Restorative Yoga Pose

Autumn is a time of change: the leaves fall from the trees and the weather signals a time of transformation for nature, animals, and people. With the energetic activity of summer behind us, there is now an opportunity—with encourage from nature—to slow down, calm the mind, and go within. As animals prepare for hibernation, you too can take a mini-hibernation to restore your body, mind, and energy with this relaxing restorative yoga pose. It will calm your nervous system, quiet your mind, and encourage a good night’s sleep.

Benefits

  • Grounding and comforting
  • Deeply relaxing, especially for the back and shoulders
  • Calms the mind and quiets the brain
  • Helps withdraw energy from the periphery of the body
  • Relaxes the legs and generally relieves fatigue in the lower body
  • Relaxes and tones the digestive organs
  • Can relieve menstrual cramps
  • Gently stretches the lower back and relieves shoulder tension

Cautions

  • Knee vulnerabilities: Elevate the buttocks with more props to reduce knee flexion, and stack more blankets under head and chest. Or practice this pose in a supine position, gently hugging knees to chest with feet supported against a wall.

Supported Child Pose

Supported Child Pose
Click to Enlargen

Props

  • 4 narrow-folded blankets (one fold more than square-folded)
  • 1 square-folded blanket under lower legs
  • 1 bed pillow
  • Optional: More or fewer narrow-folded blankets under torso
  • Optional: Additional pillows or blankets under forearms

“I relax from outer involvement into
my inner haven of peace.”

Instructions

Create a stack of 4 narrow-folded blankets. Place a square-folded blanket behind this stack, and kneel on it with your knees shoulder-width apart. Keep your calves parallel for this version of Child Pose; do not bring the feet together. (This will take pressure off of the knees.) The top of each foot should be draped over the back edge of the blanket to prevent foot cramps.

To enter the pose, draw the stack of 4 narrow-folded blankets in-between your knees. Place a bed pillow on top of your calves. Inhale coming forward onto your hands and knees in a tabletop position, lengthen the spine, and then exhale as you release your buttocks back toward your heels. Your buttocks should be supported by the pillow. Relax your torso onto the stack of blankets and turn your head to one side; gently tuck your chin slightly down toward your chest. Relax your arms and shoulders on either side of the blankets.

Close your eyes and gently lift your gaze. Bring your awareness to your breath. Inhale and become aware of your shoulders; as you exhale, let your shoulders relax and move away from your ears. Inhale space into your lower back, and as you exhale, feel your lower back relax. Silently affirm: “I relax from outer involvement into my inner haven of peace.”

Hold this pose for 3–7 minutes. Then lift your head and rotate your neck in the opposite direction, and repeat to the other side for 3–7 minutes. To exit, slide your hands underneath your shoulders, and on your next breath, slowly press down to lift yourself and come into a comfortable seated position.

Variation

  • If your abdomen is uncomfortable against the stack of blankets, do not draw the stack of blankets so far in, but instead leave space for the belly.

Restorative Yoga Teacher Training

3-day course
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Course Testimonial:

“In over 20 years of practice and 7 years of teaching yoga I have never encountered a technique more effective in calming, centering, and rejuvenating its practitioner than Ananda Restorative Yoga. Through the excellent guidance of Melody I felt prepared, in a surprisingly short time, to incorporate Ananda Restorative Yoga into my classes. The benefits of calm, focus, and heightened awareness were immediate in my students and myself. This training greatly improved both my teaching and my personal practice, and I highly recommend it to yoga teachers of every style.” — S.S., Yodfat, Israel

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Comments:

  1. Lalaan says:

    Thank you Melody for the attuned reminder that I should take the time now to turn inward and renew after a busy summer. Blessings, lalaan

  2. Grace says:

    Taking time to daily relax and restore is a skill that I think most of us were not raised with. It doesn’t seem to come naturally in this day and age… but as Swami said on an energization video, “willingness is the key”.
    So right now life is very overwhelming and I had been feeling emotionally exhausted from my day, and after reading this blog, I thought the restorative posture looked like a good idea, but I felt too tired to even think of getting up to get a chair…then I heard Swami’s gentle voice say the W word, “willingness”. Next thing I knew, I was in the pose! Chair and all! It really helped to calm my emotions and relax. I had a great meditation afterwards too. Thank you Melody, for being an effective channel of God’s love & grace…you are such a blessing to me!

    • Melody Hansen says:

      Thank you so much Grace for taking the time to read the post and to try the pose even though you were feeling too exhausted to set it up. I have felt that way too, but then I remind myself that it will be so worth it once I am in it. I always enjoy relaxing for several minutes.
      Thanks for sharing the comment with others who can relate.
      You are a beautiful soul too, who gives so much to others. It’s important to keep restored and rejuvenated so you can continue to give.
      Lots of love,
      Melody

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