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Restorative yoga is a passive practice in which poses like Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) or Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose) are held for several minutes at a time, propped with blankets, blocks, and bolsters to minimize the amount of work that the muscles are doing in the pose. On an emotional level, restorative poses can be challenging because, when the body is in a passive posture, the mind has fewer physical tasks and sensations to focus on than it does in more active poses, making your attention more likely to turn inward.
Finally, if you go very deep into the meditation of the pose, says Pransky, you can lose a sense of your physical shape.
Pransky’s experience with anxiety led her to develop an approach to restorative yoga that could accommodate and support an agitated mind.
Finally, Pransky recommends leaving the eyes open during a restorative practice if closing them is uncomfortable for you. With these adaptations, Pransky says, you can develop the capacity to be more grounded and relaxed in restorative postures, whatever your mental state. 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. Lie on your back with your calves and feet supported by either bolsters or blanket-covered blocks.
You should feel firm support all the way up the torso, out through the arms, and up through the neck and head. Place blocks underneath the two ends of a bolster and come into Child’s Pose, with your torso supported by the bolster. Supta Baddha Konasana opens the whole front of the body: the pelvis, belly, heart, and throat. Twists are generally good for the nervous system, but some twists can make breathing feel constricted, which can be anxiety provoking. Start by lying on your left side with your feet at a wall and your back against a bolster that is at least as high as your spine. To move into the twist, roll your torso to the right over the bolster, keeping your right arm fully supported by it from shoulder blade to fingers. Savasana can be a very expansive pose, especially when done with the legs wide apart and the arms away from the side body. If your upper back and shoulders are rolled toward your heart and don’t rest heavily on the floor, fill in the space with towels or blankets so you feel firm support all the way up the torso to the neck and head. Use these barre moves from Elisabeth Halfpapp to hit core muscles your regular rotation of asanas might not.
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Unwinding with some rejuvenating supported postures for an hour and a half sounds perfect—almost like a minivacation. A restorative practice can rest your body, stretch your muscles, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and calm your nervous system, moving you into a peaceful state of deep relaxation.
On a physical level, Pransky says, the body is in a vulnerable state: You are releasing control of all your muscles, lying with your eyes closed and your chest and abdomen—the location of your vital organs—exposed.
Any emotions you might have been suppressing throughout the day—fear, frustration, sadness, anxiety—are likely to come to the forefront of your mind once your body begins to relax. If you are in a content and secure frame of mind, this can deepen your experience and provide a sense of bliss; but if you are going through a difficult time, losing a sense of your body can feel frightening and disorienting. In fact, times of high anxiety or stress are the times you can most benefit from the healing aspects of a restorative practice.


Her own restorative practice was initially more about feeling light and blissful than feeling rooted and stable, she says. Pransky also recommends resting the feet against something—a wall, a rolled-up blanket, or a partner—in every pose. When you’re practicing them for the first time, it can be helpful to have a friend assist you in setting up the props. It should feel as though the support is coming up to meet you rather than your torso dropping into the support.
On each inhalation, feel the back body expand; on each exhalation, feel the support under the chest and belly. These are areas we instinctively protect, which is why a pose like this can leave one feeling exposed and vulnerable. This gentle, supported twist allows more room for the breath to come into the rib cage and belly. Bend your right knee to 90 degrees and support your right knee and shin with a bolster or folded blankets so that the right leg is as high as the right hip; rest the sole of your left foot against the wall. Support your cervical curve with a small rolled towel and place a folded blanket under the head to create a cradling effect. After years of dabbling with various versions of Photoshop I became accustomed to using a solid image editing and creating tool. What you do get, however, is a consistent and similar interface with most of your standard tools.
If you’ve not gotten into photo editing or creating images then this is a great way to get started. But moments after you close your eyes and immerse yourself in the first pose, an unexpected visitor arrives: anxiety. But while the practice of restorative yoga comes easily to some people, it can present real challenges for others. In many restorative poses, the body is also splayed out, and often the bones are not resting in their sockets, which can leave you feeling physically unstable or insecure. The solution, Pransky says, is to support passive postures with props in such a way that the body and mind feel grounded, safe, and integrated.
But 11 years ago, a death in the family brought on a period of intense anxiety that caused her practice to change. This helps the body feel more connected to the earth, she says, and integrates the legs back into the body, creating a deeper sense of stability and safety.
Warm up with a few rounds of Cat-Cow Pose, or any other gentle poses that help you connect with your breath.
On each exhalation, allow the weight of your lower legs, pelvis, upper back, and head to be fully held. Slide your arms underneath the gap between the bolster and the floor, bringing each hand toward the opposite elbow.
Place a second bolster under your knees and bring your legs into Bound Angle Pose with the soles of your feet together. Next, place folded blankets under your top arm and hand to lift them to the height of your shoulder. If you have tightness in your shoulder or chest, try placing more support under your arm until your hand is higher than your shoulder. Place an additional rolled blanket or bolster under your knees to encourage the thighbones to drop deeper into your pelvis. Your chin should be perpendicular to the floor, and your throat should feel open and tension free.
Think in terms of how Google Docs looks and feels when compared to Microsoft Word and you’ll understand. Suddenly your mind is filled with an endless stream of thoughts about the past week’s events, your job security, and everything you have to accomplish over the weekend, not to mention doubts about where your relationship is headed and whether or not you paid that credit card bill. In Savasana (Corpse Pose), for example, the thigh bones pop up from the weight of the feet on the floor and the external release of the leg muscles, as opposed to resting inside the joint as they do when you’re standing or reclining with the knees bent.


That way, you can still experience the benefits of restorative yoga, and can eventually learn to use the practice as a tool for being with all those feelings. Suddenly her former way of practicing restorative yoga—going so deep into the meditation of the pose that she’d be aware only of her energetic body, not her physical body—was no longer blissful but destabilizing and disconnecting.
Props such as folded or rolled blankets placed to support the arms and legs likewise ensure that the weight of the leg bones and arm bones drops in toward the body, and that the weight of the head is fully supported. 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. Throughout each pose, let your attention move back and forth between the earthlike qualities of your body and the fluidlike qualities of your breath. Place an additional folded blanket across the pelvis to help release tension there and to encourage the pelvis to rest more heavily on the ground. If the forearms or elbows don’t touch the ground, fill in the space with towels or blankets so that you are supported from the elbows to the fingers. Finally, tuck a folded blanket under your head and neck to lift your head in line with the spine. You should not feel a stretch, but rather as though your chest is open and your breath is fluid. This helps release tension in the iliopsoas and allows the pelvis to rest more heavily on the ground.
With each exhalation allow the earth to fully hold each part of your body: your heels, thighs, pelvis, upper back, and head. Rest your arms by your sides, either palms down or, if facing up, with an eye bag in each open palm. Supporting the elbows and arms helps to release tension in the upper back and neck and to integrate the arms back into the body.
Place a folded blanket over your belly to release tension and weigh the hips down even more.
Once you feel completely connected to the ground, rest your mind on the waves of your breath.
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If your upper back and shoulders don’t rest heavily on the floor, support them with towels or blankets.
In order to release tension in the lower back and create a deeper sensation of groundedness, place a heavy blanket on your sacrum. If needed, place a blanket for cushioning and support under the right arm, knee, thigh, belly, or all four. Slowly allow this sense of connection to spread to all the areas where you meet the ground and the props. If the base of the shins or the tops of the feet are off the floor, prop them with a rolled-up towel.
Place supports under your arms so that they are not dangling and there is no feeling of stretch in the chest. After a couple of minutes, turn your head to the other side and switch the position of the knees. Djarn March 14, 2013, 3:02 pmcalm down, it was typo, breath in, breath out Matt March 13, 2013, 6:38 pm34-bit? Privacy Policy - Terms of Service - Questions or Comments The content is copyrighted to nixCraft and may not be reproduced on other websites.



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