Can you believe how Mother Nature is playing with us this year?? First it was Spring in February and now today we're having a blizzard! Go figure! Since we've had to cancel classes at the studio tonight due to the weather I thought I'd post a quick and easy restorative posture you can do at home after all the shoveling to help relieve those tired muscles! This is also great for people who spend a lot of time at the computer, or hunched over their work in whatever they do, because it opens up the front of the chest and takes the body in the opposite direction. Best of all, no fancy yoga props required!
All you need is a good sized blanket or towel like this:
You could also use an extra rolled up yoga mat if that's what you have. You'll want to roll it into a circle like this:
The size of your blanket/mat will determine the depth of the opening you'll experience. Remember that you can always unroll it a bit to make it more comfortable for YOUR body.
You can use this roll in two ways. One option is in line with the spine, the other is perpendicular to the spine behind the heart.
Let's do in line with the spine first. Lay your rolled blanket or towel on your mat in line with the long edges of your mat.
You'll then sit in front of that roll with your knees bent and with the blanket up against your low back and gently lower yourself back onto the roll. You may need to make some adjustments depending on the size of your blanket because you want to be sure that your head is ON the blanket, not falling off the end. Come back up and scooch down a bit if you need to. It should end up looking something like this:
Once you're there, check in with your low back. If it's tender you might keep your feet on the floor with your knees bent and wait a few breaths to see if it eases up. If not, get back up and unroll your blanket or towel a bit and try again. Once you find a happy place for your body, you might extend the legs or leave them bent. Your choice.
The other option is perpendicular to the spine. So lay your rolled blanket out like this:
And then come to lie back on it so it's behind your heart but below your armpits. It should look like this:
Again, keep your knees bent and see how your body feels. Get up and unroll the blanket a bit if it's too much for you. I also put another smaller rolled up blanket behind my neck in this picture but you don't have to. You'll probably experience this one as a much bigger stretch for the area across the front of the chest so be gentle with yourself! You've been shoveling after all!
You can stay in either of these postures for a few breaths or a few minutes. That's the joy of home practice; it's up to you! When you're ready to come out, bend your knees, roll to one side and then come up to seated. You might take some seated cat/cow stretches to move things around a bit afterward.
Let me know in the comments if you found this helpful!
Stay warm and dry everyone and hopefully we'll see you back at the studio tomorrow!