STAY PRESENT IN EASY CHEST OPENER

Yoga Journal - - ANATOMY -

Stack 2 or 3 folded blan­kets ver­ti­cally at the cen­ter of your mat. You may wish to place a soft bol­ster or pil­low on top of them. Sit on the mat in front of your blan­kets, and place a block be­neath each knee (hor­i­zon­tally) with a rolled-up blan­ket on top for ad­di­tional sup­port. Rest the backs of your heels on your mat, and lie down slowly. If needed, place a folded towel be­neath your head for sup­port with a rolled towel cradling your neck’s nat­u­ral curve. Bring your palms to your sides, rest your hands on your belly with your el­bows on the ground, or place pil­lows un­der your arms. Once you’re com­fort­able, take sev­eral long breaths to pro­gres­sively re­lease all of your body weight into the blan­kets. Re­lax here. For the last minute of the pose, bring your hands to your belly, and feel your palms re­ceive your breath. Imag­ine your breath un­rav­el­ing any lin­ger­ing knots. To exit, mind­fully roll to your side. Take the time to get into a com­fort­able seated po­si­tion, then set an in­ten­tion to stay aware of your breath.

The ben­e­fits Breath­ing is not some­thing we need to ac­com­plish. It is sim­ply a process we al­low to hap­pen. This pose cre­ates op­ti­mal align­ment for ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the nat­u­ral rise and fall of the breath. No­tice that af­ter an ex­ha­la­tion, your lungs spon­ta­neously fill again with air. The breath is sim­ply wait­ing for more room so that it can fill you. Fo­cus­ing on your breath helps you stay grounded in the present mo­ment. If you want to de­velop a sense of well-be­ing and move your body into health and heal­ing mode, you need to quiet your rac­ing mind and come back to the present mo­ment. As we prac­tice stay­ing with the breath in this pose, we learn how to be with the present mo­ment rather than fight against it, avoid it, or sim­ply miss it al­to­gether.

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