RELEASE TENSION WITH LEGS-ON-A-CHAIR POSE
Prepare your chair at the foot of your mat. Place a folded blanket or towel on top of the seat to support your knees and calves. Lay a folded a blanket vertically at the center of your mat in front of your chair. Sit with your left hip facing the front of your chair. Slowly lower down onto your right side while keeping your knees bent. Roll onto your back as you bring your legs up onto the chair. Rest your legs on the seat of the chair so they are supported from the backs of your knees to your heels. If you need to, place a folded towel beneath your head and a rolled towel under your neck. Rest your arms by your sides, bring your hands to your belly with your elbows on the floor, or come to cactus arms. Make any adjustments you need to ensure you are comfortable. When you are ready to settle in, take several long breaths as you progressively release all of your body weight into the ground. Rest here. To come out of the pose, bring your knees in toward your belly, roll to one side, and make a pillow with an arm under your head. Take your time to come to a comfortable seat.
The benefits This pose relieves excess tension in your pelvis, belly, and the back of your body while helping to balance your nervous system and quiet your mind. In this receptive state, you can begin to notice and care for the more-subtle tension you’re still holding in your body and mind. Before I learned how to deeply relax, I could go a whole night without ever giving my full weight to my mattress. I’d be lying down, but at the same time, I’d be holding tension in my body. I even started noticing it when I brushed my teeth or blow-dried my hair. It was eventually a revelation to learn that I could get myself ready every day without my shoulders up near my ears. As you begin to allow yourself to feel grounded, present, and relaxed in restorative poses, you’ll be able to notice all the spots where you’re still holding tension. Noticing this is the first step to releasing it.