Yoga Journal - - ANATOMY -

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.

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