LEARN TO LISTEN IN FULL RELAXATION POSE
Place 2 blocks side by side near the foot of your mat with a rolled-up blanket on top. If you wish, you may add a bolster for extra leg support and a blanket, for softness, under your heels. Sit facing the blocks, and slowly lower to the floor, mindfully resting your knees atop the roll with your feet hip-width apart. For additional head support, place a blanket or folded towel under your head and a rolled-up towel beneath your neck. Rest your arms at your sides—or on your belly with elbows on the floor. Once you’re comfortable, take several long breaths, progressively releasing all of your body weight into the ground. 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 loosening and softening any lingering hardness in your body. To exit, slowly draw your knees toward your belly, and roll onto one side, making a pillow under your head with one of your arms. Relax on your side for 1 minute, then mindfully press up to a comfortable seated position.
The benefits In Full Relaxation Pose, we can practice listening to the breath and noticing the way it tenderly meets everything it comes into contact with. Imagine the way your dearest friend would listen to you if you needed kind support and attention. Most of us do not listen to ourselves with this level of care. This is important to consider in a restorative practice because once you begin to relax, it’s not unusual for things to start bubbling up—feelings or sensations that tension has tried to protect you from. Once you begin to unfurl those knots, it’s important to compassionately listen to, and observe, what’s being released. A listening practice begins with making the choice to relax with whatever comes up in your body, mind, and heart. It means choosing to receive—in a nonjudgmental way—whatever your tension has been shielding you from. It means opening up, over and over, to anything you may discover, without feeling the need to critique, fix, or change.