Are you feeling the whirlwind of…well, the wind? And activities? The pressure of productivity and maybe, at least on my end, the pressure of leaning into new creative ideas? Fall is the BEST for this stuff! But this stuff can definitely be over-stimulating. We get so addicted to our busyness that it’s almost a high. Do not forget to tend to your parasympathetic nervous system! Rest and digest are its mission. Think of the parasympathetic system as a way to receive, process, and metabolize your productive energies. Below are four simple poses to do just that. I promise that they “work,” but the work is subtle and deep. Restore away!
Supported Bridge – 5 to 7 minutes
- Lie on your back with your feet on the ground, planted close to your hips
- Lift your hips into bridge pose and place a yoga block, a few books, or a couple of pillows under your hips
- Your sacrum should be fully supported, resulting in a feeling of suspension. Adjust the block or props if your back is overly curved one way or the other
- Hug your shoulder blades together under your back so that your chest is broad
- Lie with your palms facing up
- For more support, roll a towel or blanket up and place it under your head
- Breathe with ease and close your eyes
Reclined Bound Angle Pose – 5 to 7 minutes
- Place a bolster or pillows on some yoga blocks or books so that your bolster is at a 15 degree(ish!) angle
- Roll up a towel or blanket into a long “playdoh snake” (oh yeah, I went there. Remember how that stuff SMELLS? My daughter still eats it when I’m not looking. But then, she also drinks bathwater.)
- Sit on the ground with your lower back right next to the base of the bolster
- Put the soles of your feet on the ground and place the playdoh snake over the tops of your feet and wrap the ends around your ankles(ish) so that the tails are under your knees
- Lie back and allow your knees to open so that your legs rest on top of the blanket
- Take time to get comfortable here and adjust your props
- Let your arms fall to your sides, close your eyes down, and allow the rest to set in
Supported Pigeon – 4 to 6 minutes per leg
- Roll up a blanket and place it to the side
- Stack up a couple of pillows or grab a bolster
- From Downward Facing Dog, lift your right leg and place your right knee just behind your right wrist. Take some time to adjust the angle of your right shin. You should feel a light but pain-free stretch in your right knee/leg
- Be sure to keep your right foot pointed straight, at the same angle as your shin
- Place the rolled up blanket under your hips
- Place the bolster or pillows to the left of your bent right leg and lower your chest down to rest on them
- Turn your head in a way that feels neutral and sustainable for four to six minutes
- Let your arms drape in a comfortable position
- Breathe into the back and sides of your lungs
- When you’re ready to come out of this, tuck your left toes under, press your hands down under your shoulders and kick your right leg up and back behind you
- Take a few ankle rolls/knee bends before lowering your leg down to down dog
- Switch sides
Legs up the WALL – Five to FIFTEEN minutes. I double-dog dare you to do fifteen!
- This is just the best, right?
- There are fancy ways to get close to the wall, but not a lot of explanation needed, really – just be sure that your hips are very close to the wall with your legs resting straight up the wall. If you do the awkward butt scootch, you’re human.
- Place a blanket or block under your hips for more support
- Place a blanket or towel under your neck for more support
- If you have a (trustworthy!) friend, ask him or her to put a local sandbag on top of your feet. This feels…delicious. No other way to describe it. You can also have your friend or kids stack books on your feet, but be sure that you’re on good terms with them!
Written by: Katy K