Surprise! I’m dropping in with another restorative pose this week, because I thought sharing my all-time favorite pose with you would be the perfect Christmas gift! Please, please, please, accept my gift by trying this today!
Most asana is active. But there is this deliciously sweet (and way better for you than those holiday goodies) subset of poses called restorative yoga. Instead of doing, these are poses of being. Restorative yoga teaches us how to relax deeply and completely.
Judith Lasater, who literally wrote the book on Restorative yoga says, “During deep relaxation, all the organ systems of the body are benefited, and a few of the measurable results of deep relaxation are the reduction of blood pressure, serum triglycerides and blood sugar levels in the blood, the increase of the ‘good cholesterol’ levels, as well as improvement in digestion, fertility, elimination, the reduction of muscle tension, insomnia and generalized fatigue.”
Who doesn’t need something on that list?! During this busy Holiday month it is so important we take the time to relax deeply. So, each week I’ll be featuring a different restorative pose. Try practicing one of them every day at the end of your regular asana practice.
Today’s pose, Salamba Baddha Konasana (supported bound angle pose), is often call King’s or Queen’s pose. Give yourself the royal treatment and try it today!
This may seem like a lot of props, but they are instrumental in encouraging your body to surrender to relaxation.
Here’s what you need:
- Yoga mat
- 2 firm bolster
- 2 blocks
- 1 eye bag
- 1 strap, optional
- 10 lb. sandbag, optional
- 4-6 blankets in the traditional fold (Judith Lasater calls this “Tadasana” for the blanket) as pictured here:
Place one block on its shortest edge and the other on its longest edge at the top of your mat, as pictured here.
Lay the bolster against the blocks on an incline.
Firmly roll four blankets along the short edge.
Place two of the rolled blankets in a “V” in front of the bolster. Position the other two rolled blankets as pictured below.
Fold an additional blanket (or towel) in half along the short edge. Place it at the top of the bolster.
Place the last blanket, the sandbag, the strap and the eye bag beside your mat.
In the Pose
Sit with your hips at the base of the bolster. Take the soles of your feet together, and release the knees outward, so the legs come to rest on the lower rolled blankets.
Lay back on the bolster. Adjust the blanket at the top of the bolster to comfortably support your neck and head.
Nestle the forearms and hands into the support of the upper two rolled blankets.
You may enjoy the support of the sandbag on top of the feet, or the strap looped around the lower back and out thighs (as pictured below). Experiment
to find the support that is best for your body.
Cover up with the last blanket. Place the eye bag over your eyes. Allow your body to rest comfortably against the support. Remain here for 5 – 15 minutes. When you are ready to come out, lift your knees toward the ceiling and roll over to your side. Rest there for a moment before sitting up.
How did you enjoy your royal treatment? I’d love to hear!
P.S. This post is part of a series on the basics of many of the most common poses. Look here for additional posts in this series.
P.P.S. You can find a certified restorative yoga teacher in your area in this directory.