Here you are loves, this week it´s a(nother) video! It´s a restorative practice this time, and it´s one i take regularly which really helps me to feel grounded ,relieves stress, anxiety, unravels the chest, hips and cranky low back sensations. I sped it up as i like to hang out in these ones for a LONG time! You can choose the length of the hold of these poses, do what feels good!
This practice can feel so comforting and calming particularly when our immune systems could use some support. Sprinkle a little of this as often as required!
You will need: Some wall space plus a blanket rolled up into a “sausage”. This will first go underneath your upper back first (bra strap height or in line with your armpits). You will use it to plonk underneath your low back so you have some support.
Before you begin: Roll your blanket up into a sausage shape that is wider than the width of your hips.
As with all props, you might adjust the size of this sausage depending on your preference. Some people will argue there are very specific ways of folding your blanket. I say: whatever works my friend, fold that fellow how you like! We don´t all have the same bits or blankets and that´s a GOOD thing!
1) Place the blanket on the floor and scooch (the “official” term for the movement, not “that” band) yourself onto your back so the blanket is underneath your shoulders in line with your armpits. The back of your head should be able to rest comfortably on the floor. Bend your knees to begin, whilst your body gets used to taking the shape. I like to rest my arms a little overhead, with elbows bent, as this feels like a really nice opening for my chest. But this (just like every shape) can be adjusted to what feels good for your body. You can have arms lower or higher depending on what feels good for you. When you´re in place, just check that the height of the blanket feels like it´s in a good place for you. A wiggle and an adjust is always welcome (see clip!).
Then, slip into a rhythmic pattern of breath with equal inhales and exhales with no holds. If it helps, you might count the length of the breath in and out, or visualisation might work for you. Try not to get too hung up on it though, the most important thing is that you breathe and make this time for yourself to drop in and have a moment and relax (or at least “slow down” to the type A´s among us. got a lot of love for you). 5 minutes is a good guide for this one but you choose what works!
2) If your low back feels ok with it, stretch your legs out in front of you (one at a time. take it easy). Have enough distance between your legs and feet so that you also create space for your low back. Let the toes fall out to the edges of your mat, so the inner seams of your legs can soften. A couple of minutes to marinade here could be nice.
3) Next, find your wall and position yourself so you can bend your knees and rest your feet comfortably on it. You can play with this distance but a good starting point could be having your knees bent at 90 degrees and your knees stacked in line with your hips. Take your sausage blanket and slide it under your low back (i like to press my feet into the wall to “hoik” (another “official term) my bum up into the air which also doubles as a little shoulder massage. Dreamy.
Then, pick up your right foot, flex it, and hook the ankle over the top of your left thigh. Keep the foot flexed and gently ease your right knee away from your face if you have room. I like to use my right hand on my right inner thigh to help or sometimes i grab the outer edge of my lifted foot which gives me leverage to wiggle around and find a sweet spot. You might feel like your bum is hanging – that´s ok – but ensure there is no crunching in your low back (as with any pose, listen to your body and back off as you need.
To intensify the pose, unhook your foot and “scooch” your bum closer to the wall and take the pose again. You can also play with the height of the foot on the wall. One last tip: feel into the sides of your body and try to keep the right side as long as the left. Hold for up to 5 minutes as a guide, then repeat the other side.
N.B. in the video i felt a bit “jammy” in my right side, so felt i wanted a little extra sugar. Know what i mean? no? um…
4) Which leads us to stretching out those legs, with the heels against the wall. Toe wiggling optional and stay for up to five minutes.
5) Finally come into your resting pose with legs up the wall. My all time, go-to, fave restorative pose of all. If you´re tired of the affections of your blanket, remove it and just have your bum on the floor. If you´re looking for more of an inversion, keep it there – or improvise further with a sofa cushion under your bum. If your legs find it difficult staying up, tie a belt or some kind of scarf or something around your low legs. Whatever works but make it feel like the most delicious non-food meal you´ve ever consumed. Stay here as LONG as you can!
Hope you enjoy! x x x