It’s been a long winter! This cold weather just won’t let up, and the extra energy it takes just to stay warm, sometimes leaves me feeling zapped by mid-afternoon.
Next time you are feeling drained, why not try a restorative yoga pose. Consider it a yoga power nap. Vipariti Kirani (Legs-Up-the-Wall) is a relatively simple restorative pose that most students really enjoy. All you really need is a comfortable floor (mat, blanket or rug), folded blanket, strap, eye pillow, and of course, a wall!
Set up your space. Place a soft surface up against the wall. A folded blanket works well, and have your strap and eye pillow right near by. Sit sideways on the folded blanket, and as you lie down on your side, swing your legs up onto the wall. Don’t worry about being graceful. This takes a little coordination, and practice. So if you don’t get close enough on your first try, just scoot your buttocks towards the wall. Check that your hips are supported evenly on the blanket.
If your hamstrings and/or back are really tight, move your buttocks and folded blanket a couple of inches away from the wall. Then, place the strap around your thighs, and tighten it to hold your legs together. This will take away the effort of holding your legs up on the wall.
Take one more moment to make sure you’re balanced right to left, feet, legs, hips and shoulders are even. Cover yourself if you are cold, and place your eye pillow on your eyes. Give yourself 10-15 minutes to be in the pose.
Enjoy the reversal of gravity’s relationship to your body. Feet are above your heart, head is below your hips. There are tons of great benefits this pose offers, but simply notice if this gives you a re-charge to get through your day. Maybe you don’t need to reach for that afternoon cup of coffee.
A Restorative Yoga practice can help create a space for the mind and body to let go in our otherwise busy lives. If you are interested in restorative yoga, check out the upcoming training in April. This intense weekend demystifies the poses, and helps you understand the effects on your body physiologically, psychologically and emotionally.