Monday, May 6, 2013

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning “Super-Yoga Pose”

 A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves. ~Terri Guillemets 
Would you like to learn a yoga pose that is restorative, healing, builds your immune system and adds years to your life? Try Legs-up-the wall pose (Viparita Karani) or one of its variations for amazing rejuvenating results! Come away from your busy day to give back to yourself, close your eyes, follow the movement of your breath and bring your attention inward, towards your heart for healing and rejuvenation. 
Shimmy your way against a wall for this posture. It takes a little effort to get there, but well worth every effort. If we use the term “super-foods” for foods with ultra vitamins and benefits, legs-up-the-wall would be considered a “super-pose”. Benefits include: relieves swollen feet and ankles, relieves symptoms from varicose veins and arthritis, relieves low back pain, helps to balance blood pressure, helps with testicular/semen problems with men and ovarian problems with women, good for the eyes/ears, provides relief from migraines, promotes digestion, helps with respiratory problems, stretches the front of the torso, neck and the back of the legs, calms an anxious mind and helps with mild depression.

Legs-up-the Wall: sit against the wall with your right side to the wall (for right handed people, you can sit with your left side to the wall). Swing your legs up the wall and simultaneously lie down gently on your back. Begin to shimmy your hips closer to the wall. Move the sitting bones as close to the wall as it is comfortable. Feel your heels supported against the wall. Bring your feet together with ankles lined up and try to straighten the legs, but don’t “lock-out” the knees.If it is too much of a challenge to straighten the legs, adjust the hips away from the wall or slightly bend your knees. 

Option 1: Bend the knees and bring the soles of the feet to touch. Allow the knees and hips to gently open with gravity. 

Option 2: If you have low back pain in the posture, using a block, blankets (up to 2), or bolster under the hips may assist in added relaxation. Sit on the right side of the prop, against the right side of the wall. Gently swing the legs up the wall and adjust and shimmy to find comfortable placement onto the prop and against the wall. You may need to adjust the prop and or move the hips closer to the wall. The size of the prop can also make a difference. Playing with different sized props may help to assist relaxation.

In the pose, relax the shoulders and back-of-the head on the floor. Open the palms towards the sky. Feel the shoulders relax and the chest expand. Feel the sensation of the expansion of the spine from the tailbone to the shoulders. Allow the weight of the torso and the abdomen to surrender into the earth, let go. Allow a lengthening sensation along the back of the neck, without tucking the chin to touch the chest/sternum. Close the eyes and begin to bring awareness to each inhale and exhale and bringing your focus inward, towards your heart. Allow the blood to flow to areas that need it. Allow the benefits of the posture to nourish your body.

Build a connection to the breath and allow your yoga pose to work for you, bringing stillness and quiet to your awareness, as a warm soothing sensation envelops the body. Stay as long as you’d like or up to 15 minutes. If you begin to feel a numbing sensation in the legs, gently come out.

To come out: bring the knees into the chest and shimmy your way away from the wall. Stay resting on your side for a few breaths. Be careful not to torque or twist the body too much to avoid pulling or straining.

Press up into a seat. Bring your hands to your heart. Thank yourself for setting a “reset” button in your day and for the gift of yoga. 

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Namaste,
Christi Iacono
In Rhythms Yoga. 
Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com for class schedule and private session info.


Join us for an Anniversary and Open house scheduled for June 15th, 2013 4-6 p.m. 
Free yoga mini-sessions, reiki healing, raffle, food, and more! 
Contact christi@inrhythmsyoga.com for more info. 

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