In today’s practice we are going to look at the movement of the abdomen and the lower back with the breath. You can think of the lower torso as a great big water balloon. As you exhale, the diaphragm moves up and the water balloon becomes slack: the abdomen and lower back soften; the pelvic floor moves up the length of the body towards the head. With the inhalation, the diaphragm moves down and the water ballon expands in every other dimension: the abdominal wall and the lower back expand; the pelvic floor descends.
As with our previous sequence in this theme, the first few poses stretch out the lower torso, while the latter half of the practice focuses on observing and freeing up the area to allow the movement to develop. (more…)
Last week we worked on releasing the lower body. This week, our focus will be releasing the upper body, releasing the arms, the upper back, the chest and the neck.
Centering [1 to 3 minutes]
- Take a few moments to gather the mind and body up into the present moment, letting go of the day that’s been and releasing any anticipation or apprehension over the day to come.
- Become aware of the movement of the ribcage as you breath: expanding and rising with the inhalations, draping down the length of the body with the exhalations. Allow the shoulders to settle on the ribs. Observe as they rise and separate with the inhalations, observe as the sink with the exhalations. (more…)
Once again, the focus of this restorative sequence is on orienting the body in relation to the pull of gravity. After spending time centering and becoming aware of the breath and the movement it creates in the body, we take a series of hanging poses, suspended from the ropes. In this way the body can release fully into the shapes of the poses without having to expend energy to support itself at all. Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose), Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) and Adho Mukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Corpse Pose) follow with the body draped over a bolster to achieve a similar hanging effect. (more…)
The goal of this restorative sequence is to become aware of your various parts in relation to the pull of gravity. First we release each of the limbs individually, then the chest and abdomen, followed by the back body and the head and neck. With the physical body completely released, we release the sense organs and turn our attention to the breath, encouraging it to flow smoothly without encumbrance. Finally, with the body and the breath free, we observe the effect this has on the mind as it flows freely. (more…)