Find a clear wall space or a closed door.
Sit sideways against the wall and roll onto
your side with knees bent in a fetal position
with your hips close and your head away
from the wall. Shimmy closer, keeping the
hips 6-12 inches away from the wall and
then allow the legs to rest, soles of the feet
facing the ceiling, relaxed and supported.
It is said that for maximum benefit, lifting
the arms up and away from the wall will increase blood flow to the head; however, you
may find that it is just more comfortable to
place the palms of the hands onto the belly
and allow the elbows to relax to the floor.
Feel free to let the legs relax and flop open,
or strap the legs just above the knee to keep
Rest here for a minimum of two to three
minutes up to 10, 15 or even 20 minutes.
Rise slowly from the pose. Release the legs
by allowing the knees to bend into the
chest. Roll to one side and allow the blood
pressure to adjust, slowly climb yourself
into a seated position. Pause for a few moments to ensure the effect the pose.
ADHO MUKHA SAVASANA
Downward Facing Savasana:
For those with trouble sleeping, savasana can actually stimulate anxiety, since
spending time on the back without sleep
or rest can create an association between
the position and the trauma of sleepless
nights and worry. Since our physical position is connected to our brain patterns,
shifting the body, even just slightly, can
generate a dramatically different effect on
the thought train.
Additionally, lying on one’s back can
sometimes create feelings of vulnerability
and lack of protection. On the other hand,
this position of downward facing savasana
turns the direction of energy flow into the
earth. The natural downward flow of energy, or gravity, is called apana vayu by the
yogis. As yogis, all we need to do is to ride
the wave of the downward flow. Students
who express irritation at traditional savasana often find lying on their bellies soothing.
Lie face down on your belly on a pad-
ded surface. The arms can rest at the sides
with the palms facing up or stacked to
create a pillow. You may keep your neck
straight by placing your forehead down
or you may turn your head to the side
and rest on your cheek. When choosing
this option, be sure to time yourself and
switch sides to create balance on the neck.
When the legs are relaxed, the feet gener-
ally “flop” open with the heels dropping
out gently to the sides. Allow this to hap-
pen for maximum relaxation.
In the yogic system, the right side of the
body is symbolized by the Sun, “ha” and
the left by the Moon, “tha.” Together, they
create Hatha, a balance of sun and moon
energies. Most yoga teachers lead practices
that begin with the right side of the body, or
the Sun side. Whatever “side” we do first,
we do best, as by the time we get to side
two, the body is fatigued. Thus, the sun
side of the body is often receiving our full
attention, while the Moon may be slightly
short changed. It is no surprise then, that
we often are left energized, but not necessarily relaxed.
Chandra Bhedhana is a circular breathing
technique which nourishes the Moon channel and softens the Sun; to do so, we inhale
through the left nostril and exhale through
When practicing, reflect on the power of
the Moon, the energy of our internal world.
To this day, most religions and cultures operate on a Moon calendar. The Moon, although quiet in countenance, is a powerful
force on the water element; it affects the ebb
and flow of the ocean and the tides. As our
bodies are mainly composed of water, it is
no wonder that the moon has such a powerful effect on us. Honoring the moon is a
practice of humility and an opportunity to
ask for guidance.
Find a comfortable seated position. (You
may sit on a chair or rest your back against a
wall.) The priority is to sustain an extended,
long spine as the tendency is to lose the erect
posture due to fatigue.
Locate the middle and index finger of the
right hand (even if you are left handed.)
Make a peace sign with the right hand and
then place the tips of those two fingers into
the notch where the forehead and nose meet.
To balance the effort of the arms, you can
use the left palm to support the right elbow.
Sitting tall, slightly drop the chin. Exhale
through both nostrils, then with the right
thumb, close off the right nostril and inhale
through the left. Pause. Then, use the ring
finger to close the left nostril and exhale out
This is a circular breath, so you are always going inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through the right. Try to
balance the length of the inhalation and of
the exhalation, then lengthening the breath
once the pace is comfortable. Becoming
curious about the path the breath travels
helps us stay present and become more personally aware.
Practice a minimum of three rounds to
feel the effects; continue up to five minutes.
Complete with a few rounds of softly coaxing the air to travel through both nostrils
with ujjayi breathing.
SUPPORTED CHILD’S POSE
Thanatosis, or “playing dead,” is a famous defense mechanism of the possum to
ward off unwanted attention of a predator
or potential mate. So much so that it has
even become known as “playing possum.”
One of the few nonviolent acts of defense,
“playing dead” can be a powerful tool in
navigating adversity. We all struggle with
challenges in the urban jungle regarding
career and relationships. Often, instead of
reacting violently, this strategy can be successful in making a problem simply go away.
And whether or not we are facing adversity,
coming into relaxed stillness can be beneficial to our nervous systems: By playing dead
for a few minutes, we can awaken and be
reborn feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
Lay out a yoga mat or find a soft surface,
then place a blanket over the entirety of
the surface to create padding. Find a yoga
bolster or stack several folded blankets to
make a rectangular supported lift at least
six inches high, but no more than a foot or
foot-and-a-half off the floor. >>