Therapeutic Yoga Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 7

Calm, Cool, and Collected

60 min - Practice
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Cheri, with the help of Tina, guides us in a gentle therapeutic practice to promote ease and deep relaxation. We find a series of active bridge poses to awaken the spine, shoulders, and legs, before exploring spinal movements to stretch and open the back and side body. We finish with a deeply nourishing restorative pose to promote a feeling of sweet quiet calm.
What You'll Need: Mat, Eye PIllow, Square Bolster, Blanket (4)

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(waves crashing) Namaste. Thank you so much for coming us and joining us today. Tina's my assistant and will be demonstrating the poses for you. It's a practice to support you in feeling calm, cool, and collected. It can be done at any time when you need that kind of energy to meet your day or your evening time.

We're gonna need four blankets. So we have one down on the mat to create some softness for the spine, three blankets off to the side, a bolster, also your eye pillow nearby and your aromatherapy if you're using it. You may want to place it close where it will be easy to reach for your head, which will be up on this side of the mat and then you'll come to sit with your tailbone towards the bottom of the mat and you'll position your bolster underneath your knees and one blanket on top. So you can take your blanket up by your head that will go under your head and neck and placing your blanket on top of your boLster. I'm gonna have you come back 'cause it'll be a little easier to place actually.

But if you're at home, you're gonna place your blanket on top of your bolster and position it before you come back. Good. So you want the blanket directly under the knees and then just extend the legs so the legs completely relax onto that support. Your eye pillow you can place over your eyes or if you prefer to have it resting on your forehead or your belly, that can also work and then as you take this moment of coming inside, just check and see if you feel cool at all. If you do, this additional blanket can go over you to keep you warm.

Then you'll take a few moments to just feel what's going on in your body and begin to connect as you would with a dear friend and just checking in and how are you doing today. Noticing the sensations, noticing any area where you feel that stress may have accumulated or gathered. And as you become aware of any places of tension or holding in the body, you can begin to focus your breath right into that area and it can also be nice to place your hands there wherever it may be. This also gives additional sensory connection to the tension. So placing your hands on your area and beginning to direct a soft, gentle breath right in and meeting whatever's there.

So often when we start our practice and we begin to go inside, we may have things that we find and discover that we didn't know were there and it's one of the gifts of the practice and what I encourage you to do is meet whatever you discover with a compassion and awareness and a sense of exploration. As you breathe a breath into this area, feel the energy flowing in, feel it unwinding and massaging and then exhaling and releasing any tension, any stress, anything at all that you are ready to clear and let go of. So the in breath draws in that which you need, peace, relaxation. The exhalation breathes out and releases anything you're ready to clear. And noticing how this deep breathing, focused breathing along with your hands on whatever area needs that attention starts to connect you with that place and help it to soften to release and relax.

Maybe your hands want to move to a new place. Feel free. And exploring with the sensation of touch and breath how this area feels. Sometimes if the body's having experiencing pain or discomfort, it can be very helpful to position your hands on that area and breathe the prana, breathe the energy from the hands in and visualize it soothing, calming, cooling the tissues, helping to turn down the inflammation and to turn down the pain response. So using these practices to help you fine tune the instrument and to work with what is happening for you in each moment.

Taking a few of those wonderful full, deep breaths, the body expanding, receiving that energy as you inhale and softening a bit more deeply as you exhale. And this is a nice way to start your practice especially if you've been sitting a lot because it releases the spine, it brings the body into horizontal position where it's held. It's a nice pose to do in itself with some deep breathing to just come do shavasana if you don't have time for other practices, other movements. But today we're gonna do a nice blend of things to evenly stretch the body. So when you're ready, you can slowly draw your knees towards your chest and holding either the tops of the knees or under the knees, whatever feels the most comfortable for you and you can stretch your spine a little bit by drawing the knees in and depending on where you're tender or tight along your spine, you can bring the knees either further away from the chest or closer towards the chest as you rock from side to side to massage different areas.

So you can kind of explore and see what feels the best to you. Try to soften your shoulders down and away from your ears, let your face relax, your jaw. Keeping that breath nice and slow and deep for the gentle yoga. Then turning your head opposite now to the movement of the knees. And then right from here, we're gonna move into a flowing twist.

If today you have any low back issues or disc issues and it's not recommended for you or if it just feels like it might be too strong, you can put your feet on top of the bolster. You're gonna start with your knees facing center, feet on top of the bolster for the gentler variation. For the deeper variation, you can take your knees high into your chest and then open the arms out to the sides. You'll keep the knees high into the chest for the deeper variation, missing the bolster as you take a deep exhalation and release both legs all the way to the right and towards the hand. So if it's as if you're keeping your knees moving towards the hand and arm and you can release them all the way down to the fLoor and then inhale back up again.

Good. And if it doesn't feel good to go that deep in the twist, you're welcome exhaling to the other side. You're welcome to just take them down as far as feels comfortable. Inhaling to center slowly. So this is a flowing twist.

This is a remedy pose for backache that's caused by tension, not by an injury, but if you're having muscular tension related backache. Inhaling up to center and exhaling now to the left. So nice, long, deep breaths. If your feet are resting on the bolster, just letting the knees flow from side to side and keeping the feet as they are. Exhaling to the right once again and you can turn the head to the left.

Inhaling center and exhaling to the other side. Think about drawing the knees together, really engaging the stomach muscles. Good and this time you'll come back to center as you inhale and as you go to the right, you're gonna hold the twist for a few breaths and this can be a nice time to bring your right hand on top of your left knee and engage and draw the knee towards the floor and then if it feels good, you're welcome to also draw the knee up a little bit towards that right shoulder, but not so high that you're losing that twisting movement just to create a nice deep opening in this area that can get so tight for people. Your left shoulder is grounding. So feel the sensation of the shoulder as it sinks down and the chest opens.

So sometimes by turning the palm down and up, you can also find a position that feels the best for your shoulder. So you can explore that. And then think of lifting the sternum ever so gently as the back of your left shoulder relaxes down. Take a few more deep breaths here. Feeling the stretch.

One of my friends who's a chiropractor he calls this the morning star and he says if you do this every morning, it'd be a lot less backache, a lot less back pain. So it's a good one if you tend to have back issues. And then as you're ready, you're gonna change sides. So bring the knees back so they're stacked, right arm to the floor, engage the stomach muscles, knees to the chest, inhale, and exhale to the other side. Now if you were doing the gentler twist, you may not be bringing the feet and legs to the floor, just keeping the feet here and continuing as you are with your feet on the bolster.

So as you bring your left hand to the top of your right knee you can start to draw it straight down towards the floor and then you can begin to pull the knee up towards that left shoulder, creating a little deeper opening if you like. Good. We want to take it just a little bit higher, yeah. And then as you relax your right shoulder down, feel the back of the shoulder anchoring towards the earth. It may come up.

Many of us are quite tight, from spending time at the computer, in the pectoral muscles in the chest. So if you're noticing that shoulders not quite going down, you want to think about just allowing a rooting down through the back of the joint so that the sternum can lift and the heart can open and breathe into any area that feels tight. As you hold this pose, as I've mentioned in some of the other twists that we've done, twists help to wring out the whole body, wringing out the energy body, the emotional body, the physical body. So it's a great pose for immune health. It's wonderful for tight muscles in the back.

Good, last couple of breaths here, nice deep inhalations, long exhalations. And then as you're ready, you'll slowly engage by pressing both hands down into the floor and as you press the hands down, engage the stomach muscles, bring the knees together, come back up to center and if you like, you can hold the knees for a moment, just drawing them in towards the chest and this is also really nice for stretching and opening the lumbar spine. Now you may have scooted down a little bit, which is quite common with the flowing twist. So you can scoot back a little bit if you like by pressing your feet into the bolster and for this next pose, I recommend flattening the blanket under your head or even removing it. So for some people, it feels better when there's no height under the head.

So and if you are keeping it under your head, that's fine, you just want to make sure that it's pretty flat and smooth, that there's no ridges. Now for this pose, you're welcome to keep the blanket roll right under the arches of your feet and this will actually give you more height in flowing bridge or you're welcome to kick it off of the bolster if that doesn't feel good to you. So it's your choice here and the feet will step apart about hip width. You can just relax your toes (laughs) and step your feet apart hip width. Good and then feel your feet pressing down into the bolster or bolster and blanket combination and you'll inhale and you'll lift your hips up into bridge pose.

We're lifting from the tailbone all the way up the thoracic spine and then lowering from the thoracic, from the mid back to the low back kind of like a string of pearls. You're setting each vertebrae down, keeping the pelvis tilted towards the navel, really feeling that feeling of the stomach pulling in and feel that nice stretching along the spine and this is a self massage movement. So you'll inhale as you press up and the feet press down, but your hips float up as you inhale, coming up as high as you like and exhale as you slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time and you may also want to try it without the blanket at all under your head and neck. Feel free to remove the blanket from under your head, I'm gonna let you do that, 'cause I want you to also feel the difference with nothing but just the flat blanket. You might even feel like you can get a little more height.

Coming up. And it stretches the neck quite a lot. So sometimes when there's lift under the head, it can feel like it's a little bit strong in the way it flexes the neck. So you can choose and if it's feeling better to have a little more padding, you're welcome to bring it back into place. Sometimes it's nice to almost taste test your props and see what feels good and to know that during your practice you can change it around or pull something out if it's not feeling good.

Good, now we're gonna do the next time you roll up and you're gonna take it nice and slow as you come down. Feel the massage along the spine. It's a wonderful way to work out tension along the spine. You can also reposition the feet if you need to if they feel like they're starting to slide a little bit and then the next time you come up, you'll slowly come up. You're gonna hold your bridge this time and the first invitation I'd like to give you is to clasp your yoga mat.

So you're gonna reach your hands under, it's okay to get ahold of the blanket and the mat, and you'll pull a little bit, create a little bit of tension there and then wrap your shoulders towards one another. So your shoulder blades are moving in, your upper back, your shoulder blades are moving in and your heart center's opening. Great heart chakra opener. Great pose for depression or when you're exhausted, when you need to kind of move your energy up. Feel your breath flowing in and work with that deep breath.

Your feet are anchored into the bolster or bolster and blanket. Good and pulling on that... edge of your mat really helps to also create a little bit of active energy in the muscles and it's nice for the next variation too and as you exhale, you'll slowly roll down. You can release the hold of the side of your mat. Take a moment this time as you come down nice and slow to just feel your paraspinal muscles relaxing.

Let the muscles go for a breath. We're gonna ask them one more time to move into bridge and since we've done the more active variation, unless you're really tight in your shoulders and it's just not possible to clasp under your body, you're welcome to go back to hold the mat. This time we're gonna go a little deeper and clasp underneath with both hands coming together. So you'll come up with your breath, deep inhalation, you'll interlace your fingers, then you'll squeeze the shoulder blades together, walk a little bit if that feels good to really open the chest and then feel the even activation of the feet, feel the heart floating up, feel the breath deepening and create a little bit of lengthening in the lumbar. So there's this nice feeling of the tailbone moving towards the opposite corner of the room.

There's lots of different variations and ways to do bridge. You can do it with tight buttocks, with a relaxed gluteus, you can focus more on the chest or more on the belly. I think because we spend so much time with a very tight, compressed movement in the chest, it's great to really focus on lifting the heart here and then release your hands and again slowly come down. And you can also explore the different kinds of ways of working in a pose and see what really works for your body. Good, relaxing fully into the earth and taking a few deep breaths.

This feels so delicious after your muscles have been working to just relax and come down. And then you can go ahead and draw your knees gently towards your chest. So as you draw your knees into your chest, feel the release in your low back and take a few moments here before you rock from side to side just to feel the stretch in your lumbar. Knees to chest is a great pose for releasing back tension, but also a counterpose after the back bend and the twist. And then you can rock a little bit from side to side.

And as you're ready, you can slowly roll onto your right-hand side and you can just let your eye pillow slowly come off your eyes and I'm gonna bring this blanket right under your head and you're gonna scoot back just a little bit. So everybody at home, you can just fold your blanket under your head and then scoot back so you're on the middle of your mat and you can just let your feet come off of the bolster. So you don't want to rest your feet on the bolster. So this is called the accordion and it's a wonderful way to, it's almost like you're playing your body like an accordion. Can you bring your upper body towards me a little bit?

Good, so you want your body in one straight line and your head also in one straight line with the rest of your spine, good, and then releasing your head, resting your left arm right on top of your hip and we're gonna start with the shoulder because this is one of those movements that reminds me of when you're a kid and you pat your head and rub your belly. It's like a similar movement. It often takes a few moments to kind of be able to do both at the same time of the movements that I'll be showing you. So we're gonna start just with the top of your left shoulder and you're gonna lift your shoulder up towards your ear, contracting and allowing your arm to slide down as the shoulder moves down and then the shoulder comes up. Good.

If you have broad shoulders and you find that your neck is sort of tilting here, you may want to fold your blanket another notch so that it feels like your cervical spine is level with your thoracic spine. And from here, as the shoulder goes up, you're gonna now bring your hip down and then as the shoulder goes down, your hip goes up. So this is where we get into the image of the accordion, playing your body like an accordion. You inhale as you open as the accordion takes in breath and then you make that music as the two points come together. What's nice about this movement is it contracts and then lengthens the shoulder muscles and areas that get tight in the shoulder region and also in the quadratus lumborum, the hip muscle that can get very tight and often is sort of a silent antagonist in low back pain and low back problems.

Feel the movement with your breath. And don't worry if it's feeling awkward at first. It's quite natural that it takes a little bit to get used to. I often tell people it's like when you dance salsa and your hips are moving, you kind of press down into the bottom hip to get the top hip to go down and then this quadratus lumborum starts to contract to lift the hip up. Good, just a few more, feeling the release this is creating, the openness.

Good, one more time. Opening, beautiful. Exhaling, closing. And take a moment to depress the shoulder and take your right hand, your bottom hand up and just massage any tight areas along the shoulder. You can press it down, you can massage the top of the muscle.

There's a lot of points in the top of the muscle that are also good to like acupressure points. As long as you're not pregnant. It does create a downward moving energy. So fine to massage those areas out or the neck or even the jaw and just take a few deep breaths. Self massage is a great thing to bring into your home practice.

It has so many benefits and can really help to release tension and stress. And then taking a moment to just lightly touch that area with a soft brush of your hand. And then we're gonna change sides. So you're gonna roll onto your back. And then you'll transition so that your knees are drawn in towards your chest and your spine is one long line and the blanket is under your head and then you can take your right hand and rest it right on top of your hip, kind of down low but straight, nice straight arm.

Good. And then you'll bring the shoulder up and you're gonna start with just the shoulder movement, shoulder going up towards the ear and then drawing down. This is an area where tend to carry things and carry our backpacks, our purses, people that we care about, the weight of the world on our shoulders. So this is a nice way to let that all go. So breathing out and letting go of anything that you're carrying on your shoulders and then this time you'll inhale up and you'll draw the hip down and exhale as those two points come together.

So moving like an accordion. Beautiful and contracting and enjoy the movement. Feel how it feels from inside. Long breaths are part of the experience that really help to create a wonderful sensation of massage from within, the softening of the belly. Let your face relax.

Good. The hip goes up as the shoulder goes down and the hip goes down as the shoulder goes up. Beautiful and finding a rhythm that's slow enough that you can really focus on the movement. If you start to think about something else, you might just bring your focus back and sensing and feeling the different muscles that are activating and then lengthening. Just a few more.

Good. And this time as the shoulder goes down, you'll reach up with your bottom hand and massage out the top of the trapezius or the neck or wherever you're feeling you need it. It could be your jaw. And there's great points of acupressure points along the top of the belly of the muscle you can press. Breathing into those tight areas and noticing how this right shoulder feels.

If you're right or left-handed, you may have one side tighter than the other. Breathing deeply. Eyes can be opened or closed in your practice. So feeling what feels best for you. And then when you're done, just a nice soft, gentle touch, a feathering touch would be very soothing and then you can bring your top hand down to the floor as you slowly come up.

You're gonna kind of stay as you are except you're gonna flip your legs to the other side and bring your right hip to the center of your bolster. So you're actually gonna do I think just like this. Yeah. And you'll bring that bolster up. It might be nice for you to see this from the back side of the body first and then we're gonna change sides in a moment.

Your hip goes right to the center of the bolster for this next pose. So this is called the full moon pose. If you're shorter in your torso, then you'll probably want to just use one bolster, maybe one blanket underneath. If you have a taller torso, if you're longer, you can add these blankets folded in half, but put it under the bolster before you come over the bolster and that makes it really nice for your spine to get a little deeper stretch. Now, take your blanket, an additional blanket, and place it to the left side of your yoga mat so you're facing where your blanket is and then take your right hand over the bolster, your left hand to your rib cage and you're gonna lengthen as you slide your right arm straight and then you can take the blanket in front of you and place it right on top of your arm, of your upper arm.

I want to remind you that if for any reason you've had a shoulder injury on your right shoulder or recent surgery and you can't take it up, just bring it right in front of you so that it can float and you can fold the blanket under your head so it's high enough to support your neck. Now for the legs, the bottom leg is going to come up towards the bolster. The top leg is gonna set, the foot's gonna set right on top of your blanket so you have a little more height and support and you can always move that blanket so it's underneath your shin a little bit if that feels better and this movement is the first one that we'll start with is just the gentle movement for the shoulder. So the fingertips are gonna rest right on top of the shoulder itself and then there'll be a nice circular movement happening here. So this is also the gentlest and you can choose this is you know that you're gonna need a gentler movement on this side or the other side and then if this feels like it's too gentle, you'd like to go deeper, you can extend the arm and as you extend the arm, you'll draw a circle on the ceiling with your fingertips and I like to really reach.

So as I'm coming down, I reach towards my feet and as I'm coming forward, I separate the shoulder blades. You'll find for you what works for you, but you can really stretch up when you're reaching overhead and when you're reaching back, open through the chest. Good and reaching down to open that shoulder. Good. Remember, if this is too strong, you can always go back to the gentler variation.

Just two more deep breaths here. Two more big circles, opening, warming. I love this movement because the way that it activates the heart lung pericardium acupuncture point lines and this time as your hand sweeps up, you'll clasp ahold of your left wrist and you'll start to pull the top hand with the bottom hand to create a nice deep opening and one of the things we're gonna do is come back a little bit with the hip and you'll start to see this front left side of her body opening and that's what you'll want to feel at home. You'll want to feel the left side of your hip flexor muscles opening as you come into full moon and it is actually a full moon here today. So we're working with that good full moon energy.

So as the hip goes back, finding the sweet spot for you and you're not gonna be all the way back, but you're gonna be back far enough that you're feeling it. You can even take the leg back a little bit. That might also help. And then breathe. Now this leg is your anchor and then you're gonna just hold that open stretch and breathe into it and we're gonna hold this for a couple of minutes.

So it's an opportunity for you to go inside, to close your eyes and meet what you're feeling there on this side of your body. I feel that the lateral bends are especially important because in a lot of our yoga practice, we don't do a lot of side bending and one of the gifts of this particular lateral bend is that we're holding it for a few minutes. So we're really giving a chance for the connective tissue to lengthen, to open up. It's like taffy, it's strong, it's thick and so we give time for it to slowly, slowly stretch in this low, low, long duration hold. It's really beneficial.

From the perspective of Chinese medicine, we're getting in a little bit to the gall bladder, liver, some of the other really great meridian lines and so feel that flow of energy as you breathe into the shape that your body's in. Relaxing as much as you can into the bolster, into the pull of gravity and softening. Taking a few deep breaths. Noticing how the breath feels different in this pose as you breathe and maybe even focusing a breath into that left side of your body and we'll prepare to release from the pose first by bending the top knee, drawing it up towards the bottom knee and then the top hand can release and you'll press into the bolster if you like in front of you and slowly come up. As you come up, you can let the blanket just kind of slide down and you'll move the blanket towards the right side of your mat and then the easiest thing to do to change sides is really to turn to your left and just flip your knees to the other side.

You'll center your hip on the center of the bolster and when you're ready, you can step your left arm over the bolster, right hand to the waist or ribs and lengthening as you come over the bolster with the left arm extending if that works for you and then the blanket on top of the upper arm to support the head and neck and then taking the bottom leg up to touch the bolster and this top leg straight. Good and then finding for you that position as you extend the leg that feels really good all the way down through the leg, opening that side of the body and we're gonna stay on this side for the first part, which is the arm circles, to awaken and activate the chi flow through anahata, the heart chakra starting if you like with the point of the elbow, drawing the circle for the gentler variation and you can check in with your shoulder as you do this. Is this where it wants to be or does it want to go deeper? And if so, you can straighten the arm and go into the deeper variation and really the difference is this gives a lot more weight into the movement and so you can still do a very full, deep circle with your elbow, but this is much stronger. So listening to your body.

As the arm stretches up, you want to lengthen through the side rib. So we're beginning to warm up these areas. You're gonna keep going. Yeah and circling all the way back and as you come back, you can open the chest and as you reach down, reach towards your toes, let the top of the shoulder stretch. As you reach forward, open the space between the shoulder blades.

So if you are looking to get a really nice, juicy full-body experience, working with all, reaching deeply into the different stretches that are offered here, opening the heart, opening the back of the heart, side of the body and the top of the shoulder. Noticing how this side feels. Some people like to go slowly, very, very slowly. Some people like to go fast. You can take breaths and focus into areas that are tight or tender.

You can really work with what you're discovering as you're moving through. We'll take one more circle and then as the hand comes overhead, we'll clasp the right wrist and gently start to traction and this is when we come into full moon. So as you're holding your wrist and as you start to open, you're gonna start coming back until you feel this down into the hip flexors, psoas, maybe the iliacus, depending on how you're made, how you're built, how you're designed and then feel the leg stretching down and as you're here, you'll want to find that sweet spot where you can relax, feel the weight of your body sinking into the bolster, feel the openness in this right side and feel free to take your breath into those areas, the right side of the body. The liver is located under the right rib cage and it does a lot, it cleanses the blood and so this is a nice pose for liver health if you're wanting to work with your liver and sometimes if you haven't been good to your liver, you've been taking, drinking alcohol or doing things that are hard on the liver, you may feel it in this pose, but sometimes people are on medications for their health and the liver also you may feel this a little more on this side. This movement and holding the pose helps to massage these areas, these organs and activate the meridian, liver gallbladder meridian.

So very good for the health and wellness of the liver. And just resting. Softening, letting go. And you know, as you're in the pose, as things shift and change, don't hesitate to reposition if you need to. Taking a few deep breaths and you may even want to focus and breathe into that right side of the body.

Preparing in just a moment to transition. You can slowly draw the bottom leg in, meeting the top, or the top leg rather to meet the bottom and then as you're ready to come up, you'll roll forward and you'll slowly press your hand into the bolster to come back to seated. You'll take the blanket that was under your head and you'll roll it and you'll place it back on top of your bolster. Good. And you'll bring your tailbone towards the bottom.

Good. And before you come back, we're gonna do a little seated forward bend. So you'll start by placing your elbows right on top of your knees actually and your hands in prayer position and the thumb pressing into the brows, it meets the nose and as you press here, you'll let your head drop into your hands and your neck lengthen. So it creates not only a pressure at this point in the body, which is one of the calm spirit points, very, very good for sinus congestion, for certain headaches, but you can also press into this area to create a lengthening in the neck, to traction the neck a little bit and feel the sitz bones pressing down, the spine lifting up. Now for some of you, you'll stay here and this may be plenty or if this isn't working for you, you can always come back into your shavasana early or you can come forward, letting your legs stretch out all the way, come forward even deeper.

You can either keep your hands here or stack your elbows and let your forehead rest on top of your forearms. So you can either stay here or rest your forehead and come all the way down and so this is a cooling pose and if you're looking to become cool, calm, and collected, this is a wonderful pose to help to calm the nervous system. It's a good finishing posture after you've been moving and breathing and stretching some of the various parts of the body and so as you're here, just breathing and feeling your body relaxing. In the traditional pose, this is a supported variation of paschimottanasana, it's traditionally done with the legs straight coming into the forward fold and one of the gifts is that it activates one of the largest meridians in the body, the bladder meridian, which goes all the way to the heels and so it's a meridian that's treated for back pain, for all kinds of different healing issues. So it's a good way to activate and to open and to quiet too the mind after lots of thinking.

So it's a good quieting pose. So take a few more breaths and just let yourself soften, let your mind grow quiet and tranquil. And then you can take a nice deep inhalation and as you exhale, you'll slowly start to come up, pressing your hands into your knees and you may want to place your eye pillow on your upper thigh if it's nearby or if it's close. You can also keep it where it is, but just so you know where it is before you come back and then you can either come back using your stomach muscles with your arms extended straight, chin tucking into the chest or you can always bring your hands to the floor, making for a gentler way to come back and then as you come all the way back, I'll give you a drop of aromatherapy, but at home feel free to dose yourself with a little lavender's good, orange is great, rose. There's so many different aromatherapies that you can use or if you don't have any aromatherapy today, just rub your hands together, take some breaths, massage your forehead and one of the nice ways to do it is to take your palms up to your forehead, press down and slide the hands apart across the temples and down along the sides of the head and you can do this three times.

This is wonderful for opening the third eye and releasing tension, worry, concern that accumulates in this region of the body. It can be nice to anoint yourself with the oil if there's any place you feel drawn to anoint, but this is always a good choice. And then when you're done, you'll take your eye pillow over your eyes. If you feel you might need a blanket, hopefully your blanket's close by and you can tuck yourself in. And that's it.

And as you get ready for your deep relaxation, just make sure everything feels good to you, the position that your body is in, the position that your hands are in. So there's many different choices. See what feels good to you. The traditional position is the palms turned up and it's a position of really opening to receive. So you're welcome to do that and sometimes I like to turn my palms down on the earth and just connect to the earth and we're gonna do a little grounding meditation here, which is so nice after being busy.

Kind of imagine yourself now as a tree and feel the part of you that's making contact with the earth, parts of your body that are starting to sink down and really root down into the earth and you can visualize if you like roots growing down through those points in the body. So perhaps the sacrum has a nice large root that reaches down and grounds you into the earth, the back of the heart or the back of the head, maybe the heels and so just imagine this rooting down through your energy, finding the source of life that resides in the mother earth, then connecting to that beautiful energy, the energy that feeds the flowers and the grass and everything that grows and let that energy begin to feed and nourish you as it flows up into your body. Perhaps new roots grow down from your fingers, from your arms. Softly sinking down deeper and deeper and deeper. Growing more and more peaceful.

Calm and relaxed. Feeling at one with the earth. And very gently now and very slowly begin to deepen your breath. And inviting the groundedness that you've created in your meditation to stay with you, but as you start to rise up from your connection to the earth and just coming back, feeling calm, feeling cool, feeling collected, feeling centered and grounded and you can start to awaken just the gentlest of movement. Stretching in whatever way feels good to you.

And then eventually drawing your knees towards your chest and making your way slowly onto your side and as you're resting here on your side, perhaps revisiting the places that you were tuning into at the beginning of your practice, noticing how the breath is flowing, the energy. And then making your way up to seated nice and easy. And you'll come back to sit wherever it feels the best to you. If you want to, you can sit on your bolster. And then as you come to seated, once again feeling that rooting down from the root chakra and feel as if your tree is also reaching out into the heavens, reaching and extending out to the light above.

We also have a full moon, feeling that full moon energy as if that moon is appearing through the branches of your tree, that cool, silver moonlight. Bring our hands now to anjali mudra at the heart and taking a moment to feel the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Bowing to your own heart. Gently opening your eyes. Namaste.

Comments

Sheri, Your classes have healed me so much. I love my mom in June and my son is moving away to college. Your classes bring me back to a state of emotional balance. Thanks so much.
Oops. Cheri.
Hello Judy, I'm so glad you have found healing in these classes. With so many changes in your life it's an important time to nurture yourself. Sending heartfelt blessings your way!
Cheri:  I welcome you back into my life...Adele Rosen
Dear Adele, I'm so glad we are together again! I love knowing you are practicing with me here on Yoga Anytime. All my love...

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