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Season 2 - Episode 9

The Great Rejuvenator

25 min - Practice


Cheri, with the help of Mia, shares a gentle practice designed to promote rejuvenation and release stress and tension in the body. We bring our legs up the wall to receive the healing benefits of this supported inversion, as Cheri guides us from deep relaxation to gentle movements to a massaging of the spine.
What You'll Need: Mat, Eye PIllow, Wall, Blanket (2), Strap


Read Full Transcript

(waves crashing) Namaste. Thank you so much for joining us today. Today I have Mia, my friend Mia to demonstrate the poses. And we will be exploring the great rejuvenator, which is a wonderful pose for helping you to calm down and relax and go into a deep and healing sleep when you need it, but also if you have a big event, or you want to go out in the evening and you'd like to rejuvenate your energy it is a wonderful way to do that as well. For today's practice, you will need two blankets, an eye pillow, a strap and if you have some aroma therapy on hand, lavender, orange.

It can be wonderful for supporting your deep relaxation. A little treat at the end of your practice. So you will come off of your mat for a moment to put a blanket down so you'll take one blanket down flat. This will become your head and neck support. You want the fringe away from the body where you will be laying and then you'll take one blanket and open it up lengthwise.

And you want to make sure there is no funny edges in the folds or anything because you will be lying on top of this. You want to just feel it out, make sure it feels really good and smooth. Then to come into the pose, the best way to do it is to come on to your side with your left hip right along the edge of the outside edge of the mat rather than coming to the center of the mat, you want to go this way just a little bit more so that your spine is in alignment with the outside line of the mat. You right hand can come to the floor and your left hand threads underneath and you come on to your side and then you can scoot at this point to get your tailbone to the wall and then roll on to your back. Now you'll go a little bit off to the side if you are not quite far enough to the left and you can practice this.

It gets easier with time but scooting just so you're centered is a good way to get yourself in position. And then if you'd like, you can bring the blanket under your head and either keep it flat or small roll for your neck. For some people who have a rounded up spine, a kyphotic thoracic spine, folding it you may need to do that so that your head isn't tilting back. You can place your eye pillow over your eyes. And then begin to relax into the position that you are in.

So with your hands out to your sides if you like, you can turn the palms up. The arms can be stretched wherever they feel good so you can keep them close to your hips or you can extend them out wider. See what feels the best to you. Take a moment as you begin here to just arrive, arrive on your mat, arrive in your body, and notice in this moment, how you are feeling. It can be nice to set your intention so if you are needing to raise your energy and wake up a little bit to set that intention or if you are preparing for bed or needing to relax or distress, you can just take a moment to open to that intention and set your intention.

And noticing the feeling of your body sinking down into the support beneath you. Relaxing into that support. So the paraspinal muscles are softening and feel the spine ever so gently beginning to lengthen and release tension. As your muscles in the back of your body relax, feel the movement in the front of the body with each breath. Noticing the expansion the belly lifting, opening almost like a balloon filling with air, lifting the breath through the ribs, up into the upper part of the chest, the top part of the lungs and then slowly pouring the breath out, all the way out, releasing all of the air.

If it has been a stressful time for you, a long escalation helps to calm the nervous system. It helps to turn off the stress response, anxiety, so it is a really wonderful tool to use when you come into this kind of pose or practice but you can do it anytime. Any time of day that you need to relax and calm down a bit. If you are wanting to up your energy, you can focus more on the inhalation, lengthening the inhalation, expanding the lung capacity and a little more energy in on your inhalation. Feeling the front body now softening as if the breath is massaging everything it touches.

The eyes, the face, softening, the jaw relaxing, the chest and belly, letting go and opening to each breath. Just a few more breaths here. Just a few more deep long inhalations long escalations. And if you have had a higher blanket under her head, perhaps folded or even a roll for this next pose, you may want to remove that. Or flat neck.

And I'm just gonna have this fold out for this next pose. You can also see what happens with the neck and the shoulders as well. And this is called a wave roll and this is a nice way to with the movement of your breath start to bring in some gentle yoga. One of the gifts of this movement is it massages the paraspinal muscles and it gives you a little bit deeper inversion. So as you are ready, you will start with the legs extended and you'll press your heels into the wall.

You'll bend the knees as you do and as your hips start coming up, almost like a bridge pose at the wall and then as you exhale, you will slowly roll down one vertebra at a time engaging the stomach muscles slightly to really give a good stretch to the low back and massaging your spine, inhaling as you float up. The heels pressing, the feet well flattened as you get a little bit higher and exhale down. Some people slide their feet down before they start this movement but you don't get as much height with the knees bent as you begin. So remember to start with the legs straight to really get a full, fluid stretch here, nicely massaging the whole length of the spine. There are many yoga poses that massage and release tension just through the movement, through the rhythmic movement and this is one of them.

If you tend to hold a lot of tension in your spine, this can be good. What I'm noticing as a yoga therapist is that a lot of people are gathering tension in their thoracic spine from spending a lot of time at the computer and we lose ourselves when we are so ingrained in what we are doing and then we can get very tight and rounded right behind the heart. So I'm gonna have you now take your arms up and reach for the skies. You are gonna reach straight up towards the sky, yeah as you come up into your bridge. Yeah, so straight up and what this does is it separates the shoulder blades and then as you roll up and down it stretches and massages that area right behind the heart.

There is a saying that the front of the heart is the part of us that meets the world, that greets the world with our heart energy and the back of the heart is the part of us the part of our heart that is connected to ourselves, to self love, to connection. And to feeling into our essence. We want to keep both sides of the heart chakra open and this is a nice way to work out that tightness that can accumulate in the upper back. One more time, rolling yourself up as you inhale, good nice stretch through the arms, good, and as you exhale you can release your arms back down by your sides. And take a comfortable position wherever they feel good.

From here, you can slide your legs down the wall and you'll open your knees into butterflies so you can come first into knees to chest and then just open the legs in butterfly. We are gonna do some self healing here. This is a pose that's great for the hips, its wonderful for women, but also for men because not only is it good for the second shock or the reproductive organs for women, but also very good for the prostate for men. So you'll focus on softening your pelvic floor as you hold this position and feel the breath start to filter all the way down into the pelvic floor, the deepest recess of the lower part of the body. And feel as if the breath is massaging that area.

And letting it soften as you exhale. We are gonna take and focus some energy through palming. Palming in yoga is often done for the eyes which is wonderful and especially if you've been spending time at the computer, but we are gonna start with palming on the body and we are gonna start with that space just below the navel a few inches, Swadhisthana the second chakra. So you'll bring your hands together and you'll rub them vigorously. You want to gather the energy, so again energy follows intention and as we set our intention to gather that energy, you will feel it nice and warm and when your hands feel fully charged, you will take your hands right to your low belly and then bringing that warmth in, drinking it in as a healing or soothing elixir to the body and feel this whole area softening as you hold, as you comfort this region of your body.

We all have energy in our hands that we can share with others and we do every time we hug or touch someone with love, but we can also share it with ourselves and this can be such a good self-healing technique when you need energy or you need to send some healing energy to a place that is injured or not feeling well. Feel that warmth flowing in, feel the organs drinking it in, taking one more breath here. And then we are gonna bring the hands together and recharge them again. This time for the heart chakra Anahata and of course we touch so many with our heart energy is it reaches quite a few feet off the heart, the electromagnetic field of the heart. So at this time now, soothing and nurturing your own heart and feeling into the heart and all that it holds, our place of emotion, a feeling, great joy and sorrow and all that's experienced through the heart.

Feel a compassionate healing energy flowing into the heart with each breath. Feel the body drinking it in right to wherever it is most needed. And feel your heart softening. And taking one more deep drink of the prana, the Chi, the energy right into your own heart and then you'll take your hands together once again. This time we are palming for the third eye.

You'll rub your hands together and as you set your hands down, you can remove your eye pillow at that time. So you don't have to let too much light in but you can just slide the eye pillow off your head and position your hands right over your eyes. This can be done with the eyes open or closed and sometimes people have visions of light as they palm for their eyes. You want that energy from your hands to fill the whole third eye. So up into the forehead, into the pituitary pineal gland, that whole area bathed with your focused energy and intention and breathing it in, fully receiving it.

Bringing some clarity of mind here and you might feel the energy expanding into the face, into the brain, wherever it is needed, it flows. Then you'll take your hands up to your forehead and you'll press down into the third eye. You'll slide your hands apart and down the sides of the head. You'll do this three times just gently, consciously opening the third eye. And when you are done, you can take your eye pillow back over your eyes and you can bring your knees together.

You are gonna place a strap around your mid thighs. So you can wrap it around and then take the edge of the strap, just get it nice and firm around your mid-thighs. One of the gifts of doing this and you'll probably feel the difference between the two variations and the one we started with without the strap is it really helps to create a cranial still point, sacral still point that helps to internally rotate the legs together, so once that's firm you can straighten your legs back up the wall. Good and you want it firm enough so that it is holding the legs in the slight internal rotation and what they've found with the cranial sacral still point is it enhances immune function. It is sort of like pressing the reset button on your computer where you turn it off and you give it a rest and I love that saying where everything needs to be reset or turned off every once in a while to work properly and I think that this offers that for the body.

This time of turning off and resting. Now this can be a nice time to put your blanket back under your head if you'd like it. You can just slide it back under or maybe you need it over you if you feel cool. And you want to make sure it is just the right height. Sometimes the blanket underneath will kind of curl up a little bit.

So you want to make sure it is flat there. Yeah that's great. And then as you are resting here, take a few moments to let your body soften, feeling the effects of the wave rolls and of the palming. You might notice your energy flowing. Flowing a bit more freely now.

And once you find yourself relaxing into the restorative postures, you are welcome to let your deep focus breath go, but if you still feel like there is a lot happening for you mentally or it is hard for you to relax, it can be good to go back to the deep breathing, the deep belly or yogic breath. Letting the legs relax, feeling how the strap is holding you. Feeling the earth holding you. Relaxing down deeper and deeper. You may notice the subtle sensation of circulation flowing softly down through the legs.

This helps to rest and rejuvenate the legs. And feel that circulation softly pooling in the belly nourishing the organs. Feel the kidneys drinking in the energy they need as the circulation flows into the back of the body the kidneys, resting and restoring. Feeling the circulation now, softly flowing into the heart and flowing through the chambers of the heart. As the heart softly fills, you can relax a little bit.

Feel held by that flow of circulation easily flowing into the heart. Doesn't have to work so hard and you feel your heartbeat softening to a gentle, easy cadence. Feel the circulation warm and soothing as it flows up into the shoulders, the chest, the upper back, all of the muscles that work so hard throughout the day, the arms, the hands, bathed in this fresh flow of oxygenated blood. And feeling it flowing up into your face and head. Your brain nourished.

Feeling very quiet and peaceful. And as you are ready, we will take a few deep breaths. And you'll slowly start to bend your knees in towards your chest. And the easiest way to do this is to just slide the strap right up and off of your legs and place it off to the side. Then you'll roll, rock rather and roll from side to side, massaging across the low back.

If it is too close to the wall for you with your feet, you are always welcome to scoot back. And turning the head opposite to the movement of the knees, relaxing the jaw and the throat, shoulders, good. And then you can make your way slowly on to your side, whatever side feels most comfortable to you. You'll take that blanket that's under your head and you'll fold it into a notch and bring it right up under your head and you'll take a little aroma therapy in your hand and you'll give yourself a dose of something that's relaxing can rub your hands together and cup your hands over your nose and if you are not using aroma therapy you can rub your hands together. You can do some massage or place your hands on your body where it feels good.

That breathing here into breathing in that good essence of the earth and then resting for just a few moments here which is always a good idea when you've been inverted. Few moments of being on your side five or so breaths so that your blood pressure balances and it can be a nice time to embrace yourself. And feel the breath now expanding throughout your whole body, as if your whole body is breathing. And then when you are feeling ready, you will take a nice long inhalation, you'll roll forward a little bit. You will pressure your top hand into the floor keeping your head heavy.

You'll slowly make your way up to seated. You'll bring that folded blanket up to the wall and you'll sit on top of it with your back at the wall. So sitting up nice and tall. Leaning the back against your wall you can relax into that support feel the crown of your head floating upward as the hips sink down. And bringing your hands now to your heart honoring the light, the divine within you.



Lovely class. But special thanks for the getting into legs up the wall instruction. Works great!
Hi Kit, It's so nice to hear from you! I know there are many ways to get into the pose, but the variation I used in this video is fairly easy. I'm glad it worked well for you. : ) I hope your teaching is going great! Sending my love...
This was wonderful.
Hi Alice, I'm so glad to hear that you liked the Great Rejuvenator practice! Thank you so much for writing to me. You may enjoy some of the practices I offer on Yoga for Woman's Health Season 1. Wishing you all the best!
Really enjoyed the class and felt revived after the class.
Hi Roslyn, I'm so glad the practice lives up to it's name! Thanks for your note, I so appreciate hearing from you. With best wishes...

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