Namaste and welcome back. We're glad that you've joined us today for a short practice to help support adrenal health and function. The adrenals can get overwrought because of excessive stress and tension, pushing our bodies, and they work too hard, and we can get something called adrenal fatigue. So, this is a great practice to help restore your energy. And, when you don't have a lot of time, which we often don't, when we are experiencing adrenal fatigue.
We often have lots to do and lots of things to take care of, you might not have the time to do a longer practice. So, in a short amount of time, I think you'll feel a lot better. So, my assistant today is Diane, and Diane is going to be showing the poses to you. The props you'll need for the practice today are three blankets, an eye pillow, and aromatherapy, and a chair. So, bring your chair to the edge of your yoga mat and you'll take one blanket to sit upon, and that's going to be far enough away from the chair, we're gonna be doing half butterfly here, so, far enough that you can extend your legs and bring your head and your arms on to the top of the chair.
And we're gonna add a blanket to the top of the chair to bring a little more height to stretch the back. And, lastly, we're going to be placing the eye pillow over the hands to support the forehead, which can be very nice and calming to the mind. So, you'll come to sit on your blanket, and you'll bring your legs under the chair. And you'll take your right leg straight and your left knee in towards, your left knee out towards the outside of your mat. And, I find, for some people, it just feels a lot better to have a roll under that left leg, so you can just roll it up nice and tight, and bring it in to the outer left leg.
And then take a moment to reach back and pull the flesh back and a way from your suspensus, helps to give you a little more forward rotation movement in the rotation. You can take your hands as you start to the top of the chair and as you inhale, take a nice, lengthening breath, lifting the chest. And, as you exhale, hinging at your hips, stacking your arms, elbows about shoulder width, and you'll bring your eye pillow right on top of your hands, and just let your forehead rest. So, if you're not close enough, you can always move forward, or you can bring the chair back a little bit if you need to. See what feels the best to you as you come into the pose.
So, some people really need a lot of space to be able to come further forward. Some of you may not need a chair at all, and you're welcome to take the pose without the chair if you'd like, and it's very beneficial. The reason I like the chair here, is, not only does it help to lengthen out of the low back, and you can even press down through the arms a little bit to get some space along the spine. But, it also is calming to the nervous system as we have some pressure on the forehead. So, in Chinese medicine, the space between the brows, which is often pressed with acupressure pressure, thumbs on this area, it's called the calmness spirit point.
And, so, it's a great place for pressure when you want to quiet your mind. So, coming into this time of stillness, of restoring your energy, you can take a few deep breaths. And, little by little, relaxing forward over the extended right leg and feeling the support of the chair holding you that you can relax into that support. And breathing deeply and feeling the areas that are stretching, and begin to breathe into those areas. Breathing, a breath of relaxation, of ease into any tight areas.
And this can be a nice time to also just take your breath into your back, and breathing into the kidneys, breathing into the adrenal glands, and, when we use our imagination to focus breath into certain areas, it's not that you're actually breathing into that area, but wherever you focus on, it takes energy flow into that area. So, just imagining the breath is carrying energy, prana, into a nourishing the kidneys and adrenals. Because we sit a lot, the backs of the legs can be tight, so, this can be a nice way to open up the whole leg and stretch those muscles, the hamstrings, the back of the knee. Forward bends are also cooling, calming poses, so they can be nice during menopause as a way to support cooling the body, calming the nervous system. Making sure that your shoulders are relaxed.
Feeling the breath flowing in and flowing out. Growing more relaxed with each breath. I find it's nice, just before you release, to take a few breaths with the head moving towards the big toe, so, you just keep your hands resting but you slide your shoulders a little bit towards that right leg. So, it's as if you're moving your heart towards your big toe, and giving a little more open stretch through that left side of the body. The hips are anchoring down, the shoulders are relaxed.
Just breathing here for a few breaths. So, with your elbows on the blanket, what's nice is it just slides, you can just slide and face your heart towards your right foot. And then taking another deep breath. And, when you're ready, can slowly come up, pressing your hands down, and, as you come up, you'll draw your left knee in towards your chest. You can leave that there.
And, sitting nice and tall, so, pausing for a moment here as you pull your knee into your chest to lengthen and to feel the effects of the pose before we change sides. And then you can slowly straighten your left leg out. You can sweep your blanket towards the right side of your hip to prepare for the other side, and, then drawing the right knee into position. So, the foot can go wherever it feels most comfortable for you. And then, if you feel like you've sunk back a little bit through the sit sponge, you can always pull the flesh back a little bit before you take the next side, and then you'll place your hands on top of the chair.
You'll take a moment to press down and lengthen upward, just a nice deep breath here. And, as you exhale, you'll come forward with your elbows clasped and just resting your head on your hands of your forearms. And find what feels good for you, you know, we've got the arms about shoulder width apart here, the forehead resting on the eye pillow, but, you know, there's lots of different ways to do it. I even sometimes let my arms come down if my shoulders are tight, or, you know, the nice thing about feeling into your body each time you step on the mat, is you can fine tune your practice and adjust and modify as you need to for what feels good for you. So, as you're resting here, begin to focus your breath into the back of your body and just letting it nourish all that you're breathing into your back muscles and your kidneys and adrenal glands, nourished by the breath.
The breath washing through the back. And feel the shoulders letting go of any congestion or tension as they soften towards the earth. And allowing the third eye and the space between the brows to soften and relax, letting go of any held tension there. And then, as you hold the pose, feel a deepening, a quieting, a stillness, that nourishes your energy, your body. Quieting the mind.
Both in the yin yoga practice and in restorative poses, we hold the poses for longer so that we can reap greater benefits, stretching the connective tissue, and getting energy flowing through the meridians, and opening up tight areas. Lean here for a few more minutes, just letting go, into the stretch. Let everything soften. Relaxing into the support of the chair. Feel a nice lengthening though the extended leg.
And, before you release, keeping your hands and your arms as they are, you're just gonna slide a little bit to the left now. Sliding a little bit to the left, and bringing your heart towards your left toes. Good. And then feel the stretch through the right side. And lengthening, good, and anchoring down through the hips and taking just a few breaths here. And this gives just a little different stretch as you change position.
And then, as you're ready, we'll take a nice, deep inhalation and, as you exhale, you can come up. And, just take a moment, drawing your right knee in towards your chest to see, notice how you feel, and I'm going to move the chair so that you can see this next pose with more ease, but you can just leave your chair where it is. And, taking another breath, just lifting up nice and tall through the heart, softening the shoulders and feeling the calming effect of half butterfly and forward fold. And then, as you're ready, you can extend both legs for a moment, and I like to just stretch down through the legs, maybe separate the feet and circle the legs a few times, ankles, big circles, and go the other direction. Good.
And then, when you're done, you can just come off your mat for a moment. And, we're just gonna open the blanket that you're sitting on, or you're gonna open that blanket up, and put it lengthwise on your mat. Good. You're gonna take an additional blanket and place it also lengthwise on the mat, and you wanna kind of gage where the legs will be. Your shoulders are gonna be off here.
I think, actually going this way. And this is gonna go directly under your shoulder blades. So, before you go back, I just wanna take a moment to clarify, for a lot of people, where that is, is if you bring your hands to the center of the heart and down along the sides, that's where you want the top edge of the blanket as it goes into position behind you. So, for a lot of women it's the bra strap line. And I like to feel the lines of my blanket and see which one has a little more of a soft edge to it.
And the head and the shoulders will be here, so you want a little bit of this blanket in position for your head and shoulders to be soft, and then you'll sit on top and you'll extend your legs. You may notice I placed a blanket here. If you have a soft cushion chair, you might not need that. But, specially with the hard chairs, adding the blanket is great. And then you'll bring your feet right into position so the backs of the knees are gonna rest.
That's it, on the edge of the blanket, and scoot forward just a little bit. Good. And then, as you're ready to come back, you're gonna keep your hands in place, tuck your chin towards your chest and slowly come back. Good. Lean back all the way, so that your head's on the floor. And you can take a moment to bring your hands to your heart and slide the hands down along the sides of the chest, and that's where the top edge of the blanket should be.
Good. So, it's right about center to the breast bone and down. Good. Now, from here, you can put your eye pillow over your eyes, coming into this gentle variation of waterfall that is so nice for opening up the heart a little bit, bringing blood flow to the heart from the legs. So, this is great for, not only the immune system, but the endocrine system.
And then, little bit of activation for the thyroid here as well. Inverting the body is a great way to rejuvenate our energy. We're up on our feet a lot throughout the day, so this is a good practice to do when you come home from work and you've been on your feet, or you've been sitting a lot, releasing your back, opening the chest, and rejuvenating. So, take this time to find just the right position for your arms and hands. Feel the support of the chair underneath your legs, and relaxing into that support.
And you can always place a blanket over you if you need it. Feeling the sensation of the circulation flowing down through the legs, pooling in the belly, and gently flowing towards the heart. Feel the heart resting and moving to a gentle, easy cadence as it's nourished by the circulation flowing into the heart. And then feel that circulation gently flowing into the chest and down through the arms. And everywhere it touches, there's a softening that happens.
The inner body softening and becoming receptive. Feel the circulation gently flowing up into the throat and into the neck, and feeling your face. Feel the sensation of the blood flow in your face, feel the warmth, feel your skin softening. And feel your eyes floating in their sockets. The muscles relaxed and receptive.
And feel that circulation flowing up into the brain. Washing through you, and creating a feeling of ease, as if you're floating. Ease and calm. Taking a few deep breaths. And preparing to release from the pose.
So, there's two ways to come out of this pose. The more effortful way would be to put your feet on the chair and come through bridge and pull the blanket out from under you. But, we're gonna do the gentle way today, especially when you're dealing with adrenal fatigue, being gentle with yourself and choosing the easy way is a good choice. So, you can take a few deep breaths, and, when you're ready, you'll put your feet on the edge of the chair, and then, remembering that you're up on the blanket, you're gonna slowly roll onto your side. Just using whatever side feels the best to you.
And you can take your upper arm up to support your head as you come over and onto your side. And then, once you come onto your side, you can either lift up a little bit, pull the blanket out in front of you, the one that's been behind you. Or when you come up, you can kind of come up and bring it around. But, we're going to just, I'll just place it, but you can find what works for you at home. And then, when you're ready, you're just gonna roll onto your back.
So, we're gonna come through a gentle twist here. So, you'll draw your knees in towards your chest. And a little blanket under your head can be nice, or even a small roll. So, if you feel like you'd like it flat you can keep it flat, or you can make a little bit of a roll if you like. And then, taking a nice, deep inhalation here, with the knees pulled into the chest, and then, as you exhale, you'll take your arms out to the sides.
Now, if your eye pillow's nearby, you may wanna put it over your eyes. And then, taking a nice, deep inhalation as you exhale, right hand to the outside of your left knee. You can move into a spinal twist. As you take your knees to the floor, out to the right side of your yoga mat, you're gonna sweep your left arm overhead. And, as your left arm goes overhead, this'll create a little deeper stretch here.
Now, we're gonna start with a traction for the hip. So, the right hand will slide up to the top of the right thigh, and then you'll push down to create a nice lengthening stretch here, through the left side of the body. And the left arm can just relax. You can just let the elbow bend a little bit if you like. I like to let the elbow bend overhead.
And your left shoulder may come off the floor. That's okay, but think about just relaxing this side, this left side of your body down towards the floor. And then, taking your right hand to the outside of your left knee, and drawing the knee down, just a little bit towards the earth. Straight towards the earth and feel the deepening of the twist. So, this is the supported, or gentle, reclining variation of the twist.
I like the arm over overhead, and then I saw a beautiful piece of sculpture from the Jane tradition, of a female yogini with her body in this exact position, and I thought, oh, this is a beautiful way to do the twist. Celebrating the feminine and the female body here. Breathing deeply into the shape that you're in, enjoying the twist. Twists can be nice poses to do towards the end of your practice, too, before you move into your deep relaxation. And, wind the back after a back bend, but, they're also great for the adrenals.
So, twisting is really, really, really good for adrenal glands. And then, when you're ready, you'll take a deep breath in, you'll sweep your left arm back out to the side, and you'll press your right hand down into the floor and you'll come back up, and then you'll change sides. So, inhaling, just in a natural way, as you come back to center. And then arms out to the sides and exhaling to the other side. And keeping your knees up quite high as you relax, sweeping your right arm up overhead.
And we'll begin with a gentle traction through the top of the thigh, drawing the thigh down with the strength of your left hand positioned into the top of the thigh, and just feel that stretch through that right side. Breathing deeply. Noticing how the side of your body feels. Enjoying your practice. All these beautiful shapes that we take, and the benefits that they bring to us.
And then sliding your hand down into the top of your knee, and going into a little deeper twist, if you like, drawing the knee towards the earth, or into the position that feels the best to you. Taking a few more breaths here. And feel that right shoulder relaxing down. Sometimes I like to visualize parts of my body growing roots and rooting towards the earth, and this can be a nice visualization. Do that right shoulder.
And then, when you're ready, you can take a deep breath, you can sweep your right arm out to the right side, and press your left hand down as you bring your knees back to center. And holding your knees into your chest for a moment, feel free to rock a little bit from side to side. That can feel quite nice here. Massaging across your sacrum. And the sacrum houses many nerves, so, it can be great to rock yourself, you know, give yourself a little massage across that area gently.
And this can be done as slow or as fast as feels good to you. Slow is soft and quite nice, very relaxing. As you come back to center, you'll stretch your legs up and over the chair support. Now, again, feel free to move a little bit up or back just to find that perfect position for you. And feel free to take the blanket roll and maybe create a little bit of a roll under your neck.
I think that can be quite nice for the, for this final relaxation variation. And then, using your aromatherapy now if you like, and for adrenal fatigue, anything that helps with mental fatigue, like rosemary is good, balsam fir, lemon, and then, if you're going to sleep, lavender, things that are more calming, so, feel free to give yourself a drop of oil, rub your hands together, cup your hands over your nose and take a few deep breaths and feel the effects of the aromatherapy. It has a positive effect on our energy, and there are certain oils for specific things. So, especially good for menopausers, a lot of wonderful oils that you can use at this time to help support you in your journey, and, also, for the exhaustion that often comes with not sleeping well and having a very busy life with much to do. Now, if you don't have oil, you can always rub your hands together and do some palming if you like, or take a few moments to massage any area that feels tight.
Shoulders, the belly, these can all be wonderful places to bring touch and energy to, and I think it's quite nice, too, to bring your hands to the solar plexus, and this is Manipura Chakra. This is the area that nourishes the chi to the kidneys, and the adrenals. And feel free to rest with your hands here, or to let your arms rest out to your sides so that the palm's turned up. And you can use another blanket over you if you feel cool, or, if you feel warm, you can rest without the blanket. So, taking a few moments to just nestle into this restful, final pose of your sequence.
And feeling a beautiful golden light, a pure energy pouring down into your solar plexus. And, like liquid honey filled with light and energy, feel this softly expanding into your solar plexus and filling your organs with this pure energy. It's supporting your rejuvenation. Filling your kidneys with pure light. Your adrenals floating in this energy.
And feel this light growing brighter and stronger and beginning to pour and expand into other areas of the body. There are places that feel tired, places that need energy, you can visualize it expanding into these places. Welcoming it in on a cellular level. And feel as if you're floating in light, floating in pure energy. Just the right vibration for your body to renew and restore you on all levels.
Floating peacefully in the light. Very gently now, and very slowly begin to deepen your breath. You can start to gently turn your head from side to side, a little bit of movement, feeling the massage across the base of the skull. You can wiggle your fingers and your toes, and then gently draw your knees in towards your chest. Feel free to take your eye pillow off as you transition onto your side.
And you may wanna fold your blanket just another notch under your head. Just make sure that your head isn't sinking, that it's sort of level with your neck and your upper spine. And then take a moment to wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a loving embrace. Just reflect on the gift that you've give to yourself, this time for you and your practice to come back and fill the well. Just as you would plug in your cell phone to recharge it, to recharge yourself so that you can return to life and to those that you care for with renewed energy.
And then, when you feel ready, you can slowly make your way up, take your time, and you're welcome to sit in your chair if you'd like to for the meditation, or to sit on your blanket or bolster. And, taking a moment to sit nice and tall, feel the crown of the head floating upward. Roll the shoulders a few times, forward, up, back, and down. And, bringing the hands to the heart. And, together we'll close practice by chanting the sacred sound of om.
Inhale. Om. Gently open your eyes. Namaste.
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