Relaxation Takes Practice Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Deep Relaxation

25 min - Practice
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Julia, with the help of Jody, shares a nourishing restorative posture to help release deeper layers of tension and drop us into our most relaxed state. Julia's guided meditation invites us to experience conscious relaxation throughout the whole body.
What You'll Need: Eye PIllow (2), Square Bolster (2), Blanket (4), Strap, Block (2)

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Namaste dear yoga friends. Namaste Jody, thank you for your assistance today. I'm going to share with you one of my favorite restorative yoga poses which does involve quite a few props. So you may not have these at home but I just couldn't resist sharing this with you. And I will give you options for things that you might be able to find around the house in order to try to set this one up.

This position, we support the bones in absolutely every possible way so that we can release all tension in the body and allow the nervous system to start to calm down. When the bones are supported the nervous system ends up sending and receiving less messages and the whole being can just start to soften and release some really deeper layers of tension from places that we don't necessarily normally get a chance to release. So if when I bring you out of this position you fee like staying in a little longer please, please, I invite you to do that. To take the rest that your body is calling you into. So we'll start, we'll just, gather the props.

So we're going to begin, maybe if you just scooch back here just for a moment, with two blocks. Now if you don't have blocks, you might be able to come up with some ingenious instead. One option is possibly to get some hardback books and tie a string around them and just create a solid sense of something to will support a bolster. So we're gonna place one flat and one on it's end here. And then we're going to bring a bolster, which could be a pillow case filled with cushions, with blankets, with thick towels, and then just resting that at a 45 degree angle on to the blocks.

I'm just gonna scooch everything up the mat a little bit here. Okay so then other things that would be really nice to have is an eye bag, eye pillow, or maybe a piece of material, or a face cloth, or something like that. I'm just gonna place that over here for now. And a strap is gonna be really useful, not essential, but lovely to have. If you don't have a strap then you might want to find two men's ties and tie them together or long bathrobe belt, something like that.

And we're just going to bring that into a big loop to start with, lie that down by the side so we have it ready to go. And then I'm going to work with four blankets. Again you can use towels, you can use blankets, you can find whatever it is that you have around you. And we're gonna set one up for just cushioning the arms which are gonna come out from the sides of the body. So either side kind of like wings coming out from this deluxe armchair that we're creating.

And then we're going to roll two up. So this is maybe where you use the towel or thick blanket and we're gonna make some, so I just started with the blanket in this sort of a shape and then I'm going to roll it firmly and place it just. You know what, I'm going to make it a little bit thicker so I'm going to roll it this way instead. So we want a little bit of height here on the roll. Thanks Jody are you gonna do that one as well?

Yeah. Beautiful, so just rolling it tightly so it's fairly thick and we're gonna place that towards the front of the mat at an angle with the other one coming in at sort of mirroring it and we're going to have these to support the knees. So with this setup, Jody why don't you go ahead and sit down there. Just placing the sit bones at the bottom of the bolster. Beautiful and then she's brought the feet together and the knees rest wide.

So as we come into this pose, if you have a strap, the way that we'll use it, is to place it, I'll give this to you, you can just place it around your lower back making sure that it's not twisted. It's comfortable, beautiful, and then we're going to bring it and loop it over the feet so that is comes on the front of the ankles and then underneath the feat. So can you just lift your feet up so people can see? Beautiful and then soles of the feet together and then we'll tighten it. So coming over the front of the body here, keep the knee down.

Beautiful and then just pulling it tight. So you adjust it so that it feels like it's holding the body. When you lie down it's gonna feel like it's holding the body but not constricting it. You want to bring the buckle so that it's not resting on the skin because that will start to feel slightly uncomfortable. So let me just move that around a little bit, beautiful.

And even just a little bit more so that the buckle's not on your skin. So just tell me, how does that feel? Does it feel like it's supporting you but not too tight? Yes, it could even be a little bit tighter. Okay, beautiful.

Yeah that's good. Yeah, so I'm going to invite Jody to tune into her body and just notice the little places that could be a little bit more comfortable. So it might mean adjusting the supports of the legs to a slightly different position. How did that feel on your legs? I think it's good actually.

Okay. Move that one in a little bit. And then you wan the arms fully resting on the softness of the blanket. So just lift this arm slightly, beautiful. So every little detail here really makes a difference when you start to relax because if you're really comfortable then the body can really let go.

Just having your eye bag nearby so that when you find that comfort, you can then place the eye bag gently over the eyes. Are you ready to go in Jody? Ready for the eye bag. Beautiful, so very, very gently, just allowing that covering over the eyes as we start to draw the senses inwards. And take a deep inhale, exhale out through the mouth.

So I like to have my palms facing up in this position but everyone is different so you might want to turn your hands down just finding what's right for you. And take a deep breath in down, fill the belly with air and then exhale out through the mouth. Just allowing a sigh to relax you. Allow the feet to soften and relax. Allow the legs to relax.

Allow the hips and the pelvis to relax. And allow the back body to relax down onto the bolster. Feel the shoulders soften back and down, feeling whatever weight or burden you've been carrying on the shoulders just melting off the shoulders. Releasing that with an exhale. And feel the arm bones grow heavy softening down.

Feel the centers of the palms widen and soften, relax. Allow the neck to relax and the head to relax. Drawing the senses inward, we're going to relax the sense organs, allowing the eyes to soften down into their sockets. Letting the inner gaze just fall down toward the lower eyelids. Gently swallow, allow the jaw to relax, the lips to softly part.

Feel the base of the tongue, the root of the tongue relaxing. Allow the inner eyes to soften. Feel the inside of the nostrils softening. Feel the skin around the whole body softening and relaxing. As you breathe in, feel the rib cage expanding, feel the lungs widening, like wings opening.

Feel fresh breath coming into the chest. Breathing in, feel the belly expand, the ribs expand. The upper chest, the lungs expand. Exhale softening the chest, ribs, belly. Inhale feeling the belly, the front and the back expand.

Rib cage expands, upper chest expands. Breathing all the way up to the shoulders. Getting a full deep breath and then exhale soften the chest. Ribs and belly. Just gonna take a couple of centering breaths.

So this will be just an invitation to inhale and exhale through the nose once. So at the end of your next exhale, gently inhale through the nose, smooth, long, even inhale. Exhale long, smooth, exhale through the nose. And then take a few natural breaths just to follow. When your breath feels refreshed, again taking a smooth, long, even inhale through the nose and then a smooth, long exhale through the nose.

And then a few natural breaths to follow. One more round of this, when you feel ready, taking a smooth, long, even inhale through the nose, followed by a smooth, long, even exhale through the nose. And then a few natural breaths to follow. Just allowing yourself to completely let go. Nothing to do.

Just simply being here and allowing yourself to be fully held by the support beneath you. Allowing the weight of the bones to soften down and back. Like layers of an onion, feeling the layers of stress peeling away. Welcoming whatever emotion, whatever feeling, whatever arises, just allowing it to come up and to pass through. (light bell ringing) You may choose to stay here a little longer.

But if you're ready to start to come back, bringing your awareness back on to your breath. And taking a breath down into your feet and your hands. Taking a deep breath in fills the whole body. Exhale out through the mouth. Taking a few breaths like this.

Bringing your awareness back fully to the body. One more deep inhale, exhaling with a sigh. (sighs) Gently just start to wiggle the fingers, and toes. When we've been in these deep states of rest, it's very important to move slowly as we start to come out of the positions. So listening to your body and when it's right for you, you may just want to firstly remove the eye bag.

Placing it to the side or somewhere on the floor and taking a breath in and exhaling. As you feel ready, allowing the eyes to open. And then just taking your time, just slowly, just work yourself up to sitting. Maybe releasing the strap and just coming into a comfortable cross legged position for a moment. Just sitting upright, take a deep inhale, and exhale out through the mouth, relax the belly.

(sighs) Again deep inhale, exhale, relax the belly. Just allowing the spine to straighten, the shoulders to open so the heart blossoms open. Just for one moment, just resting in the effects of the posture. Beautiful, gently bring the hands together in front of the heart. Namaste, blessings on your journey.

Thank you Jody.

Comments

5 people like this.
So sweet and peaceful. Amusing note: Ruby, my year-and-a-half dog, decided to use me as her bolster, and rest her head on my chest. A delightful, peaceful, 25 pound blanket. Made me smile. Thank you, Julia.
1 person likes this.
thank you Julia - lovely to start a winter weekend feeling warm and relaxed! You put me to sleep with your soothing guiding.
M.A.
1 person likes this.
That was so lovely. Ahhhhh...

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