Yoga for 2: Prenatal and Postnatal Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 10

Rest and De-stress

25 min - Practice
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Maria shares a relaxing and restorative practice to help release tension and invite a sense of calm and ease into the body, allowing you to take some much needed time to rest and de-stress.
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Blanket (2), Block (2)


Read Full Transcript

Welcome. Today's sequence is a very short and gentle sequence designed to help you rest, relax, de-stress. It's kind of, I've created the sequence with the intention that it's like a meditation for moms. So a lot of times we're really working hard. We're with the baby. We need to take time for ourselves, but we don't have the energy to do a really intense practice. So this is more of a restorative practice that you can take a good 15 minutes to just take some time to yourself, move, breathe, and most importantly, relax. So we're just going to start in child's pose on our knees. You may want to put a blanket under your knees if it's uncomfortable. Really want to just be comfortable here and just set the forehead down to the floor and the arms alongside the body and just breathe. Relax your shoulders, breathe into your upper back, your middle back, your lower back.

And if this doesn't feel comfortable, grab a blanket or two blankets and you'll set it behind your knees. And just taking a moment to clear your mind, focus your mind to the sound of your breath. Just observe where you're holding tension and let it go. And just quieting the mind. If you're finding yourself thinking of all the things you have to do, do this shell fit for now.

You will get it done or you won't. So what's most important is that you take the time to just relax and nourish yourself. And if you use the blanket, you're just going to set it to the side for now. We'll stretch the arms out in front. Still staying in a child's pose, hands are shoulder distance apart.

Just let the ears be in line with the upper arm. Start to widen the breath into the shoulder blades and into the top of the chest. Press the roots of the fingers down so the heels of the hands are light. Maybe walk the hands a little further forward so you can get some length in your side bodies. Let the breath be a little deeper, a little stronger. Deep inhales and exhales through the nose and then we'll lift the hips up.

Curl the toes under. Take this into a downward facing dog. Press the tops of the thighs back, the heels down. Push the floor away from you as you lengthen the side bodies, reaching the arms out of your waist. You can grow really long through the torso. A few deep breaths in and out through the nose here. Really focusing the mind on the breath.

Extending the inhales and the exhales nice and long. And then looking forward and we'll walk the feet to the hands. Inhale, look up and lengthen. And exhale, fold. And inhale, come all the way up to the top, reaching the arms up overhead.

And exhale, standing tall, arms down alongside the body. We'll just take some half sun salutes. Roll the shoulders down the back, lift the chest up. And start to find your ujjayi breathing. Inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Letting the entire rib cage expand in all directions evenly.

And inhale, arms reach. Exhale, hinge at the hips and fold. Inhale, look up and lengthen. Hands can come to the shins. Exhale and fold again. Inhale, come all the way up to the top.

And exhale, arms down alongside the body. Inhale, arms reach. Exhale and fold. Inhale, lengthen halfway up. Exhale, fold again.

Inhale, come all the way up to the top. And exhale, arms down. One last time. Inhale. Exhale, fold. Moving with the breath. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, fold.

Inhale, all the way up. And exhale, arms down alongside the body. We're just going to open up to the side, taking your feet about one legs distance apart. Hands to your waist. On an inhalation roll the shoulders down the back, lift the chest up. And exhale, hinge at the hips and fold. Release your hands down shoulder distance apart.

You can bend your knees here or you can also place your hands on blocks. With an inhalation, look up, lengthen the spine, and with an exhalation just fold, walking the hands back between the feet. If the head reaches the floor, you'll just lean the weight a little bit more so that it's balanced between the feet and the head. Just finding your breath, deep breathing in and out through the nose. Inhale, look up, lengthen, straighten the arms. Exhale, walk your hands so that they're underneath your shoulders. A couple options for this next twist. You can either stay here or stay here, bringing your hands to midline and right hand to your low back sacrum area, and we're going to twist to the right. It's okay if your hips slant a little here. I'm going to open the right shoulder up. It's been a long time since you twisted, most likely.

We don't twist a lot during pregnancy, so starting to open that up slowly is good. Good. Another option is to bend your right knee, walk your hands over to the right. So now the left hip will drop a bit, bring the right hand to your sacrum, and twist here. This is really nice on the low back. It helps you maximize the twist through the middle and upper back. And you can raise your right arm up to the ceiling if you'd like. Pull the shoulders back, open the chest, and then take a few more deep breaths here. And then we'll release that. Walk the hands back to center. So your choice, either twisting here, placing the right hand down underneath the heart, left hand at your sacrum, low back. Start to lift the left shoulder up to the ceiling, open the chest up to the left. Maybe raise the left arm, or the other option is to walk the hands over to your left, bend your left knee, push down into your right hand, and then same thing, open the chest up.

And just let the right hip drop down. It's fine. Just find the sense that you're trying to bring a little bit of a backbend into your upper back, opening the front body, opening the chest. And then we'll release, walk the hands back to center, walk the hands back to center, and then to the front of the mat. And then let's step back to downward facing dog, and come down to your knees. And we'll set up for a nice gentle reclined twist. So we'll take our bolster, and then you'll layer your blankets on top of the bolster, you'll need two of them, most likely. So you'll take your right hip right against the bolster and blankets, and you'll make like a 90 degree angle with your right leg, and then your left knee will go straight back, and that leg will be bent as well. Take one hand on either side of the bolster, and you're just going to lay your body over the bolster, and turn your head either direction, either to the left, or if you have a little bit more twist and it feels okay for your neck, you'll turn to the right. I'm going to turn mine to the left just to be gentle. And then once you're in this shape, you'll just relax and breathe. This is it. This is a really great posture for low back pain as well.

So just closing the eyes, settling in. We'll be here for about three minutes. And again, if you find once you sit still, that your mind is flooded with a list of things to do, just let it go. Whatever is important will get done. Whatever isn't important will fade away. So I'll just move the hands back, gently press yourself up. We'll change sides. To change sides, all you have to do is spin around, bring your left hip up against the bolster and blankets. On the right leg back, make any adjustments you need to. One hand on either side, and then you get to turn your head in either direction. So see what feels best for you today. And this should feel good and very, very comfortable. If it doesn't, just adjust. Adjust your knees, heighten the bolster or lower it down. You can make a pillow for underneath your head.



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