Postnatal Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 9

Too Tired to Stretch

30 min - Practice


As a mom, sleep deprivation and exhaustion are real. This Restorative practice is designed for days when you feel too tired to move but want to feel better fast. These gentle poses will help you melt into spaciousness in the hips, psoas, and pelvis, calm the Nervous System, and leave you feeling rested, supported, and refreshed.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Square Bolster, Blanket

About This Video


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Welcome back. This is a restorative yoga practice for when you're too tired to stretch, which might feel like all of the time. Sleep deprivation and exhaustion are so intense and so real. And so my hope is that this practice will offer some deep relaxation and ease for your nervous system. So it might be nice to have a bolster, a blanket, a chair, or a sofa situation nearby. Let's begin with a blanket. We'll open the blanket up like this and then just create a nice long roll. We'll find this roll again later in our practice. You can bring it down here and then bring your bolster towards the top of your mat and then your sacrum up against the bolster. Bring the soles of the feet together, knees wide, and then bring your blanket on top of your feet and just tuck it underneath your knees, like creating a little nest for your pelvis and your hips. And then slowly come on down. And you might even have an extra blanket under your head for support if that feels good. Allow yourself to wiggle a little bit. You might lift your pelvis up, lengthen down for the lower back and the tail bone. Wiggle the shoulder blades down the back and let the palms turn open. And if this does not feel totally awesome and delicious, make some adjustments so that it feels really good and really supportive for you right now. I'm just allowing the body to soften and release towards the support, and allowing the support to hold you. You might allow for a nice full, deliberate exhale out of the mouth. And what would it feel like to let go just a little bit? As moms we hold and literally carry so much, giving yourself this time and space and permission to relax, restore rest is really essential to our well-being and our ability to care for others. And as you soften the gaze inward, let's begin to notice the quality of the breath. Notice where you can soften through the body and the back of the eyes, the jaw, shoulders. Notice the quality of the breath moving through the nostrils, perhaps a sense of movement in the belly, noticing how the breath changes the shape of the body moment to moment. You might keep your arms where they are, you might explore reaching the arms overhead. If it feels good in your shoulders, you might reach for the elbows, really allowing the weight of the legs and the knees to fall into the support of the blanket. Feeling that sweet spaciousness through the pelvis and the hips that have worked so hard during pregnancy and birthing.

Just about another minute or so here and allowing the weight of the body and the bones to drop. Feeling the support beneath you, draw your awareness towards the breath. You are welcome to stay here for as long as you are able. When you feel ready to transition, drawing your knees towards each other, go ahead and bring your blanket out in front of you, bringing the blanket over to the right side. We are going to just roll off the bolster onto the right side. It would be nice to bring that bolster between the knee and the ankles, right between the shins. Resting, you might have a blanket underneath your head and that blanket that was in front of you, it might feel nice to just tuck it. So your top arm can rest there. Releasing into a side lying rest pose for about a minute or so. I find the shape is very calming and soothing on the nervous system. If you find resting on your left side feels better for your body and your shoulder, rest there. And taking your time, when you're ready to transition, just keep the weight of your head heavy and use the support of your arms to slowly press yourself up. You can bring your blanket off to the side. We're going to transition onto our back and bring the bolster underneath the hips, which I think feels pretty pretty good. So find your bridge, lift the hips, and then slide the bolster underneath the pelvis, up around the lower back and the kidneys. It'll depend on on the bolster you have. Nice. And then draw the right knee into your chest, extend the left leg long, coming into an apanasana, softening around the top of that right hip. You'll be feeling a nice stretch down through the left thigh and into the psoas and hip flexor. You might open the right hip and knee out to the side, supporting it with your right hand.

Coming back into center and then switch. Draw the left knee and extend through the right leg, feeling the space around the left hip. If it feels good, you might open the leg, the hip out to the left, supporting it with the left hand, and then back to center. Draw both knees into the chest and then bring the hands behind the back of the legs, between the inner legs, and then extend out through your right leg and circle out through your ankles. So we're coming into this sweet variation of happy baby, getting a nice stretch through the inner leg line and the hamstrings, inner groin, hip, and then draw the right knee and extend through your left leg and circle out through your left ankle a few times. Draw the knee in, the leg in, and then extend up for the right and the left. And as you kick the legs from side to side, it might feel nice to rock, feeling that nice massage around the sacrum, the glute area, increasing the blood and circulation through the legs and the pelvis. And then ground the soles of the feet, find the shape of bridge, and we'll lift up and down a few times, spreading the toes, press through the feet, and then lift the hips, lengthen, and lower down on the bolster. Just a few times to kind of reset the pelvis and stabilize. Press through the feet and lift up and lower down. If you'd like to reach your arms overhead as you do this, it might feel good. Pressing through the feet, lift the pelvis, lengthen, and then slowly lower down. Nice. Next time you press through the feet, lift the pelvis up, bring your hands to your bolster and push your bolster all the way down towards your heels. Shimmy, shimmy, shimmy. Release the low back and the pelvis towards the floor, and as you shimmy the bolster down, bring the soles of the feet on the bolster, knees wide. So now we're in an elevated butterfly or Baddha Konasana shape here. The hands might rest on the belly. Again letting the back of the eyes soften, the jaw soften. Hands might stay on the belly or you might stretch your arms overhead, and it might feel nice to let your neck and head move a little bit side to side. Nice. As you're ready to transition, support the knees with the hands, draw the knees in towards the chest. We'll roll to our side, use the arms to slowly press up. And from here let's go ahead and transition into a forward spinal twist. So you can bring your bolster out in front of you, and then we'll sit in like a side saddle position. So the sole, the right foot towards the left inner thigh, and that left foot back behind you. And then we'll work with that long roll in the blanket or towel. And I find this is really nice. It creates some support for the chest so that the breast can rest on either side, especially if you have tenderness in the breast or you're nursing. This can be a really nice way to prevent clogged ducts from happening, in my experience. Okay, so as you're ready, inhale, lengthen your spine, and then exhale, twist towards the bolster. And feel how you can lengthen, and then slowly extend the chest, the front of the spine, and then release the right ear towards the support. So you're facing towards the legs, and making any adjustments so it feels good. You can keep the legs where they are. You could also choose to stack the knees a little closer or on top of each other. I'm going to have the palms facing down or up. As you inhale, breathing towards the back body, back of the lungs, kidneys, low back. And as you exhale, softening towards the support, allowing yourself to rest here, receiving the support beneath you.

I find as a new mom, it can be so impossible and difficult to nap during the day, even if there's a little bit of space. And so, having a restorative practice to kind of melt into letting the mind and the body and the nervous system relax, can feel, can feel really, really supportive. You are welcome to stay here longer. When you feel ready, bring the palms underneath you. Keep the weight of the head heavy and just slowly press yourself up. And take a moment to pause. Then we'll just lean back and swing the legs over to the left. Organize, stacking the feet, the legs as you like. Bringing the bolster parallel to the front leg.

Inhale, lengthen, and then exhale, twisting towards the support, walking the hands forward so that the blanket is resting between the breasts. You might turn the head towards the right, so the left ear is resting. As you inhale, breathe into the back body, filling up the back of the lungs, nourishing the kidneys and the low back. And with your exhale, softening and sinking into the support. So, last few moments here.

And giving yourself permission to stay a bit longer. Sliding the palms underneath you and slowly unwinding. From here, you might scoot up against a couch, sofa, or bring your chair in. We're going to find a nice supported inversion with the legs up, which feels amazing. For me it does. And it might feel nice to play with bringing that bolster back underneath your pelvis for this. So, I'm going to bring that off to the side. Bring the legs up and you might have a blanket under your head for support if that feels good.

So, setting that up or a pillow. Bringing the chair so that the back of the knees are resting on the chair, blankets under the head. If you're working with the bolster, you can lift your pelvis up and slide it underneath. Ah, how does that feel? And just allowing the legs to fall away from each other. Getting that bolster just right so it feels supportive. Softening the shoulders down and letting the palms turn open.

Allow for an inhale. A nice, smooth, clearing exhale. Letting go. And receiving the support beneath you. And receiving the support all around you.

Notice what you choose to do with your hands. Notice the quality of the breath moving through the nostrils. For the last few precious minutes together in this shape, see if you can allow the mind to settle and rest. Really in the wisdom of the body. And as you find the thoughts swirling around the mind, gently draw your awareness back to the breath.

Inviting us back into this moment. The sweet, precious moment of being. Thank you. And become aware of the lungs, receiving the breath, the life force, the prana, and releasing it, softening, letting go. You have the time and space, you might stay here and rest longer than when you feel like it's time to transition back into the flow of life.

Slowly let your hips lift, if you have the bolster there, slide it out, just so gently roll to your side, pause, curl up, linger. You stay as relaxed as you can be as you slowly press yourself up and taking just a few moments to sit together, finding your seat, your center, your breath. Staying within. Might feel good to bring one hand to the belly, one hand to the heart. Gently drawing and lifting the base of the skull back and up, feeling the length through the back of the neck.

As you exhale, softening the face, the jaw, the heart, the belly. Thank you so much for being here. Have a beautiful day.


Sandra Židan
Thanks, Alana, for this great and calming practice! It is ideal to do it on hot summer day when you want to relax and enjoy. Namaste! 💝❤️💖
2 people like this.
I am about 6 years "postnatal" but this class was still absolutely delicious!  Thank you Alana.
Jenny S
2 people like this.
Just the perfect remedy for a sizzling hot summer day here in New England…practiced indoors in a cool room, my body and mind quickly relaxed and chilled out ✌️This practice and the whole season of this show are such a gift!  And, for the postnatal women out there, your use of the blanket roll on the bolster for the forward facing twist is genius 🙌 .  Thank you for being you, Alana ❤️🙏🏻
Alana Mitnick
Sandra Židan I'm so glad you enjoyed this calming restorative practice on a hot summer day. What a lovely way to relax and nourish yourself from within. Thank you for joining me! Namaste, Alana 
Alana Mitnick
Wonderful Summer! So delighted to hear from you. No matter where you're at postpartum, as a Mom, self care is essential! Love,  Alana 
Alana Mitnick
Jenny S Thank you for sharing for your loving presence (in this space). I am so grateful to be in this together. Sending love to you, Jenny! xoA
Lina S
1 person likes this.
A very calming and reassuring practice. Nice idea to use the bolster with the chair.
Alana Mitnick
Lina S Thank you for joining me in this restorative practice. I am so happy to hear that it was a calming and reassuring experience. I love the bolster and chair too! Wishing you all the best. Love, Alana 

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