Let's Feel Better Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 15

Relaxed and Rested

10 min - Practice


Lara shares a short practice of gentle, fluid movement and breathwwork she uses to feel better. We move slowly through simple shapes to find space in the hips, legs, and side body, and rest in restorative poses.
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster

About This Video

Sep 15, 2023
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Welcome to lets feel better. In my personal practice, these are some things I do to feel better, and it's a mixture of dental movement, restorative postures, getting into the hips, and also mindful slowing down of the breathing. So let's go ahead and get started. Get your bolster. Take it to the back of your mat.

I'll sit your hips down just a little bit in front of the bolster. And start to roll down so that the bolster is supporting the length of the spine, supporting the back of the head and neck, go ahead and open out your arms towards the sides any degree that feels good. We'll have our knees bent up feet planted. Walk your feet out wider than the hips perhaps about as wide as your mat. And then let your knees rest in together while feeling the legs rest heavy against each other, and letting the bolster support the opening of the chest the heart space, letting your arms, your shoulders relax around the edges of the bolster.

Feel free to let your eyes relax close. And here, I'll guide you through a breath practice, and we'll work on slowing down the exhale part of the breath specifically. So I'll count out the beats of the breath, and we'll follow this pattern of breathing, inhaling for a count of 3, pausing, holding the breath in for another count of 3, and then slowing down the exhale for a count of 6. And we'll start here just emptying out the breath completely, breathe all the air out of your lungs. Go ahead and seal up your lips.

Together through the nose. Inhale 2, 3. Hold the breath in. 2, 3. Through the nose, slow exhale, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Inhale, 2, 3, Hold the breath in. 2, 3, exhale. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Inhale 2, 3. Hold the breath in 2, 3.

Exhale 2, 3, 4. 5, 6. And let that pattern of breath go come back to your natural breath. And notice any effects of slowing the breath down. I'm gonna start to bring your feet, your knees back to about hip distance apart and gently roll off of your bolster.

You can use your hands, your arms, to brace you as you press yourself up. Just take a moment. You can move your bolster off to the side, off your mat, or behind your mat. And we'll come back towards the front of our space. Facing forward, coming into a tabletop, coming onto your hands and knees onto all fours.

Just setting up your wrists underneath the shoulders with the fingers spreading wide, knees, and feet are about hip distance apart. And one movement that feels really good to me, and my body is to take circles with the body circles with the hips. So from here, just starting to lean your chest forward, being your shoulders forward beyond your and take a big circle with the body over towards the right, draw your hips back towards the heels, and then over towards the left. Make this slow fluid movement through the body. And you can take this at your own pace.

Might be quicker, might be a really slow, and feel the stretch into the joints, into the body, into the outer hips. As you find this circular flow. And the next time that your chest makes its way forward, start to seamlessly switch the directions of the circles, go in the opposite way. Again, just feeling into this fluid movement. You can even close your eyes here and just feel the fluid movement in the body without the distraction of the visual world going inward and seeing how it feels.

And then start to make your way back through stillness, back through center, through all fours, coming back to that stable place. You'll walk your hands just a couple inches forward of the shoulders. Tuck your toes, lift the hips up and back to a downward facing dog. And then you can do any movements that you need to get cozy in your down dog. You can pedal your feet out here, bending your knees in one at a time, walking it out. You can lift and lower your heels and down dog.

We won't be here too long. Just any movements you need, and then find your stillness. Just for a couple of breaths. And then take as many steps as you need to walk your feet forward up to the top of your mat coming up to a forward fold. Rise up halfway, lengthening the crown of the head forward, and then exhale and fold back in.

And keep your feet about hip distance apart, or even a little wider is welcome. Take a generous bend in your knees so you feel you feel ease as your upper body hangs over the thighs. And hold on to your elbows with your hands. Let the back of the head and neck relax and just feel the upper body heavy over the front of the legs. And you're welcome to stay right here in stillness.

It feels good to me to gently sway you side to side. And taking the eyes closed is really nice here as well. I'm gonna switch the crossing in the forums, place the other form on front. You can continue to find that gentle swing movement, or you can just stay still, or maybe you'd like to bob back and forth a little bit just staying loose through the head, neck and shoulders in this fold. And release your fingertips back down towards the ground back into your fold.

Take another deep breath in through the nose. Through the mouse, let it go. So from your forward fold, keep your right foot forward take a big step back with your left foot. All the way towards the back of your mat, gently lower your back left knee down to the floor. I'm gonna rise up to a low crescent so you have your arms all the way up alongside your ears.

And as you reach your arms up, feel the link through the body, opening through the front of the left hip flexor. It'll take your right hand around your left wrist, fighting that grip around the wrist, and pull up and over towards the right side, just feeling that side stretch over towards the right. Feeling that long stretchy, the entire side of the body, expanding the space between the ribs, being that stretch into the front of the left hip flexor. Release the wrist, come all the way back up through center, and bring your hands back down around your right foot. You can tuck your back toes.

If you're back me up, take a big step forward, pack up to the top of your space, come back to your forward fold, melting in. Rise up halfway, lengthening the spine, fold with your exhale melting back down. And we'll come into that lunge other side So keeping your left foot forward now take a big step back with your right foot. Lower it down gently to the floor. If your arms are chest up to your little crescent opposite side, sweeping your arms up, gentle pressing of the hips forward.

Still keeping your core contained, your lower belly contained, feeling the stretch up, and then take your left hand onto the right wrist, find that grip. Reach up and over towards the left side. And breathe here. As you release the risk, come back up through center, bring your hands back down around to frame the front left foot. Tuck your back toes.

Lift your back right knee up. We'll take another step forward to the top of your space coming back tier forward fold at the front. From your forward fold, just take another little half lift, driving crown of the head forward, lengthening in the spine forward. Exhale folding back in. Use your hands to help you as you come down to seated.

Sit towards the middle of your mat. You wanna find your bolster again. And now we'll place it behind the knees. So slide it underneath the knees so you have that little lift and support. For the knees. You can use your hands to help you as you roll all the way down the spine onto your back.

And coming on to your back, let your arms open up, opening up through the chest, the shoulders. Feel free to let your eyes relax close here. Not little support underneath the knees can often help to release any tension in the low back. Let yourself melt the back side of the body all the way down towards the center of the earth, relaxing into the shape fully feeling supported. We'll take one more full breath here at big inhale through the nose.

Through the mouth, say it out, let it go. No where else to go? Nothing else to do. Allow yourself to enjoy and rest into this space. If you'd like to stay here longer, I welcome you to do that and really enjoy take it in. Feel that luxurious rest.

If you're ready to come up out of your practice, start by reaching your arms all the way back and feel a nice, long stretch from end to end. Gently roll off to the side and slowly press yourself up to your meditation seat. Take your time using your hands, your arms to support you coming all the way up. Bring your palms to touch in front of the heart, and thank yourself for taking this short time for you. We'll close our practice with one full breath in through the nose, sigh it out through the mouth, let it go.

I thank you for sharing your practice. I hope you feel better.


Sandra Židan
Thank you very much, Lara, for this beautiful short practice! Namaste! ❤️
Lara E
1 person likes this.
Sandra Židan So glad you enjoyed! Sometimes we need just a little bit of yoga and it makes a big difference :)
Glenford N
Thank you Lara. I did this practice to wind down after  a busy stressful day and it worked to make me feel better. Namaste.
Vedra R
This was just right! I have recently been doing your practices and I have enjoyed each and every one of them. Thank you so much for this sweet practice!

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