Asana Studies Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 2

Constructive Rest

15 min - Practice


Designed to undo all that binds us, Heidi guides our awareness towards the magnificent simplicity of what is. All you need is a place to lie down where you will not be distracted. You will feel a quiet depth within your being.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Sep 12, 2015
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(water flowing) Hi, and welcome. We're going to do a practice today called constructive rest, and it's a practice that I use very often. It's a practice really about not practicing, about undoing and starting as simply as we possibly can, which in this case will be laying down on our backs and kind of thinking or imaging. So let's do it. Find a comfortable place to lay down where you won't be distracted by children, husbands, pets, et cetera.

Lie on your back and walk your feet just a little wider than hip distance apart, and let the legs fall in toward each other. So, you're using as little muscular activity to hold the legs up. And then you can choose one of three arm positions for this. You can either lay with the arms out in shavasana. You could bend your elbows and place your hands on your body, or you could take the arms up and fold them across your chest.

So whatever arm position you find the easiest. You don't wanna be thinking about holding your arms up at all. So figure that out. And take a breath in. And exhale, close your eyes.

And even though I already said take a breath in, let's make it simpler and think not of breath, but of air. Let the air outside of your body comes into your body, and then it releases out. So no theory, no technique, about breath, just air moving in, and air moving out. Notice the feeling of your eyes and your cheeks. And feeling around the ears, which might include your jaw.

Notice the feeling of your neck. Your chest. Your arms. Your wrists and your hands. Notice the feeling through your abdomen and then to your hips and to your legs.

And notice the feeling in your feet. The air moving in and out of your body right now where you are. Imagine that the skin is fabric and this fabric is draping over your bones. And there's a weight to this fabric, a drape. What is the feeling of the skin of the face and the neck and the arms?

Through the torso and through the legs, including the buttocks, including your back. And does the whole drape of the skin have the same feeling? Or do some parts of your skin feel different from other parts? Really just exploring and noticing. No need to change.

No alterations needed in this fabric that is your skin. Imagine that you could hear your own heartbeat. Does anything shift through your ears as you listen for your own heartbeat? Does anything shift in your head or your face or your brain? Has anything shifted with your breathing?

Where do you notice the movement of the air through your nostrils? How does it touch your nostrils, the back of your throat? Can you sense its texture, its temperature, its direction? This air we call breathing, how does it touch your lungs? How do your lungs respond to it?

It's interesting to me that we talk about breathing into places in yoga, but right now just sense the movement of air moving into your body and out of your body. Observe your body's response. No judgement. You can stay here as long as you like. If you're ready to move, move your toes a little bit, and your fingers, and your ankles, and your wrists.

Just feel the movement of your extremities. And then let whichever arm that just seems right, let one arm move over head and roll to that side. So you can use your arm for a little pillow. And then be mindful that you're not just jumping into your future. Allow your skin to drape over your bones.

Notice the movement of air in and out of your lungs. And use the hand that's available to you to press down onto the floor. Let your head drag. So you're really using the floor to help you come to sit. You can keep your eyes closed.

Take a few moments here because it's quite a radical shift, horizontal to vertical. The brain might want to move into this more kind of get up and go vibrational state, but see if you can bring the gift of that horizontal state into your verticality. Air moving in and out. Skin draping. Namaste.



Judy S
1 person likes this.
I love your classes Heidi.
David G-
Very relaxing. I tried it a week ago, but the common cold reared its ugly head and ruined the constructive rest. 

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