The Sun and Moon Show Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 7

Cooling and Restorative

15 min - Practice
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Alana guides us through a calming restorative sequence to nourish and replenish our energy. With the support of props, this practice is designed to promote deep rest and relaxation, and to simply cool us down when things get hot. You will feel refreshed, like a cool flowing stream.
What You'll Need: Chair, Square Bolster, Blanket (2)

About This Video

Jun 21, 2015
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Happy summer solstice. So I'd love to share a cooling, simple practice that can be done any time of year. I find myself doing it in the warmer months. It's a nourishing, restorative practice. So I have with me a chair, two blankets, and a bolster. You can also explore variation of this with your legs up the wall if you don't have a chair, and you don't necessarily need a bolster for this. So I'll demonstrate coming into it. So there's different ways to approach this. I'm going to start by bringing my right sit bone onto the bolster and coming on to my right side. There's different creative ways to do this. I find this most effective, and then I'll bring my knees in and just swing my legs up. So it's a bit of a tuck, duck, and roll move. And then take your time, bring the bolster if you have one underneath your sacrum, and then if you have a blanket under your head you might adjust the blanket so that it feels comfortable. You might prefer a slight roll under your neck or just a simple fold, and then bringing your legs up the chair. And it's quite nice to have a blanket there patting the back of the knees. Now once you feel settled, the arms might rest along your sides, or you might prefer to have your hands resting somewhere on the body, on the belly, and beginning to let the back of the body soften and rest towards the support, into the support. And we'll begin with just some simple breath awareness, beginning to observe the sensation of the breath in the body, noticing the movement, the rhythm of the breath. And with each breath allowing the body to receive the support beneath it, so allowing the knees to the legs to rest in the chair, feeling the support beneath the sacrum, and allowing the head to fully release. You might soften a bit more between the shoulder blades and the jaw, allowing your eyes to soften, and just simply resting here. So I find this tends to be a cooling posture with the head below the heart, the hips, the sacrum supported, the legs supported. It can be similar to like a waterfall shape, resting here in the cooling waters of your breath, just simply receiving the breath and allowing it to release. And if it feels good, you might allow for a sigh on the exhale, and continuing to soften any layers of tension holding or gripping.

And so I find this posture changes with time, so you might continue to stay here, rest, and drop a bit deeper. If and when you feel ready to transition, slowly bring your hands onto the bolster if you have one, and from here moving gently carefully towards a bada konasana supported over the bolster. So from here I'm going to wiggle, wiggle, wiggle coming up on my mat. Once you wiggle off the bolster or away from your chair, bring the soles of the feet together, knees wide, and a supported bada konasana or butterfly. And I noticed for me I like to press my, the soles of my feet together a little bit, lift the hips, draw the tail bone under, reset the lower back, and the hands might rest here comfortably on the belly, softening the jaw. And what I like to do is bring my hands to the base of the skull, around the head, and gently with the hands tractioning a bit, so drawing the chin towards the heart, lifting the head, and then with the thumbs here gently lengthening the cervical spine, the neck, and then releasing the head down. Again the hands might rest on the belly, might feel good to reach the arms overhead, and lengthening from the tailbone all the way up through the spine, breathing into the ribs and down towards the belly, letting the knees fall into the support of the bolster, again if you have one. You might stay here with the arms or bring the hands around the elbows, which can feel nice, and then lengthening out of the sides, and keeping the back, the neck long, and resting here. And you might explore breathing into the belly and down towards the pelvic floor and the hips, and then eventually you might release the arms along your sides, hands might rest on the belly, keeping the eyes soft, more moments here. And you're welcome and invited to stay in this shape as long as you like. When you feel ready to transition, taking your time here, and gently guiding the knees towards each other, the feet might rest on the bolster, on the floor, and if it would feel good, hug the knees into the chest. From here you might hug the knees in, you might curl up for a moment if it feels inviting and correct, and then rolling to your side, and as you leisurely come onto your side, pause, rest, and savor the effects, keep the eyes soft, and then as you're ready, pressing your hands into the earth to slowly come up with your head last. Just taking a moment to sit together in a seat, and taking a moment to observe and notice how you feel, and savoring this quality as the hands join at the heart, namaste. Thank you for your practice.


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