Pose of the Month June:
Relax and gently energize yourself.
After the hip-poses, I feel, it’s time to return to the upperback/chest/heart area. Gently opening and wholly supported. Allowing for a bit of quiet during this more vibrant time. It’s easy to tend towards being a bit too busy (or at least I know I am). And to bring balance back, it’s always a good idea to practice restorative yoga. Your nervous system can calm down and your body can go into healing mode, so that afterwards you have a newer you to work with.
However, even though mountain brook is restorative, it is also an energizing shape to be in, because of the opening of the front of the body.
How to practice
Either use one or 2 folded blankets (3 times folded short sides to each other, ending with folding the long side to each other). Place them on your mat and lie on them in such a way that the area behind the breastbone feels supported (the middle line of the blanket will be around the bottom of your shoulderblades). Determine which height gives you a very gentle opening sensation and feels comfortable and supported for you today. If 1 blanket feels like it is too much, add blankets around the folded blanket, to raise the level of the floor. Place a bolster below the knees, so they can be bent and therefore help to relax the area around the pelvis. Make sure the feet are wider then hip width apart. Notice the effect of widening the feet on the loweback-sacrum area. Then, to finish, use another blanket to make a small roll that fully supports (not increases) the curve of the neck, without the head tilting backwards.
This is also a perfect pose to work with eyepillows. You can place them in you hands, to help you relax. Place one on your breastbone and/or lower belly to help you bring your awareness and breath to those areas. And you can place one on your eyes or forehead. Cover yourself with a blanket for extra warmth if that suits you today.
Be comfortable and enjoy!
When you’ve set yourself up in mountain brook pose and found the heights that are comfortable for you, bring your attention back to your breath and the sensations in your body. Notice the weight of the eyepillows if you’re using them and allow the body beneath to soften and release into the floor.
Enter the state of not-doing.
Just being with the movement of the breath and for whatever comes up. Notice that it is forever changing. Allowing the mind to wonder off, but bringing the attention back to the breath whenever you realise your mind has gotten caught up in a story. Be in the pose for 10-20 minutes, observing.
When it is time to come out of the pose, gently roll to your side, remove the blankets and come lie flat on the floor for a couple of breaths. Notice the change and the effect on the breath and the body. Whenever you’re ready, roll to the side and support yourself when you bring yourself up. Continue with your day.
If you enjoy these kinds of practices, check out my online self-guided journeys. I’ve recorded The Art of Not-Doing restorative packs for you. With these packs you can chose which 20 min restorative practice you want to practice. It also included separate audios with a different guidance once you’re in the pose, to vary the practice.
You can find them here in the shop.