#SavasanaSeptember

#SavasanaSeptember

Savasana for 20 minutes. Every day. For 1 month.

If I suggested that you put your lengthy to-do list to one side and lie down for twenty minutes right now, what would your response be?

This September marks 5 years since I embarked on my #365Savasana Project (which I wrote about at the time for OM Yoga Magazine)
when every day for 1 year I practised Savasana for 20 minutes – a slightly crazy idea which turned out to be transformative!

So this September I am going to be practising Savasana every day for 20 minutes. I’d love you to join me!

• Get comfortable using as many cushion and blankets as you need;
• Set a timer;
• Ideally cover your eyes with a soft scarf or eye pillow (as light can be an irritant);
• If your mind wanders (which is completely normal) guide your awareness to the steady rise and fall of your breath.
• Try not to judge how you are doing. Practise allowing yourself to Be.

(I think I can hear you shouting that you are too busy from here! But if you’re feeling frazzled or generally rushed off your feet it may be just what you need.)
Savasana (or Corpse Pose), lying down in a comfortable position (usually) on your back, is often described as the easiest pose to do but the most difficult to master. Lying still for twenty minutes a day may seem unimaginable. But you can start small with just a minute or two and work your way up.
A restorative Savsasna allows your body to properly rest – something we rarely experience in our day-to-day over-stimulated existence. More than a little nap, Savasana helps to shift the nervous system into the parasympathetic state (calming the ‘fight flight’ response and switching on the relaxation response)
Just some of the benefits of Savasana include:
• Promoting proper physical rest and regeneration by stimulating the ‘relaxation response’
• Improved sleep quality
• Calming a busy mind
• Lowering blood pressure

Over the course of September I’ll be sharing some tips and different Savasana variations on my Instagram account (@ucanyoga1). If you do choose to join me I would love to hear how you are finding the experience by using the #SavasanaSeptember hashtag.

Yin Yoga: Square Pose

Yin Yoga: Square Pose

 

 

{WATCH} Yin YogaSquare Pose.

In this short video, filmed at Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington, I show you a couple of propping options to try when practising Square Pose. In this deep hip opening pose, typically, a sensation of intensity / deep stretch is felt around the hips, glutes and lower back, all of which may be accentuated by folding the upper body forward while you are here.

Depending on the tightness of your hips, the size and shape of your femoral heads (the top of the femur/thigh bone) this deep hip opener can seem a bit daunting. (It may be more challenging if you are naturally more internally rotated, meaning that poses Virasana or Saddle might come more easily to you).

If there is any sign of discomfort or pain in the knees do not practise this pose – try Easy Crossed Legs (as shown at the end of this video) as an alternative.

The Liver, Kidney and Gall Bladder meridians are stimulated here. Folding forward in Square Pose can stimulate the Urinary Bladder meridian too.

Find more short yoga videos on my YouTube channel here.

Yin Yoga: Dragonfly Pose

Yin Yoga: Dragonfly Pose

{WATCH} In this short video filmed at Embody Wellness I show you a few propping options and suggestions for Dragonfly pose.

Yin yoga provides us with the opportunity to let go of striving so bear in mind that we are not striving for an end goal of uber-flexibility. Instead, aim for the variation of the pose that is most comfortable for you and allows you to stay here happily. This is where props can be especially helpful.

If sitting upright in the pose is difficult you could try this version at the wall – {WATCH} Wall Yin: Dragonfly.

Dragonfly can provide a pleasing stretch along the back side of the body and stimulates the Liver, Kidney, Urinary Bladder and Spleen meridians.

While you are in this pose you may feel an intensity or sense of a deep stretch in the hamstrings in particular. NB – Intensity is okay but pain is not.

Aim to be here for 1-3 minutes if you are a beginner or 3-5 minutes if you are more experienced.

Dragonfly is one of the poses we regularly practise in my Flow & Release class here at Embody on Sundays 6-7.15pm. Find more details at http://embodywellness.co.uk/

NB – Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, speak to your doctor before practising yoga.

Supported Bridge into Supported Shoulderstand

Supported Bridge into Supported Shoulderstand


This is one of the restorative poses we regularly practice during the second half of SLOW FLOW YOGA – Mondays 6.30-7.30pm reCentre Health in Balham.

In this short video filmed at reCentre I show you how to do this restorative inversion with the aid of a bolster and a yoga belt. Here, the sacrum (directly below the lumbar spine) is supported by a bolster (or you can use cushions or a sturdy yoga block if you don’t have access to a bolster). Just a few of the benefits of Supported Bridge Pose can include:

– Helps to relieve stress and low moods
– Helps to calm the nervous system (activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is in charge of the body’s ‘rest and digest’ activities)
– Can help to reduce fatigue
– Stretches the spine from the shoulders all the way to the tailbone
– Can help to relieve lower back pain
– Stretches and opens the chest

Start by sitting on the bolster and place a looped belt around your lower legs. With knees bent and soles of both feet on the floor, place your hands on the floor behind you, lift your hips and slide them forward so that you can rest your sacrum (the flat bony place just below your lower back curve) onto the bolster. Then using your hands ease yourself back onto the floor so that you are in a Supported Bridge position. Allow your arms and hands to rest where they feel most comfortable – you may wish to rest arms by your side, or rest hands on your lower abdomen or reach arms back to the floor behind you as I am doing in this video.

To transition into Supported Shoulderstand, lift your feet into the air. This can be a nice alternative to Legs Up the Wall if you do not have access to wall space.

Rest here for up to five minutes or for as long as you feel comfortable.

Fancy practising this is class? Join us for Slow Flow Yoga – Mondays 6.30-7.30pm at reCentre Health, Balham.