Meet Me In Restorative Warrior Pose
This is where I am at this morning. I often find myself scrolling through posts on various social media sites of admirable yogis doing various handstands, backbends, forearm stands and what not. I am not that yogi. I tried to force myself into that box for years. But I am not there this morning. I am not at that point really any morning. I am deciding to honor my exhaustion, FINALLY.
I am a vata person by nature; ethereal, airy, FATIGUED. Combine those two elements with family; it's a whole new level of tired. I've been at pre-child level of tired, so I know what that feels like. College, athletics, jobs, partying too hard, up late with sick pets that are rightly so considered children, but this level of fatigue; unless on this level is impossible to understand. There's no judgement. Millions of people don't have children, and I honor that. But just like I cannot understand what it feels like to be invigorated by drop backs, handstands, and acro yoga; being a mother and the exhaustion that follows cannot be understood by all. No worries.
If you are on this level of fatigue then godspeed. Let's be here in restorative warrior pose this morning, together. Because this is an ok place to be. Honoring exhaustion. Not trying to force into any pose or situation of any kind. The need for more support, rest, and restoration is justified. Cutting out on the oppression for perfection for the time being.
Before coming to the floor, align your breath with the moment. Sit in a chair or propped on a bolster on the floor, legs crossed, and let your eyes soften or close. Tune into the sounds in your environment. Acknowledge them and as with your thoughts, catch them in a ball of white light and watch them float away.
Begin to align your inhale with the sound 'So'. Saying this to yourself, not out loud. Follow with saying to yourself on the exhale 'Hum'. Both of these sounds, or mantra, meaning "I am that". No separation between you, the divine, and the elements within and without. These sounds are meant to connect the mind and body, gently.
Take 10 rounds (inhales/exhales) of the 'SoHum' sound, and then come into your restorative pose.
Restorative Warrior Pose
-1 block, 1 bolster, 1 blanket
1) Prop your head on a folded blanket or towel until your neck and head feel in line with the rest of your vertebral column.
2) Lie on your right side and place make a right angle, as you would in warrior one or two, with your left leg. Prop a bolster underneath the 'lunged' leg.
3) Reach the extended leg back energetically as you would in standing. Feel the weight of this part of your body comfortably supported by the earth.
3) Extend both arms in line with each other, propping the palm on a block. Feel your shoulders comfortably reach away from your ears.
4) Remain in this pose as long as it serves you before switching to the other side.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up A Wall)
-1 blanket, optional: sandbag for bottom of feet/chest/low belly
1) Begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall. Your lower back should rest against the bolster, if you’re using one.
2) Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. If you are using a bolster, shift your lower back onto the bolster before bringing your legs up the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shift your weight.Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.Shift your weight from side-to-side and scoot your buttocks close to the wall. Let your arms rest open at your sides, palms facing up.
3)If you’re using a bolster, your lower back should now be fully supported by it.Let the heads of your thigh bones (the part of the bone that connects in the hip socket) release and relax, dropping toward the back of your pelvis. OPTIONAL: place sand bag on top of flexed feet, on the low belly, or over your chest.
4) Soften or close your eyes. Remain in pose 5-10 minutes, staying with the 'SoHum' sounds.
5) To release, slowly push yourself away from the wall and slide your legs down to the right side. Use your hands to help press yourself back up into a seated position.
Cautions with any inversions:
Women who are menstruating should consult with their teacher before practicing inversions, such as Viparita Karani. Do not practice this pose if you have glaucoma or other eye problems, or a serious back or neck injury. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.