This is one to leave you feeling SOOOO nurtured and is another favourite of mine!
This pose is a lifesaver during times when I feel:
+ Emotionally fragile and tender
+ During my moon cycle
In no time at all I have quickly dropped back into myself and feel soothed and nurtured.
What are the Benefits?
+ By triggering the ‘relaxation response’ it deeply soothes the nervous system.
+ It provides support, comfort and nurturing during stressful times.
+ It elongates the lower back and sacrum; and opens the hips and inner thighs.
+ It can calm a busy and scattered mind.
+ It allows one to more easily turn the focus inwards.
+ It invites the breath to explore the back of the body.
+ As a grounding pose it can help calm anxiety.
+ It supports digestion by allowing the abdominal organs to soften.
How to practise?
+ Come to kneeling on the mat with the buttocks resting on the heels.
Now take the knees apart - not to wide - and keep the big toes touching.
+ Bring your bolster (or stacked pillows/blankets) in between the thighs and close to the groin. Make the stack quite high to start. You can adjust the height later if you need to.
+ Bring the hands to the floor on either side of your support, breath in and expand into the chest.
As you exhale gently lower the torso onto the support, keeping the front of the body long. The buttocks should ideally stay connected to the heels and the whole torso will be resting over the bolster.
+ Adjust the height as necessary. You don’t want it to be so high you are missing the forward bending aspect of the pose, but equally you don’t want to be straining to get to your support.
+ Let the palms rest on the floor face down and allow the elbows to bend slightly away from the support to release the shoulders.
+ Rest the head to one side and stay for as longs as feels comfortable, making sure to be kind on the neck and turn the head the other way half way through.
+ Whilst in the pose focus on surrendering into the support and letting go of tension as you bring awareness to the breath. Let the breath explore the back of the lungs, ribs and heart space, lower back and sacrum.
+ To release, gently push through the hands and mindfully bring the torso upright.
+ If the buttocks won’t rest comfortably on the heels (it’s floating in the air), then place some support in between (a folded blanket is good).
+ If turning the neck to the side is uncomfortable, place an extra blanket, folded towel or pillow at the top of your bolster - the forehead can be placed here to keep the neck in line with the spine.
+ If the ankle is tight, place a rolled towel between the floor and the top of each ankle.
+ Like in the picture above, some extra weight over the sacrum can help release the lower back - and it feels SOOOO good! I use a sandbag, but an extra blanket also works well.
+ Some knees just won’t like this pose - no matter how many adaptions you try. Pain is an indicator that something is NOT right, so please honour the message and come out of the pose straight away.
I do hope you enjoy this delicious and nourishing pose.
Let me know how you go!