Official Show Notes & Yoga Poses featured in the Pachamama Yoga Podcast – Freedom for the Hips Restorative Yoga Class Pilot Episode #1
Update: (The pilot episode has been removed from the Podbean RSS feed- so check out our latest episode release for Restorative Yoga!)
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Freedom for the Hips
This Restorative Yoga Class features hip opening yoga poses that help to stretch the low back and open the hips. This is an all-levels class, so whether this is your first time doing yoga or you are a devout practitioner, my yoga classes cater to everyone.
It is always recommended to have a variety of yoga props nearby to assist you in your restorative yoga practice. I suggest to have a yoga strap, yoga blocks, wool blanket, yoga bolster or body pillows to give your body support in many of the restorative yoga poses presented in this podcast. If you do not have access to any of the yoga props recommended, I offer instructions to gain full expression of the yoga poses, without the aid of yoga props.
Most people sit for a considerable duration of time every day. Whether they sit at work, in their car, or at home around a dinner table or living room couch- as a society we sit all to often! No wonder so many people have chronic hip and low back pain.
If you are a visual person and benefit from seeing images of the yoga poses in addition to the verbal cueing featured in the podcast episode, feel free to enjoy the visual journey of this episode. Cheers!
Adho Mukha Savasana (Advasana)
Reverse Corpse Pose
Pose Type: Inversion
Description: Start by lying face-down on the mat. The important part of this pose is to get into a comfortable position, so don’t be afraid to use props like bolsters and pillows under the pelvis and chest to lift up off the floor slightly and decrease points that may be bothered lying face down. The head can be turned to either side, or if the chest is lifted, it can stay in a neutral position. The arms lay comfortably beside the body while the back and lower body muscles soften. This pose can be practiced in place of or in addition to savasana as a place of rest.
Benefits: This pose relieves pressure on the discs in the spine and can bring space into the lumbar spine when the chest is supported by pillows or bolsters. If practiced with the head in a neutral position, this pose can help alleviate a stiff or tense neck muscles. By lying face-down while breathing, it forces air into the back parts of the lungs therefore increasing their capacity.
Happy Baby Pose
Pose Type: Hip Opener
Description: From a supine position, lying on your back, bring the knees into the chest. Now, clasp the outer edges of your feet with your hands. Let your knees open to slightly wider than the hips. Your elbows will be placed on the inside edge of the knees and shins- while the hands clasp the outer edge of the foot. Go ahead and ensure that your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle, with your heels in alignment with the knees. Using little effort, the hands grip the outer edge of the flexed feet and push the knees down, coaxing the thighs in toward the torso, lengthening the spine, releasing the tail bone towards the earth. Extend the base of the skull away from the back of the neck. Allow your shoulders and head to relax, closing the eyes and bringing the dristi inward. If it is not easy to hold the feet with the hands, you can hold each foot with a yoga strap that’s looped around the arches of the feet. Some practitioners prefer to hook the big toes with the index and middle fingers of each hand. Also, if you have limited flexibility, it’s acceptable to hold the inside of the foot instead of the outside.
Benefits: Happy Baby pose increases vitality and releases neck strain and tightness. This pose helps lengthen and realign the spine as well as strengthens the arms and shoulders. Well known to relieve stress, anxiety and fatigue. Ananada Balasana opens both the hips and the chest, making this a great pose for the Root and Heart Chakra. Cautions for this pose include herniations to the cervical spine and all pregnant women should take caution performing this pose.
Adho Mukha Swastikasana
Downward Facing Cross Legged Pose
Pose Type: Forward Bend
Description: Start in a seated, cross legged position. Ensure the body is properly supported and seated on the sit bones, with a cushion, blanket or folded yoga mat underneath the bottom. While seated, lean over the selected prop in front of the body, keeping the sit bones and hips on the floor, and the head and neck relaxed. Allow the hands to rest at the sides of the body or fold the arms in front of the body on the supportive prop.
Benefits: Offers a gentle stretch to the hips and low back while using supportive props. Relieves back and neck strain while stretching the hip flexors. Considered by many to be a pose that offers stress & anger reduction, which is also beneficial to those experiencing mood swings. In addition, it helps improve blood circulation and alleviate premenstrual stress symptoms. Some yogis also find that it eliminates headaches and symptoms of nausea, vomiting and morning sickness.
Half Frog Pose
Pose Type: Back Bend / Hip Opener
Description: Lie face down on the stomach, bringing your arms forward in front of the body and rest your head on your hands or forearms. Now bring your right knee up to the level of the hips. For those of you who need extra support in this pose, place a yoga bolster or pillow underneath the upper body to lay upon. This will take a bit of pressure off of the low back and allow you to relax deeper into the pose.
Benefits: Ardha Mandukasana is known for its deep stretching and opening benefits for the body. It is considered beneficial when recovering from illnesses, such as the flu, because it improves whole body circulation by opening and stretching into the hips. On a holistic level, it is said to be good for releasing emotional stress which accumulates in the hips, particularly during times of worry or fear. However, it is advised that Half Frog Pose be taken gently because the intensity of the hip opening releasing trapped emotions can leave one feeling vulnerable. On an energetic level, this pose is said to help spark creativity and allow access to your innate potential, cultivating an attitude of playfulness and curiosity in the face of difficulty.
Ardha Jathara Parivartanasana
Half Revolved Belly Pose
Pose Type: Twist
Description: Lying on your back, draw the knees up to your chest. Extend your arms out in the shape of a “T” at shoulder level with palms face down. Lower your knees to the right, rotating your hips in the same direction. Be sure to keep your shoulders pinned to the floor. If you’re having trouble keeping your legs grounded without lifting your left shoulder, place your right hand on your outer left knee and apply a gentle downward pressure to your legs. Turn your head toward the left or keep neutral. Here are a few options to use the support of yoga props. You can place a yoga block in between the knees to ensure your lumbar spine is in proper alignment. If your left shoulder is popping up and you are having trouble keeping it pinned down to the floor, place a small pillow or folded towel under the shoulder so that you can relax into the twist.
Benefits: Half Revolved Belly pose realigns, lengthens and relaxes the spine. This posture provides and amazing stretch to the spine, shoulders and hips. Known to relieve and reduce back pain, often used for back injury rehabilitation. In addition to its physical benefits, it reduces stress, fatigue and anxiety and energizes the body and mind. This pose is also believed to open and balance the anahata (heart) chakra, which is associated with compassion, kindness and love. By balancing the anahata through Ardha Jathara Parivartanasana, the yogi or yogini opens their heart to receive, as well as give love. Opening this chakra also creates a feeling of abundance and promotes empathy, forgiveness and trust.
Fire Log Pose
Pose Type: Hip Opener
Description: From a simple cross-legged position, the shins are stacked on top of one another by placing the left ankle on top of the right knee, then sliding the right foot forward until it is underneath the left knee. Be sure that both shins are parallel to the front edge of the mat. With a flat back, the upper body folds forward to deepen the stretch. This is repeated on the second side for balance.
Benefits: Opens the hips. Strengthens the back muscles by elongating the spine. Improves alignment of the spine; thereby improving posture. Calming and centering pose that improves concentration and facilitates meditation. Ameliorates stress and anxiety.
Half Splits / Half Monkey Pose
Pose Type: Hip Opener
Description: Begin in a low lunge on the left side, with the left knee forward and bent at a 90 degree angle. From this position, the right knee releases down to the ground. Now, walk the hands back until they are even with the hips. Next, shift the hips back as you straighten your left leg. Ensure your left toes pointing to the sky. The upper body then folds forward over the left thigh. Keep your arms to the side of your body for stability. While maintaining a flat spine, you can drop the head to enjoy a stretch for the back of the neck. Those with limited flexibility may rest their hands on their hips or on blocks placed on either side of the front leg.
Benefits: Half Splits pose is particularly beneficial for runners as it improves flexibility in the back of the legs, particularly in the hamstrings, and opens the hips. The pose is believed to relieve sciatica pain, improve overall balance, encourage spinal alignment and stretches the lower back. Ardha Hanumansana stimulates the abdominal organs, while reducing stress and fatigue.
Legs up the Wall Pose
Pose Type: Inversion
Description: Sit on the edge of the mat with your right or left side against the wall, then swinging your legs up and around toward the wall, rotating your body so that you are laying on your back. Your legs should be fully extended, heels against the wall. Ideally, your hamstrings should be as close to the wall as possible. Relax your arms and hands at your sides, with palms facing up. Place a bolster, block or blanket under hips / low back area.
Benefits: Alleviates swelling of feet and legs. Relieves mild back pain. Can relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress and mild depression. Known to relieve symptoms of insomnia, migraines and menstrual cramps. May ease arthritis and respiratory disorders. Lightly stretches hamstrings, calves, and neck.
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Micah Lyn is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner HHP, Intuitive Healer and E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Teacher registered with Yoga Alliance and KRI. She offers a variety of private yoga classes in Sedona AZ, yoga therapy and intuitive healing services at Pachamama Yoga ✨ Sedona Healing Center. Visit the YTT Programs & Workshops page to see upcoming Online & Hands-on Intensive Yoga Teacher Training, Virtual Online Yoga Workshops & Transformational Yoga Retreats featured worldwide.
- E-RYT 500 Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
- YACEP Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider
- ASHTANGA YOGA
- HATHA YOGA
- KUNDALINI YOGA
- POWER VINYASA (Baptiste)
- RESTORATIVE YOGA
- IYENGAR YOGA
- CHAKRA YOGA
- YIN YOGA