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Reduce Back Pain
This Restorative Yoga Class features yoga poses that work deep into the connective tissue where we store past trauma, negative emotions and hold onto the past. This is an all-levels class, so whether this is your first time doing yoga or you are a devout practitioner, this yoga class caters 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 large 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.
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!
Eka Pada Uttana Padasana
Single Leg Lift Pose
Pose Type: Inversion
Seated Forward Fold
Pose Type: Forward Bend
Description: Bring yourself into a seated position, with your legs extended out, hip width apart. Sitting on a folded blanket is optional, and perhaps may be beneficial if you have tight hamstrings. Place a yoga bolster or pillow on the thighs, as you will use this to support the upper body when you fold over the legs. Before we jump into the pose, let’s be sure to create proper alignment first. Extend your legs, pushing out through your heels, keeping all the muscles throughout both legs active with feet flexed. Grow the crown of your head towards the ceiling, elongating the spine. Now, lift your arms into the air, palms facing inwards. Be sure to drop your shoulders down and away from the ears, creating space in the neck. Lean forward, bending at the hip joints like a hinge, being sure to keep your back as straight as possible all the way from your tailbone through the crown of your head. If you need more support in this pose, you can stack more pillows or bolster under the torso or head so that you can relax into this pose.
Benefits: Seated Forward Fold has a wide range of physical benefits. As well as stretching the hamstrings and low back, it provides gentle decompression for the lumbar spine, which means that it alleviates pressure on the discs of the low back. Also known to stimulate the liver, kidneys and digestive systems. This posture provides acute relief of menstrual cramps or symptoms of menopause. It is also considered therapeutic for conditions such as high blood pressure, insomnia, sinusitis and infertility. This pose may help reduce anxiety, stress, fatigue and mild depression. It is important to work with the breath to go deeper into Paschimottanasana. On every inhalation the spine should be lengthened further, and every exhalation should allow for deeper release into the stretch.
Supta Jathara Parivartanasana
Reclined Spinal Twist
Pose Type: Twist
Description: Lie on your back and begin in Corpse Pose with your legs extended out on the mat. Extend your arms out at shoulder height to the shape of a “T” with your palms facing down. Draw your right knee in toward the chest. Next, cross your right knee over to the left side of the body, creating a spinal twist. Be sure to keep your shoulders pinned to the floor as you bring the inside of your right leg and knee to the floor. If you’re having trouble keeping your legs grounded without lifting your shoulders- use props for support. You can feel free to place a yoga bolster or block under the right knee or thigh. If your right shoulder is popping up off the floor, place a small folded towel or prop under the shoulder for support. You may turn your head to right or keep neutral.
Benefits: Also called supta jathara parivartanasana, this pose is recommended for improving mobility. The pose promotes spinal flexibility, supports the function of abdominal organs, improves digestion, and is effective for relieving stress-related headaches. On a mental and emotional level, this pose promotes calmness, relieves mental fatigue, soothes the mind, rejuvenates the body and helps keep the mind in the present moment. In spiritual practice, this pose stimulates the svadisthana (spleen or sacral) chakra, which is associated with creativity, confidence, and self-esteem.
Rabbit / Hare / Moon Pose
Pose Type: Forward Bend
Description: To start out, let’s begin in Child’s Pose, kneeling on the mat. Go ahead and place a yoga bolster or pillow in between thighs and calves for support. Bow forward, resting the torso onto the fronts of the thighs and the forehead onto the earth. If it’s hard for your forehead to reach the floor, use a yoga block or folded blanket to bring the floor closer to you. Next, walk the hands up to meet the forehead, shifting some weight to the crown of the head. Find the maximum comfortable neck stretch and then reach back and grip the base of the feet (using a yoga strap if necessary). To increase the stretch and come into the full expression of the pose, gradually lift or elevate your hips. Be sure to keep your forehead as close as possible to your knees and the topmost part of your skull (crown of the head) on the earth. If bringing your arms back to clasp the feet is just too difficult, you can support the upper body on the forearms. This will take some intensity out of the pose and provide balance.
Benefits: Practicing Sasangasana can relieve stress and irritation. It calms the mind, alleviates fatigue, and may reduce mild depression. Helps to cure sinus problems, colds and chronic tonsillitis. Strengthens and firms the abdomen, while stretching the back muscles. Gently removes tension from the upper back and neck, improving overall posture. This pose also stimulates the thyroid & thymus gland and entire endocrine system. It is recommended to perform this pose for long periods of time in order to fully benefit from it. This posture opens the heart chakra by rounding and lengthening the spine. Sasangasana also increases the flow of prana to the brain and improves blood flow through the ajna (crown) chakra.
Bharadvaja’s Twist (variation)
Pose Type: Twist
Description: Begin in the kneeling position, shift your weight to your right buttock and slide your legs to the left so both feet rest next to the left hip. The left ankle should be resting on top of the arch of the right foot. Lengthen the spine & torso, slowly twist your torso right. Your left hand can rest on the right thigh and your right arm can reach down to the floor on the right side for stability, or if you would like, you can take a half bind with the right arm, bringing your right forearm behind the back, and clasping onto the inner left elbow with your right hand. On the inhale, elongate the spine. On the exhale deepen into the twist. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
Benefits: The twisting motion of Bharadvajasana is believed to squeeze out tension and stress, as you would wring out a wet dishcloth. All twists in yoga help us to release what we no longer need on an emotional and mental level. Practicing this asana, therefore, calms the mind and nervous system, restoring a sense of balance. This pose is excellent for sciatica, as well as neck & back pain. Good for deregulating the parasympathetic nervous system, while at the same time massages the internal organs and aids in digestion. Traditionally, Bharadvajasana is thought to open the muladhara (root) and anahata (heart) chakras. Opening the muladhara is grounding, providing a sense of security and safety, while opening anahata is associated with compassion, acceptance, self-esteem and love.
Eka Pada Pavanamuktasana
One Legged Wind Removing Pose
Pose Type: Hip Opener
Description: Bring yourself into a supine position, lying on your back. Draw the right knee in toward the chest, allowing it to angle out toward the right armpit. Use both hands around the lower part of the right knee and pull gently on the leg, with gentle pressure pressing on the knee. You may feel that this action tips the upper body toward the right side. Find your edge and settle into the pose. The left leg remains straight along the floor with the toes flexed. Your head remains neutral and the gaze of your drishti turns inward, focusing on breathing into the hips.
Benefits: This asana works by massaging the inner organs by pressing the knees into the belly, therefore, improving digestion. It is a beginner friendly asana that is accessible to yogis of all levels. Eka pada pavanamuktasana stimulates the manipura chakra, the center of willpower, personality and ego. It is also a great pose for stretching and relaxing the neck and lower back. It also helps to stretch the hips and knees.
Extended Child’s Pose
Pose Type: Forward Bend
Description: From a kneeling position, the toes and knees are together with most of the weight of the body resting on the heels of the feet. The arms are by the side body and the fingers are relaxed. The forehead rest softly onto the earth. The gaze is down and inward.
Benefits: Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles. Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue. Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.
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.
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Micah Lyn is an Intuitive Healer and E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Instructor registered with the Yoga Alliance. She offers a variety of private yoga classes, therapeutic yoga sessions and intuitive healing services at Pachamama Yoga ✨ Los Angeles Healing Center. Visit the YTT Programs & Workshops page to see upcoming Online & Hands-on Intensive Yoga Teacher Trainings, 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