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Stretch The Spine
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 you are a newbie or 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!
Pose Type: Back Bend
Description: From a prone position with the pelvic bowl is firmly contracted interiorly towards the centerline of the body while the pubis is tucked under. The legs are extended back and the tops of the feet are flat. The palms are flat and the elbows are on the mat, stacked right below the shoulders. On an inhalation, lift the sternum and extend the neck away from shoulders with the elbows, palms and pelvic bone firmly attached to the mat.
Benefits: Strengthens the spine. Stretches the chest, the lungs, the shoulders and the abdomen. Stimulates the abdominal organs. Opens the heart and the lungs.
Supta Baddha Konasana
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Pose Type: Hip Opener
Description: Start in seated position with your knees hugged in towards the chest and both feet flat on the mat. Now drop both knees out to opposite sides of the mat, coming into Butterfly Pose, otherwise known as (Baddha Konasana). Be sure the soles of your feet are touching. Next, place your arms at your side and lower your upper body down towards the floor until your spine is flat on the mat. Lay your arms at your sides, equal angles from your torso, with your palms facing the ceiling. Make sure your tailbone isn’t compressed and there’s no stress on your neck or shoulders. If your legs are uncomfortable, place a pillow or bolster underneath the outer thighs of both legs for support. If this pose is uncomfortable to relax into, you can feel free to use yoga props to make necessary modifications. You may use a block or blanket under hips or place a yoga bolster or pillow underneath the back and head for total spinal support.
Benefits: Supta Baddha Konasana stimulates the Sacral Chakra, therefore, it is associated with creativity and determination. Stimulating this chakra is believed to foster inner acceptance, while promoting focus and productivity. Reclining Bound Angle Pose has been associated with balancing both male and female hormones and increasing fertility. This pose relieves symptoms of menstruation and menopause in women. May also relieve stress, anxiety and mild depression. This stretch opens the hips, the inner thighs, groin, and knees.
Marichi’s Pose “C”
Pose Type: Twist
Description: Begin with your legs outstretched in front of you. Bend your right knee and bring your right foot as close to hips as possible. Place your right hand behind your right hip and use it to brace yourself. Twist your torso to the right, hooking your left elbow on the outside of the right knee.
Benefits: May alleviate mild hip pain and backaches. Stimulates inner organs. Great spinal twist and rotation for the thoracic spine.
Parsva Upavistha Konasana
Side Seated Angle Pose
Pose Type: Hip Opener
Description: To enter the pose, begin in a seated position, sitting sideways, the long way on your yoga mat. Take the legs wide apart to a 90 degree angle or wider. Make sure not to put strain on the groin and inner thighs. Keep your toes pointing up at the ceiling. First, twist the torso to the left, leaning your torso as far as you can over your left leg, reaching actively through your arms and all the way out through your fingertips. Try to bring your forehead down to your left knee, grabbing onto your foot and relaxing the neck. If you have limited flexibility in the legs and low back, I highly recommend to place a pillow or yoga bolster in between your left leg and torso for support, so that you can relax into the pose.
Benefits: Like all forward bends, Parsva Upavistha Konasana is known for its calming effects on the mind. It promotes relaxation and introspection and is a good preparatory pose for meditation. The benefits of Side Seated Angle Pose are well known to relieve insomnia, calm and soothe the mind, while balancing the flow of prana or life force energy in the body. This pose also stretches the hips, low back, hamstrings and lengthens the spine.
Adho Mukha Mandukasana
Downward Facing Frog Pose
Pose Type: Hip Opener
Description: To enter the pose, start in table top pose on your yoga mat. Mindfully begin to take the knees out to either side of the mat until they are as wide as is comfortable. Bring the ankles in line behind the knees with the feet turned outward. Lower the forearms to the mat, with the palms down. Bring awareness into the hip and groin area and slowly release the hips further down to the ground. Allow your forehead to rest on the mat, keeping the chin slightly tucked. If the floor is too far away, place a blanket or yoga bolster under your chest and head to rest upon, allowing you to relax and sink deeper into the pose. Yogis with sensitive joints may choose to modify this asana by placing a folded blanket under the knees and elbows to provide additional padding and relieve pressure.
Benefits: Downward Facing Frog Pose is a powerful hip opener and inner groin stretch, with a wide range of health benefits. It is particularly beneficial for runners and other athletes who may be prone to tightness in the hips and groin. This pose helps to release the chest and shoulders. Acting as a gentle backbend, the action of this pose counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting. Also known to aid in the overall digestive process.
Supta Kapotasana (Sucirandhrasana)
Reclined Pigeon / Eye of the Needle Pose
Pose Type: Hip Opener
Description: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Bring the outer left ankle to cross over the right thigh. Lifting the right foot off of the ground and drawing the right knee inward slightly, reach your left hand through the space between your two legs and the right hand around the outside of the right leg, clasping your hands together around the right thigh. Pull the right leg gently in towards your body with little effort, while keeping the shoulder, neck and head relaxed.
Benefits: May relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Relieves tension and stress. Improves blood circulation. Stretches the inner thighs, hamstrings, and lower back.
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.
Pose Type: Inversion
Description: Bring yourself into a supine position, starting out by lying on your right side, then rolling slowly onto your back. Make sure your body is in a neutral position. Extend each of your legs, slightly wider than hip width apart and allow your feet and ankles to relax and flop out towards the sides of the mat, creating an external rotation in the lower body. Allow your arms to rest at your sides, with the palms facing the ceiling. To encourage deregulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, be sure that your hands are at least 12 inches away from the hips. Tuck your shoulder blades up under the back by squeezing them gently down and inward, broadening out the chest. This opens the heart and creates an external rotation in the front body. Close the eyes and bring the focus of your drishti downward, feeling your body release any final tension it is holding onto by surrendering into gravity.
Benefits: Although savasana is typically practiced at the end of a yoga sequence, it can be used to calm the body at the beginning of practice or for resting in the middle of a sequence. At the end of a yoga session, seated meditation traditionally follows savasana. This asana stimulates the muladhara (root) chakra, because the entire length of the body is connected with the earth. Energizing this chakra through savasana is believed to ground the individual, providing the inner stability necessary for personal growth. Some of the benefits of savasana include increase in energy and productivity, a decrease in anxiety and panic attacks, improved memory, focus and concentration, along with an increased sense of confidence. Known to decreases heart rate, which is calming to the mind and relieves stress. May reduce headache, fatigue, and insomnia, while proven to lower high blood pressure.
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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