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Unlock The Hips
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 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 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.
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!
Jathara Parivartanasana “A”
Turning the Belly Pose Version “A”
Pose Type: Twist
Description: Lie flat on the back with the arms extend out at shoulder height, with the palms facing down. Bring both knees in toward the chest, then drop both knees to the left side. During this spinal twist, try to keep the knees bent at a 45 degree angle. The knees should be at the level of your belly button. Your head can stay neutral or turn in the opposite direction to gaze at the right fingertips. Both shoulders should remain pinned down to the mat. If your right shoulder is rising up off of the mat, place a yoga block in between your thighs. In any case, you can rest the left hand on top of the right knee to apply gentle pressure, deepening into the twist.
Benefits: Jathara Parivartanasana version “A” rejuvenates and re-energizes the entire body, relieves stress and fatigue, lengthens and realigns the spine. Improves digestion and blood flow, helps with migraine headaches, and stimulates the vagus nerve. In yoga, twists are well known to help us release or “let go” of negative emotions or thoughts that are no longer serving our highest good. Deep spinal twists such as Turning the Belly Pose (version A) are well known to help release us from the past, as well as bring emotional and physical trauma up to the surface so we can finally let it go.
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.
Extended Puppy Pose
Pose Type: Back Bend
Description: Start out in an all-fours table top position, with the hands underneath the shoulders and the knees under the hips. Now walk the hands out until the arms are extended straight and there is no longer any bend in the elbows. The hips are squared to the earth, and the knees remain directly in alignment with the hips. Slightly tuck the chin so the forehead and chest rest on the earth. The extended arms press downward into the mat for a deeper stretch. The hips remain at a 90 degree angle to the knees, gently pulling back towards the heels, elongating the spine. The shins and the top of the feet are flat down on the mat. A blanket can be used under the forehead and chest to relax the neck if needed. In addition, if you have sensitive knee joints a blanket or bolster can be placed under the knees for support. Be aware that this pose does create a slight curve in the lower back.
Benefits: Extended Puppy Pose helps to realign the spine and is a good preparation for deeper back bends. This pose can relieve stress and anxiety. It opens the chest and shoulders, stretches the lats, abs, and entire spine.
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.
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.
Bhekasana (advanced variation)
Pose Type: Back Bend
Description: Lie down on the belly, bring the heels to the buttocks and grab the feet. In this pose, the knees are separated. The thighs remain on the ground and the hands press down on the feet. For a restorative posture, you may allow the head to drop, utilizing yoga props such as bolsters, blocks or pillows under the shoulders and forehead. This will decrease the intensity of the back bend but allow for deeper relaxation.
Benefits: Bhekasana promotes focus, productivity and inner acceptance. This pose provides slight compression for the lumbar spine, while stretching the hip flexors and psoas.
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.
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 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