Who doesn’t love a good restorative heart-opener?
Well here’s some instructions on how to do my favorite restorative yoga pose that will not only open your heart, but also your hips: supported supine bound angle. It’s an incredible way to relax and restore, calm the nervous system, and open up the 5th chakra, the heart chakra. We tend to hold much of our stress in our shoulders, which causes us to hunch forward, close off the chest, and constrict our breathing.
This pose will create more space in the front body, so you’ll be able to breathe D E E P E R.
Grab a pillow from your couch, or stack a few firm pillows on top of one another to support you in a reclining position.
Lying on your back, bend your knees and bring the feet to the floor as close to your seat as is comfortable.
Slowly open your knees out wide and bring the soles of your feet together.
You want to feel a nice stretch in the inner groin, but not as though anything feels like it’s being pulled too much.
Extend your tailbone toward the heels, and the reach the crown of your head in the opposite direction, lengthening the spine.
Place the palms, face up, next to your hips, and relax your shoulders down toward the mat, away from the ears.
Lastly, soften your face, eyes, jaw, neck and throat, coming into a nice even breath.
Boost the restorative power of this pose by adding Three Part Breath:
Deerga Swasam involves breathing sequentially into the three parts of the torso
as you fill up the lungs completely.
1. The abdomen
2. The ribcage
3. The chest
Start by emptying out the lungs completely, until the navel contracts back into the spine.
Then take a big inhale, all the way to the collarbones, and then once again, empty the lungs completely.
On the next inhalation, first fill the bottom of the abdomen; then, fill up the ribcage; and finally, fill up the chest; all in one deep breath.
On the exhalation, first, relax the chest and let out the air naturally; then, relax the ribcage; and finally, pull in the belly to complete the exhale.
Never breathe too deeply. Always keep the breath comfortably full.
At the top of the inhale, the chest should lift up gently. At the bottom of the exhale, the navel should contract all the way to the spine.
Start with just 2 minutes while in a restorative pose.
The count of the inhale and exhale will be determined by your current breathing patterns.
If you are a very shallow breather, then maybe a 6 count inhale is too
much; if so, start at 4 and gradually increase up to an 8 or 12 over time.
If you’re reading through this post, wishing you had time to actually do the pose, get off your computer and treat yourself to just 5 minutes of relaxation- I promise it will come back to you ten-fold in productivity!