This week we will explore how to create spaciousness around the heart to release the grip of grief, sadness and depression. Any negative emotional experience can cause the body to round forward as a protection against further emotional hurt. With supported backbends, you can give yourself an opportunity to safely be with the physical and emotional energy that may need to move through the heart chakra in order for you to let go of and heal from these past experiences.
Lie on side with rolled blanket under side ribs, bottom arm under head for support. Begin with both knees bent then try extending top leg in line with the rest of the spine. Raise top arm overhead and support with props or hold with bottom hand. Rest 3-5 minutes per side.
Therapeutics: Opens both sides of thoracic region increasing breath capacity
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose or Queen's Pose)
Sit in front of two long-fold blankets or a bolster parallel to mat. Place soles of feet together and let knees move apart resting on blocks or bolster. Place looped strap around back of pelvis between thighs and over outside edge of feet to help lengthen low back. Lie back over bolster and place blanket under head. Rest 5-15 minutes, then release
Therapeutics: Relaxes floor of pelvis, opens belly and chest, creates a sense of safety and calm
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Shoulderstand)
Place a block on the first height against the wall and a bolster lengthwise in front of the block. Sit on the bolster facing the wall and lie back so that the upper shoulders and back of head reach the floor. Press feet into wall resting heels on the block. If low back is stressed, bend knees and place feet on floor. Hold up to 5 minutes then release by rolling to side.
Therapeutics: Good for upper back stiffness and opening the Psoas and quadriceps if legs are straight
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I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.