Digestion is how we are nourished and if it is off due to illness, disease or exhaustion and stress - our entire system suffers. This practice is meant to softly help release the tension and bring healing to the digestive system. Allow yourself plenty of time in each pose and in these poses, try to focus on breathing long deep exhales and helping the body settle into rest and digest mode. Use as many props as you need to fully release. Know that supported poses can help you feel deeply relaxed and that is the point!
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Supported Child's Pose (Supta Balasana)
Hold: 8-10 minutes (4-5 mins on each side of head)
Place your bolster lengthwise down your mat, take your big toes together and knees wide. Slide the bolster halfway between your hips and knees and bring a blanket or folded towel across your knees to give softness to your belly support. Gently walk your hands alongside the bolster and lower your torso down. Turn your head to one side, changing sides halfway through. You can wrap your arms around the bolster or simply let them rest on the floor. To come out, walk your hands back, press up slightly and let head recenter for a breath of two. Press to upright.
Supported Bridge Pose (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Hold: 5-8 minutes
Take the bolster the short way across your mat with the block out where your heels will be. Sit on the bolster on the feet side, keep knees bent, and slowly lower down. You can lower the shoulders to the floor and be supported there and take the arms out wide with elbows bent (if comfortable). Take your heels onto the block for support or the floor if that is comfortable (if this is too much you can keep knees bent with feet on floor). Enjoy the deep hip flexor opening across the front of your hips. To come out, bend knees, lift hips, and push the bolster out from under you. Rest on the floor for 5 breaths.
Hold: 5-6+ minutes
Turn face down, placing the bolster across the hips and lower belly area. Take your arms out, bent or crossed underneath your forehead or use a block to rest your forehead down. Sense your lower back and hips releasing and the soft pressure of the bolster on your abdomen. Breath and allow everything to release and soften. To come out, walk hands underneath shoulders and press up and back. Sense the softness in your belly.
Hold: 4-5 minutes per side
Start on hands and knees - stack the head of the bolster on a block. Take your right hip on the floor right next to the bolster and the left leg stacked, pulled slightly back behind or straightened out some. To deepen this twist, you can take the top knee and settle it into the bottom foot's arch. Settle your torso on the bolster with hands on either side. Use your hands to turn your torso downward for a twist. Feel the stretch in the right outside hip and rest here. To come out, take legs together and push up. Continue to second side.
Supine Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Hold: 10-12 minutes
This is the Queen of Restorative poses! Take a block under the head of the bolster (or pillows from your bed) and sit about a fist distance from the bolster. Bring the bottoms of your feet together. Take a blanket or towel rolled up long around the outside of the ankles and pull it under the outside of your hips. Slowly lower your back down the length of the bolster and take your arms out to the side with palms up. Close your eyes and just release.....
To come out, take legs out straight then slowly roll to your right and lift up (take a few breaths in each stage of coming out).
I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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