Restorative yoga is the counterpart to an upbeat, high-energy Vinyasa yoga practice. Restorative yoga relaxes and rejuvenates the body, cultivates peace and healing, and promotes overall wellbeing. Every yogi and everybody can benefit from a restorative yoga practice. Below is one of my favorite restorative yoga poses – GODDESS POSE. I hope you enjoy!
Restorative Yoga Goddess Pose
Goddess Pose is an expansive pose that allows you to take up space and let your body be heavy. It is important to feel the integrity of your props and the support of the floor. It is also nice to insulate your whole body with a blanket, so that you can relax and release into the fullness of the posture, including the spread of your chest and softness of your belly. This can help to make more space for the breath to move fully and freely throughout your body.
Goddess Pose offers a lot of circulation and awareness of the contents of the pelvis, abdomen, heart, and lungs. It’s also known to enhance digestive function, help relieve abdominal or menstruation cramps, and give you an energy boost when you need one. The practice of soft belly breathing is perfect for this pose. Imagine the breath is able to be received by a softening belly. Welcome the breath into your body. Using no effort, be completely passive on the inhale and exhale, allowing it to come and go on its own.
YOU WILL NEED
2 or 3 long, rectangular, folded blankets stacked for back support
1 long, rolled blanket for leg support
2 blocks for leg support
1 small towel for neck and head support
Optional: eyebags for under the arms or hands and an extra blanket over you for warmth or deeper calming and grounding
Prepare support for your back. Place the two or three stacked blankets vertically up the center of your mat, with about a third of the length hanging off the back of your mat.
Place your towel for neck and head support near the top of your mat or on your blanket stack, so it is there for you when you lower down.
Prepare support for your legs. Sit on your mat, with your blanket stack behind you. Place two blocks across the front of your mat. Lay the long-roll blanket on top of the blocks.
Move Into the Pose
Bring your legs over the rolled blanket, feet on the floor.
To lie down, hold the corners of your blanket stack to help you stay centered as you slowly lower your back down onto the blankets. The blanket stack should fill in the curve of your lower back all the way up to your head. (Your seat is on the mat, not on your blanket.)
Create head support. Roll your towel to fill in the full length and arch of your natural cervical curve. If you need more height for your head, fold the top edge of the top blanket under your head and neck until it meets your shoulders. Again, ensure that your neck has a natural cervical curve.
Move legs into a diamond shape by pressing the soles of your to feet together as you allow your knees to fall apart. With your hands, draw the back of your thigh muscles and flesh wide. Let your outer thighs and knees rest heavily on the rolled blanket.
Bring your arms by your sides, palms down or palms up. Or rest your hands on your belly, elbows on the ground.
Make any adjustments you need to ensure that you are evenly laid out, supported, and comfortable.
Relax Into the Pose
Slowly scan your awareness down the back of your body. Sense all the places you feel your body making contact with the ground and with the props.
Take several long breaths and progressively release all your body weight down toward the ground. Let the props hold you up.
Before you finish, bring your hands to your belly and feel your palms receive your breath. Imagine your belly being cared for by the breath, and imagine the breath unraveling any lingering knots inside. Welcome your caring breath with your caring hands.
When you’re ready to finish, slowly take your time to roll onto your right side and enjoy a few quiet breaths.
Take care of yourself as you press to a finishing seated position. Stack your hands over your heart. Feel your breath in your hands. Slowly transition back into the space around you.