My house lit on fire last week. I feel I understand the word Trauma for the first time. As I sit with the rising and falling emotions, grief, and feelings from this incident, I come to my mat in a new way. (Truly, every time we come to our mats it is new. But this is a *new* new if you will!)
I come to my mat for solace, for grounding, for safety. I come to my mat to feel held, to meet my vulnerability with a calm and kind heart. If this feels like what you need, here is a sequence that has been helping me.
*You will need a bolster for this sequence. A long couch cushion or two pillows are suitable substitutes*
Forward Fold with a Bolster (Paschimottasana)
They say the front of your heart is where you give love, and the back of your heart is where you receive love from your community. I am opening up the back of the heart in this pose, allowing myself to receive the kind love from my community.
Fold up a blanket and sit on its edge. Grab a bolster (two bed pillows, a long couch cushion, or several sweatshirts will do the trick as well) and place it across your lap in a horizontal position. Inhale and reach your arms overhead, Exhale fold forward over the bolster. Remain here for 5 minutes for full restorative effect.
Legs up the Wall on a Bolster
Great for moving the energy around in your body when you don't feel like moving all that much, we have restorative inversions!
Grab a bolster (or sweatshirt, couch cushion) and place it horizontally about 4 inches from a wall. Scoot up against the wall and slowly swing your legs up the wall with your low back resting on the bolster. Your tailbone and bum should be hanging over the edge of the bolster between the bolster and the wall. Breathe here for at least 5 minutes.
Supta Baddhakonasana on a Bolster
Sometimes it is hard to open your heart after it feels so very vulnerable. If you feel ready, this gentle restorative heart opener will help keep your heart space open. So as to not succumb to a bent over posture, this pose is great to calmly remind your muscles (and your heart) that is is safe to open. Just so you don't forget :)
Sit down. Place the bolster so that one (short) edge of the bolster is against your lower back. Lay down on the bolster so that your bum is on the floor, and sacrum & low back are against the bolster. Bring the soles of your feet together into baddhakonasana (like a butterfly). You may place two pillows or rolled up blankets beneath your thighs & calves for more passive release.
*photos to come!*