Monday, September 5, 2011


In keeping with the theme of National Yoga Month, combined with Back-to-School stress, I thought I'd share one of my favorite restorative yoga sequences.  This is a series of poses that can be very useful in times of stress, to calm anxiety, or simply come back to balance when you are feeling run down.

1. Start seated- Focus on your breath, trying to breath in to a count of five and exhale to a count of 5.  Let your awareness settle on the present moment and how your breath feels as you expand and contract.


2. Bound Angle- Bring the soles of your feet together, spine reaching tall.  Let your knees slowly and gently travel towards the earth.  Begin to shift your weight to your left, then forward, right, then back.  Keeping slowly opening the hips by moving in these circles.  Repeat 3-5 times, then reverse direction.

3. Table Top with twist- Come to hand and knees, shoulders over your wrists and hips over heels.  Root down through your left hand and reach tall with your right arm.  Bring it slowly underneath your left arm, twisting to the left and bringing your shoulder to or towards the floor.  Repeat on your other side.

4. Cat/Cow- Re-aligning yourself into table top position, take a deep breath in and look up as you arch your back.  Exhale and round the spine, gazing towards your navel and pushing the hands down into the floor.  Repeat 3-5 times, integrating your movement with your 

5. Child's Pose-Wide knees wide, bring your hips towards your heels as far as feels comfortable, forehead resting on the floor.  You can always use a blanket under your belly if your knees resist.  Stretch the arms out in front of you and reach towards the front of the room.  Breathe here, then slowly walk your hands out towards the right.  Open up your side body as you push down and away with the hands here.  Walk hands back to    
                     center and then over to the left.

6. Legs up the Wall- Move to the wall with 1-3 folded blankets or a bolster.  Stack the blankets and line them (or the bolster) up to the wall.  Begin with your right hip and shoulder just grazing the wall, sitting on the side of the blanket.  Slowly swing your legs up the wall and let your head and shoulders rest on the floor.  Don't be discouraged if you need to wiggle to get your hips closer to the wall, or if it takes you a few times to get there.  You'll get there eventually. :)  Keep your legs firm on the wall, but release your arms to your sides.  Close your eyes and let all the tension and anxiety you've built through your day melt.  Stay here 5-15 minutes, then slowly bend your knees and roll off your supports.  Stay on your side for a few breaths, then slowly come back to seated.  Ahhhhhhh!!!!!


Kristin Henningsen, M.S., C.H. R.Y.T.


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