What do you do when you feel the need to restore your body’s vital energies but don’t have much time or energy to invest?
Or, what do you do if you’re a trauma survivor and your nervous system revs on ‘high’ all the time? How can you find relief from the distress?
In a word, Yoga. In particular, a restorative style of hatha Yoga. A style that isn’t so much about movement, as it is about creating the conditions for your body to do what it inherently knows how to do, and that is to relax, restore and rejuvenate its vital energies from the inside out.
When we can undo tensions in the body and mind, we can land at the shores of peace. From there, we can travel further into deeper psychological waters and open to a forgotten understanding of ourselves and the Universe. We can do this in a safe, supported way, and one that feels good to the body.
Here’s a lovely restorative posture that will effortlessly calm your nervous system and gently undo tensions in your body and mind. It will leave you feeling rested and renewed. It’s one I still refer to as the ‘Tranquility Pose’, as taught to me by my very first, and Master Yoga teacher, Sandra Sammartino.
- Find a wall that’s free of clutter. Make sure there’s at least enough space there for a human to stand with their back to the wall. Make sure too there is enough space in front of the wall for a human to lay down with their arms outstretched on either side of the body at shoulder height.
- Bring the narrow side of your mat to sit against the edge of the open wall. If you don’t have a blanket, not to worry. A soft blanket will do just fine.
- Come down onto your mat and sit on it with your right hip facing the wall, your knees bent, and both feet placed squarely against the floor. Your hands can rest on the floor behind your body, with the finger-tips facing the top of the mat.
- Then, in your own way, swing your legs up the wall, bringing your heels to the wall, while bringing the back of your body onto the mat.
- Lay down onto your mat, letting your hands and arms help you get there.
- Find a comfortable position for your body here, with your sitting bones as close to the wall as your body will allow.
- Then bring your arms to rest along side the body, with the palms of your hands facing skyward.
- In this ‘Tranquility Pose’, rest here for up to 10 minutes, feeling what you’re feeling in your body.
- Let your breath flow naturally here. You can either pay attention to its movement, or, if you’d prefer, pay attention to nothing at all
- To come out of this position, roll over onto one side, bringing your knees as close to your chest as your body will allow, and bringing the palms together into a prayer position.
- Rest here for as long as you’d like.
- Then, when you’re ready, come up into a seated position on your mat.
This posture is a great antidote to the stresses of life. It quiets the mind while slowing the heart rate. It will leave you feeling rested and renewed, and is a wonderful alternative to a nap. 🙂
Try it and see if this gentle giant of a posture won’t help your bodymind to find tranquility.