This session is very helpful at the end of a tiring day or after a long car ride or trip. It restores our energy and brings quietness at the same time. The chair twists will release shoulder and neck tension, which often accumulates after we spend many hours sitting. Sitting for long periods of time can compress the front of the body and make the breath shallow and less effective. So, some of these exercises, especially the seated chair twists, will be especially useful in this session as they will help us open up the chest and expand our lungs and soothe back pain and stiffness.
Start in Supta Baddha Konasana, lying back over a bolster with a belt around the back pelvis and support for your head.
Stay for 3-5 minutes to allow some space to come into the back ribs and chest. It also helps to spread across the lower abdominal area and open the diaphragm.
Come up and turn towards the bolster for Virasana Forward. Place the bottom wrists onto the horizontal bolster, keep the elbows straight and lifted to bring release to the middle and upper back.
Move into Adho Mukha Svanasana, hands to the wall with index finger and inner thumb up against the wall. Keep the bolster lengthways to rest the forehead onto and to quieten the eyes. Hold for 8-10 steady breath cycles.
Virasana forward, resting the front of the body onto the bolster. Stay for a minute.
Come up and take a chair for a few twists.
First, straddle the chair, facing towards the chair back, legs wide to either side of the chair. Keep the knees in line over the heels, feet facing the same way as the shins.
Take the Left arm onto the backrest of the chair, the Right hand behind to hold the edge of the chair seat. Take three breaths, turning with each exhalation. Change to turn to the Left side.
Turn sideways on the chair, with the Right side of the hip along the back of the chair, feet on the floor and a block between the knees. This is good for lower back stiffness and heaviness. Turn to the Right side, exhaling with each turn. Change to turn to the Left.
One more time on either side, without the block. Notice how the turn may come more now into the lower pelvis and we can revolve more. This releases the neck and helps remove tension from the lower abdominal region.
Set up for Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.
Get a bolster and two blankets.
Place the bolster lengthways about a foot or so away from the wall. Place a lengthways half-folded blanket over the bolster, with a little bit of the blanket draped over the front edge of the bolster.
Lie back, feet to the wall and shoulders to the floor. Place another blanket for a small head support.
Stay for 4-5 minutes, taking the knees to simple cross legs on the bolster for the last minute.
Slide back to bring the whole pelvis onto the floor and change the cross legs.
Set up for Viparita Karani.
Place the bolster horizontally along the wall, about 2-3 fingers away from the wall. Fold up a blanket into three, the short way. Place the folded blanket onto the bolster and roll into the pose. Legs up against the wall, buttocks onto the bolster and blanket.
Stay for 4-6 minutes to allow the breath to soften and settle and the body to feel quiet and neutral.
Drop the legs down into simple cross legs, and stay another 30-60 seconds.
Slide the buttocks down to the floor, change the cross legs and stay here for a bent leg Savasana. Soften the face and quieten the eyes and breath.
Feel what the session has brought you.