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Cooling restorative session with hip focus

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This sequence works very well when it is hot, if you are tired or if you are simply wanting a quiet but engaging practice.

Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus

This sequence works very well when it is hot, if you are tired or if you are simply wanting a quiet but engaging practice.

Start off in Supta Baddha Konasana, but for this session place the bolster horizontally, with a blanket or block for your head. Lie back with the bolster under your shoulder blades, and the head resting on the blanket/block support. You can use blocks for under your knees to allow the hips to have some support as they start to open.

Come up and go to simple cross legs forward, taking the height you need to go forward easily.

Stand in Tadasana with the feet as wide as your mat and bend forward to Uttanasana with your hands on your shins or to the floor.
Now come back up and place a block between the upper thighs and again bend forward in Uttanasana. Feel how the inner legs lift and the pelvic floor is engaged.
Keep the block in place and step back into Adho Mukha Svanasana, downward facing Dog Pose. The inner legs will still be activated by the block high up between the thighs.
Bend the knees, remove the block and go forward in Virasana, with the block now placed as a support from navel to sternum.
Stand up and step the legs wide for Prasarita Padottanasana, with the crown of the head on the floor or to a support. This is a cooling and quietening pose that opens up the backs of the legs and calms the nerves.

Take a chair and straddle it, facing backwards, for a wide legged twist to the Right and then Left.
Now sit sideways on the chair, feet apart, and turn first to the Right and then swivel around to the Left.
Turn around on the chair and bend forwards, keeping the buttock bones on the chair seat and take the hands to a bolster or to the floor.
As a last supported twist, now bring the feet together and with one hand holding the back of the chair, take the Left shoulder across the Right knee, and then go to the Left side.

Put the chair away and prepare for Supta Padangusthasana 1 and 2, with a block on either side of the hips for support as you take the leg to the side. This way the hips will open, but without effort. This is also a cooling pose.

Now set up with the back resting on the mat and the legs up against the wall. After a minute or two, bring the legs to Baddha Konasana and then to Upavistha Konasana.

Bend the knees into the chest and turn to the side to set up for Savasana, lying back over a lengthways bolster placed under the back ribs, with a blanket for head support. Gradually become aware of your breath, and then bring the inhalation and the exhalation to an even duration: conscious breathing.
For the last 4 or 5 cycles deepen the exhalation to bring further quietness and coolness to your whole system.

Then slowly come up and turn and go forwards over the bolster to release the lower back and to observe the movement of the breath in the back of the ribs.
Finally, come to sitting and stay a moment as you take an extra minute there to finish the session.

Video stills from this sequence

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Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus
Cooling restorative session with hip focus