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Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students

A restorative session aimed at opening the chest and quietening the mind in preparation for some sitting and a short Pranayama session followed by Savasana.

Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students

Short description

In this video, we aim to open the chest and quieten the mind in preparation for a short seated pranayama session followed by Savasana.

The supported restorative poses are extremely important in preparing the body, and also the mind, for the inward-turning focus required for pranayama. They will also open up the upper back, chest, and hips for the seated pranayama section.

Notice how your mind is at the beginning and then at the end of the session.

That is what will start to lead you towards a more regular pranayama practice and give you a subjective understanding of why you do it.

Step by step sequences

First set up in Supta Baddha Konasana over a bolster so that the mind starts to turn inward as the support brings some lift into the back of the ribs and opens the chest from behind. Follow with simple cross-leg forward, both sides, and then set up for Setu Bandha over two staggered bolsters.

Before coming down, bring the legs to simple cross-legs in Setu Bandha, to allow a little more opening to the groins. Slide back to the floor and then go forward in Simple X leg with the forehead resting on the bolster, letting the lower back release.

Now lie back over a three-fold blanket in Savasana, with head support. This will help to both lift the sides of the chest and to bring support to the spine.
Follow the instructions for basic Pranayama.

Set up now for sitting in simple cross-leg, with a folded blanket or bolster for support under the buttocks to allow the knees to release and the spine to lift up. Observe the points given for sitting properly for Pranayama, and for releasing the head down. It is important to sit upright without undue tension and to release the neck properly to allow the chin to come towards the lower throat/sternum bone without tension.

Finally, release the head back up over the shoulders and sit quietly for a few minutes before lying back in flat Savasana, with head support as needed. You can place the bolster over the upper thighs to release any tension in the legs and back and to bring further quietness to the mind.

Equipment required

  • 2x Bolster
  • 2x Blanket
  • Mat

Video stills from this sequence

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Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students
Restorative and Pranayama for Advanced Students