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Just Be (70-min) Restorative

The class you’ve been craving to unwind, a 70-minute restorative session with Clara to hit reset in various shapes. Move through five simple postures with props and hold each pose for 8-10 minutes to restore and drop into your body. Supported twists and heart-opening extend and release the spine to create more space for your breath.

Style: Restorative

Duration: 70-min

Level: Open-levels

Props: 2 Blocks, 2 Bolsters, strap, eye pillow

Focus: Deep relaxation

Location: Vancouver, BC

Opening Meditation and Movement

Meditation

Take a tall seat on one of your blocks or bolster. Sit and listen to your breath. Attune to how it feels to breathe into your body. How does it feel to sit and be? Can you connect to an inner stillness right here, right now, that carries you through the rest of your restorative yoga practice?

Gentle Movement

Indulge in some slow, rhythmic movement to stimulate blood flow, lubricate the joints, and connect your body to your breath before we become still and rest in each of the restorative poses.

Shoulder rolls.

  • Inhale and roll your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Exhale shoulders down your back.
  • Repeat several times, going clockwise and counterclockwise with your shoulders.

A pranic version of cat/cow.

  • Inhale round the spine and puff up the back body.
  • Exhale arc the spine and lift the chest and chin.
  • Keep moving and breathing into the back of your lungs.

Freeform cat/cow movement.

  • Roll your hips from side to side and move as you desire, OR
  • Take regular cat/cows for several cycles of breath.

Pose 1

Supported Savasana

A cozy variation of savasana using your props allows for more ease and space; in this version, the chest and heels are propped up with the bolsters and blocks’ support.

  • Place both boosters, length-wise, in the middle of your mat with space in-between wide enough for your bum.
  • Place the blocks on the lowest height underneath each bolster at the very end.
  • Recline with your bum in the middle of the bolsters.
  • One bolster should run down the length of your spine with the block elevating the head.
  • The other bolster should elevate the legs at the shins so that the heels are higher than the heart.

Option to use your eye pillow across your eyelids, across the forehead, or length-wise down the chest to add a bit of weight to bring your focus to the heart.

Do nothing in this pose; allow the breath to become light and natural so the body can fully rest in the shape. Allow the pose to feed your physical, emotional, and energetic body.

To exit this pose, simply roll to one side and spend a few breaths in the fetal position to allow the body to come back to neutral.

Pose 2

Supta Matsyendrasana Reclined Spinal Twist

Benefits of the pose:

  1. Stretches the side waist, back, outer hips, and glutes.
  2. Rotates the spine to improve range of motion.
  3. Releases the spine through the wring and soak action.

A supported variation of a reclined spinal twist creates more ease in the body and allows the inner groins to relax.

  • Place one bolster between the thighs as you come onto your back.
  • Cactus your arms wide to either side of your mat.
  • Ease your knees to one side while gently squeezing the bolster between the thighs.
  • Chin can stay pointing upwards to the sky, OR
  • Gently rock your head from side to side.
  • Add a second bolster to give more support to the legs.

In restorative yoga, the poses are held for roughly 8-minutes, so take a shape that you can maintain for the full amount of time.

Allow your body to get heavy; give your weight to the ground and your props. Know that the earth supports you as you lay and enjoy deep rest.

To come out from the first side, hug the inner thighs around your bolster and slowly guide the knees upwards to the ceiling. Pause for a moment in the center to allow your spine to come back to neutral before easing the legs over to the other side for the same pose.

Pose 3

Supported Setu Bandhāsana

This bridge pose variation uses a block or bolster under the tailbone and buttock to stretch the pelvis’s front without strain in the lower back.

Benefits of this pose:

  1. Stretches the chest, pelvis, and quadriceps.
  2. Stimulates and improves digestion.

To come into this pose:

  • On your back, bend your knees, lift your hips, and slide a bolster or block under your bottom.
  • Keep the knees bent, or extend the legs down your mat’s length with the heels wide to either side.
  • Open the arms wide to either side.
  • Send your breath into your upper chest and heart.
  • Allow the bolster to carry the weight of your pelvis.

*If you have any pain in the low back, remove the prop and use a lower cushion on the ground. 

To exit this pose, shimmy the bolster out from under your bum toward the bottom of your mat. Bend your knees, and rest the soles of your feet on the bolster for several breaths to traction the spine after the supported backbend.

Roll to one side and come to sit.

Pose 4

Supported Matsyasana

A variation of fish pose with a bolster under the back and pelvis creates space in the upper chest and throat.

Benefits of the pose:

  1. Stretches the chest, throat, abdomen, hip flexors, and intercostals.
  2. Strengthens the upper back and muscles along the back of the neck.

How to get into the pose:

  • Place a bolster length-wise down your mat and sit on it.
  • Take your strap and create a wide loop. Take the loop around the upper thighs halfway between the hips and your knees. Cinch the strap tight, so it hugs your legs together to support the thighs.
  • Reline on the bolster so that the head, neck, and shoulders are on the ground.
  • The midback, spine, hips, thighs should all be on the bolster.
  • Knees, calves, and heels are off the bolster on the ground.
  • Option to cactus the arms or take the arms wide to either side.

This shape can feel intense, so breathe deep and soften to receive the pose.

To safely exit this pose, bend your knees and place your feet on the ground. Stay here for several breaths before rolling to one side and spending a few moments in the fetal position.

Pose 5

Savasana

End the class in the same pose that you began, keeping the strap around the thighs to support the legs.

A cozy variation of savasana using your props allows for more ease and space; in this version, the chest and heels are propped up with the bolsters and blocks’ support.

  • Place both boosters, length-wise, in the middle of your mat with space in between that’s wide enough for your bum.
  • Place the blocks on the lowest height underneath each bolster at the very end.
  • Recline with your bum in the middle of the bolsters.
  • One bolster should run down the length of your spine with the block elevating the head.
  • The other bolster should elevate the legs at the shins so that the heels are higher than the heart.

Option to use your eye pillow across your eyelids, across the forehead, or length-wise down the chest to add a bit of weight to bring your focus to the heart.

Do nothing in this pose; allow the breath to become light and natural so the body can fully rest in the shape. Allow the pose to feed your physical, emotional, and energetic body.

To exit this pose, simply roll to one side and spend a few breaths in the fetal position to allow the body to come back to neutral.

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