Restorative Sequence for Chakra 1


The restorative workshop that I took in Hood River was profound for me. I had never held poses for quite that long. You end up in a space that is almost dream like. And, we were given permission to actually fall asleep, if our body needed it! One thing Leanne stressed was that restorative was like putting together a puzzle. The goal is not to use all the tools in your bag but to get to a feeling of being restored. It's "all levels in all the different layers". Developing an eye for props means "noticing where your eye or curiosity goes", not in how you can "fix" your student. In other words, not looking for gross misalignments, just for small enhancements. And, most importantly, you won't always know what to do, and it's OK.

Muladhara (Chakra 1) Yoga Class Sequence

Grounding, based in the root of the spine, the beginning of awareness.

Begin with a centering breath (2 natural breaths, inhaling and exhaling equal lengths. the 3rd lengthen inhale and exhale, then repeat) (from Judith Lasater's Relax and Renew)

Standing Warm up
Hip circles
Hip flexion and lungs
(stepping back)
Lateral flexion (one hand on hip and other arm reaches up)
1/2 sun salutation (utanasana, ardha utanasana, tadasana)
Standing shoulder flexion

RAP (Restorative Active Poses: generally standing holding for 1-3 minutes)
Yielding movement with stillness toward the fullest expression of the posture.
Feel the ability to be like a tree, to root, creating structure, freedom, space and joy
Yield the mind and body with intention and understanding
Nothing acts on it's own; poses feed energy from your center into your limbs

Adho Mukha Svanasana, improves blood flow (facing wall, hands on wall, block between legs)

Uttanasana, stretches spine & massages pelvic organs (either facing wall or away, leaning into wall, with head on block)

Warrior I, tones muscles (facing wall, knee on block, hands into wall)

"Mini" standing Parivritta Trikonasana, tones spine(facing side, inside foot to front, outside foot back, hands on wall, twist from naval center)

Tadasana, centering counter pose (facing wall, forehead into wall)

RIP (Restorative Inactive Poses: seated, prone or supine, holding poses for 2-3, 6, 9, or 12 minutes or longer as you progress or as time permits)
You are perfect the way you are. Would you
however, consider (moving into this pose by...)
How does it feel? (When adjusting a prop)
Find a balance of pulling your energy in and letting your energy go
In poses held for long periods, the feelings are much stronger. Rather than being agitated, acknowledge that. WAIT. And, listen to your body.

Trikonasana, reduces fat around waist and thighs (supine, feet to wall, torso moves to one side)

Janu Sirsasana, tones abdominal organs (seated, head on chair, hips elevated with blanket)

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, soothes nervous system and mind (with block or blanket under back, head and feet)

Paschimottanasana, removes mental and physical fatigue (elevate with blanket, head resting across arms on chair, legs extended)

Balasana, quiets the mind (lying on bolster or blankets)

Savasnana (supine, blankets under knees, head, feet and arms) 10-20 minutes, minimum
Asana prepares the body for relaxation and meditation
There should be a quiet quality to the pose
In final relaxation, fidget for a minute, then do it again, if needed. Over time, make your spaces of stillness and longer
Listen to your breath to quiet your mind

I have the strength and groundedness to endure whatever life brings my way.


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