Tag Archives: recognizing feelings

Restorative Yoga Pose of the Week – Simple Supported Back Bend

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Simple Supported Back bend is a gentler version of a back bend and may be a nice place to start.  Back bends are a great way to counteract the rounding of our shoulders that tends to happen daily when we are sitting at a desk on the computer, using any mobile device, or driving a car.  Many people habitually carry tension in the shoulders and may suffer from tension headaches from doing so.  This pose will help open up that area and encourage breathing as we tend to hold it when we are carrying tension.  This pose adds energy to the body and can leave you feeling refreshed.  You will feel a gentle stretch in your upper chest and shoulder area.

Always advise your doctor before beginning any yoga practice.  Cautions for this pose include spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, or disc disease.  Avoid if you are more than 3 months pregnant or during menstruation.  I’ll offer variations for those in a future post.  If you have any pain in your lower back during this pose, come out and find a different variation.

For this pose, you will want to try using a bolster, a folded blanket, or a pillow under your back.  Find which height is comfortable for your back to hold for a period of time.  Use a rolled up blanket under your neck for more support and as a way to allow the throat to open.  Sit on your mat with knees bent with your prop against your back.  Slowly bring your back down towards your prop and your head to the ground with your neck roll in place.  Your arms can be placed beside your body or out to the sides in a “T” shape.  Spend a moment in the shape taking stock of how it feels.  If you feel any pain or discomfort, come out of the pose and try another prop at a lower height.  You may want to use an eye pillow to reduce any stimulation and a blanket over your body to keep it warm.

Once your are comfortable in the pose, start your inhales and exhales, and settle in.  Stay in this shape as long as it is comfortable.  Average time may be 1 to 5 minutes.

To come out of this pose, do so slowly.  Roll to either your left or right side with your knees on the ground.  Spend some time here adjusting to the pose.  When you are ready, slowly use your top arm to press yourself into a seated position to prepare for what is next.

Watch Katie demonstrate how to set up this pose:

Resources:

Lasater, J. (1995). Relax and renew: Restful yoga for stressful times. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell Press.

Restorative Yoga Pose of the Week – Reclining Twist


Twisting poses help to relieve any knots that have accumulated in the back due to physical, emotional, or mental tension and stress.  Restorative twists help calm the nervous system and bring the energy down in the body.  Benefits of this pose include improved vertebral joint flexibility, digestion, as well as circulation.  You will feel a gentle stretch in all of the muscles of the back as well as the intercostals(muscles between the ribs).

Always advise your doctor before beginning any yoga practice.  Cautions for this pose include Sciatica, Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and Herniated disks.  You can enjoy this pose if you are pregnant.

In setting up this pose, you will want to have a bolster and a blanket.  You may want to have 2 yoga blocks handy as well as a sandbag for additional grounding.  You will want to place your bolster vertical on your mat and sit with your right hip against your bolster.  Twist towards the bolster with your upper back as you lower your chest onto the bolster.  If you desire a full twist, place the opposite side ear on the bolster.  If you would like a more gentle twist, place the same ear as hip on the bolster.  Make sure your head is higher than your pelvis.  If you would like a more elevated twist, place 2 blocks under your bolster for more height.  You can play around with which height is best for you.  Allow your knees to fall towards the mat and add a blanket in between them for more comfort.  Place blankets under your forearms if they do not reach the mat comfortably.  A sandbag may be placed on the thigh of your upper leg.

Once you are set up in this pose, you can soften your gaze or close your eyes, and begin your rhythmic breathing.  You are welcome to stay in this pose as long as you are comfortable.  Twists are typically not held as long as other restorative poses, so average time may be from 3 to 5 minutes.

When you complete the twist from the right side, place your left hip against the bolster and twist from the left.

When coming out of this pose, do so slowly and with intention.  Place your palms on the mat, and gently press your torso and head away from the bolster.  Spend a moment or two in a seated position before twisting on the other side or moving into another pose.

Watch Katie demonstrate how to set up this pose:

Resources:

Carey, L. (2015). Restorative yoga therapy: The Yapana way to self-care and well-being.
Forbes, B. (2011). Yoga for emotional balance: Simple practices to help relieve anxiety and depression. Boston: Shambhala.
Lasater, J. (1995). Relax and renew: Restful yoga for stressful times. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell Press.

2013 Campers Rave About Our Social Skills and Confidence Camps

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“I surprised myself by the way that I was participating in the group…I am a Confident Girl.”

“It was really good and I learned a lot.  These tips are definitely going to help me out in the real world.”

“I found this camp very helpful.”

Due to popular demand, Katie Overcash, LCSW and Lynne Beck, LPC are please to announce that “Confident Girls Summer Camp” is back in 2014 and now offered on 2 different dates.  If interested in more information about our “Confident Girls” Summer Camp in 2014 please click here.

Look for our ads at Charlotte Parent Online Camp Fair and South Charlotte Weekly.