STUDIO PEACE

Feel at home in your body and at peace with yourself


 
 
 

The forgotten treasure

On: September 9th, 2015 at 6:37 am | In: Addiction,eNewsletters,Psychological Healing,Trauma,Yoga

Golden Egg.

The body’s need to rest and rejuvenate its vital energies is too often forgotten. In our active, stress filled world, we can push ourselves to ‘go-go-go’ or to ‘get it done’, sometimes at the expense of our body.

We can push ourselves well beyond that place inside where we instinctively know how far is too far: our edge. This can be especially true for the trauma survivor.

Our understanding of where the edge even is can become blurred. We can’t sense into it anymore because we’ve lost touch with our body and its inherent intelligence. We can’t honor what we’re not aware of, so we keep pushing. Fatigue can set in and from there burn-out can follow.

But pushing ourselves past our edge is just part of the picture for the trauma survivor. At some point the circle of life we live in stops being a circle. It goes all wonky.

During the day our energies too often travel in one direction – outward -without enough fresh energy generated from the inside out to sufficiently recharge and rebalance the circle.

What this means is the body has no space to rest, be at ease with itself and in a position to withdraw its senses from the external environment.

One of the societal myths we live with is productive means being visibly active.

But being productive can also mean being quiet and still; nurturing and soothing. It can mean giving the body a large dose of the kind of love that allows us to restore our vital energies to be re-born to the day, now drawing from a full reservoir of energy rather than a depleted one.

How do we get to this quiet state of dynamic renewal?

One way is through a restorative style of hatha Yoga. Where the body is held in a posture in a supported way so it can do what it’s designed to do, rest and rejuvenate itself from the inside out.

Take the Supported Child’s Pose, for example. It quiets the mind and restores depleted energy. And it feels so good to do too.
Try it and see. What you’ll need is a mat and bolster if you have them, as well as a blanket. If you don’t have a mat or bolster, that’s okay too. A blanket placed on the floor in place of a mat, and a blanket or two rolled up into a 12” in diameter sized sausage ** will work just fine.

Here’s what to do next:

  • Place the bolster or rolled up blanket(s) lengthwise in the center of the mat or blanket.
  • Straddle the bolster at one end, with your belly facing the top of the bolster.
  • Carefully come forward and lie down onto the bolster, with the belly resting against it, paying attention to creating comfort for the body in this position. One facial cheek comes down to rest against the bolster. The hands come to rest alongside the shoulders or ears. The eyes can be closed or open, it’s your choice.
  • Rest here for up to 10 minutes doing nothing in particular, allowing the breath to rise and fall in the body in its own natural way as you hold this soothing position.

The Supported Child’s Pose zeros in on the parasympathetic nervous system and stimulates the experience of relaxation.  It’s particularly good for the trauma survivor whose nervous system can be revving on high a lot of the time.  It can feel so good to the body to experience this kind of effortless relief from the busyness of life.  

Even when we’re feeling completely spent, there is hope.  We can balance our energy output by honoring the circle of life and taking the time to rest deeply and rejuvenate  with a restorative style of Yoga.  The good vibes that come are like a forgotten treasure we re-discover when we take the time to rest and rejuvenate from the inside out.  

** Place a blanket on the floor.  Fold it in half, widthwise.  From the narrower edge, roll it into the shape of a sausage.  For maximum comfort, the rolled blanket should be around 12” in diameter.  A second blanket can be added on top of the first, to create a thicker sausage shaped bolster if needed.

3 ways of dealing with out of control anxiety

On: August 27th, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In: eNewsletters,Psychological Healing,Trauma

Portrait of young blonde woman with eyes closed against metal background and copy space

It gets in the way at the best of times:  Before an important meeting, or before we give an important speech, or when we’re on a first date.  Anxiety rises up, takes over and leaves us feeling jittery, flush or nautious. 

Anxiety can also come up in relation to a person, place or thing that reminds us of a time when we were harmed, traumatized, either by a fellow human or catastrophic life event.  We get triggered into what feels like an altered state of reality, where anxiety thrives.  Our heart starts to race, its hard to think straight.  It feels down right overwhelming.

Sometimes getting a prescription for medicine from our doctor is the way to go to help ease the symptoms of anxiety.  It’s awesome to have this pharmaceutical option.  It can be just what we need. But we don’t always need it.  Sometimes we can deal with the anxiety on our own.

We can deal with the anxiety on our own through the practice of ‘grounding’, were we find our way out of the experience of anxiety and back into a balanced, homeostatic state.  We can use elements from the ground itself to help us get there, or we can travel through the body to regulate our buzzing nervous system.

You’re probably familiar with these ways of getting grounded already.  That’s okay.  A refresher never hurts.  Here are three of my favorites:

A rock.   A humble rock that would fit comfortably in the palm of the hand is an efficient way of taking the mind off the anxiety and re-focusing it somewhere else.  This time the mind’s focus goes to the texture or temperature of the rock itself.  The trick is to pay attention to the sensory experience of the rock in the hand, and stay with it until the anxiety slips away.

Feet against the earth.  Either standing up or sitting down, turning our attention to the feet planted against the earth.  Feeling the balls of the feet and heals against the earth below.  It can be the actual earth on a grassy lawn or backyard garden, or it can be against the floor of a bedroom or office.  The idea is to feel the feet planted against the surface below as a way of feeling grounded again.

The breath.  Particularly on the flow of the exhalation, to notice the movement of the breath in the body.  It can be standing up in a grocery store line or it can be seated in the lotus position in meditation, the position of the body isn’t as important to this exercise as the practice of paying attention to the movement of the breath in the body.  Allowing the exhalation to be long, slow and smooth, and to extend for as long as is comfortable.  This practice is particularly effective to calm a racing nervous system.  We can breathe in this way until it feels like the intensity of the anxiety has diminished.

It’s a great alternative to drug therapy to be able to regulate our nervous system in non-pharmaceutical ways, not to mention so very convenient.

The next time you’re feeling anxious, try one of these grounding practices and see what an impact these simple practices can have on you.

The courage to create

On: August 20th, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In: Addiction,eNewsletters,Poetry,Psychological Healing,Trauma

Fotolia_90054765_M  Color splashesSome say there is no journey.  The healing path is actually something we create ourselves, as we place one metaphorical foot in front of the other in the direction of our growth and transformation.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.  It kind of takes the mystery and magic out of the transformational process.  At any rate, does it even matter?

What I do know is we need to feel supported and nurtured as we do this important life changing work.

Sometimes support can come from other people on a similar “path”, or perhaps from someone who knows where we’re at ’cause they’ve been there before, and are a few “steps” ahead of us.  And sometimes support can come through the written word.

There are times when words can feed and nourish our soul in a way that makes us feel understood, and as if we’re exactly where we need to be.

One such poem is The Journey by Mary Oliver.  It’s a beautiful and insightful statement about the only life in this world we can really save.

*****
The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice-

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life?”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations-

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice,

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do-

determined to save

the only life you could save.
*****

To have the awareness we can save ourselves is huge.  To have the determination to see the process through to its natural conclusion, feeling at home in our bodies and at peace with ourselves, is a gift of love.

It takes courage to create our own unique healing journey.  The courage lives inside us all.

 

Getting unstuck Part II

On: August 13th, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In: Addiction,eNewsletters,Psychological Healing,Trauma,Yoga

flowers in a vase

The unconscious mind sends in resistance to meet us at the threshold of change. It’s not there to block us. It’s there so we can face that something from our past that’s mirroring the reasons why we can’t move forward. Once we take the time to pay attention to resistance, it begins to loose its power, and dissolve. Now the gate to our heart felt desire, can open.

As discussed in Part I, when we find ourselves face to face with resistance, we can:

  • Accept it as it is,
  • Be present to it,
  • Get to know it,
  • Move the energy,
  • Listen.

The question is, how can we do these things and make friends with resistance, without pushing our selves too hard too fast beyond our threshold of psychological comfort?

Accept it as it is: We can begin by accepting resistance just as it is. Like in any good relationship, we accept the other just as they are without trying to make them into something they’re not.

So too with resistance.

We acknowledge that it’s shown up and accept it for what it is, by calling it what it is. This is a key step in this process. We can’t change what we don’t know.

Similarly, we can’t change what we oppose. Rather than resisting resistance by saying, “What the bleep are you doing here?” we say, “Welcome.”, “Come in.”, “Make yourself at home.”

Be present to it: The attitude we bring to our budding relationship with resistance is pivotal to its success. We bring the attitude of, “I’m so glad you’re here. I want to get to know you better.”, to the encounter. Just like we would do in any other relationship we value.

What better way to be present to resistance than through Yoga. It helps us to create a container with our breath and body in which resistance can hang-out, and where we can be present, with an open heart, to what we find there.

Get to know it: When we’re in a Yoga posture, we can reflect on self-inquiring questions like: Where is resistance being felt in my body? What does it look like? What does it feel like? Even, is there anything resistance wants to say to me? Is there anything I want to say to it? I realize this may sound like crazy talk, but this is a sound way of establishing dialogue with a deeper part of our self that is struggling against our desire to move forward. If it is crazy talk, this time it’s with a liberating purpose.

Move the energy: This can be a good time to bring out our journal, and write down whatever comes to mind in the course of establishing dialogue with resistance. Any thoughts, feelings, memories, and especially, insights, that may arise in the course of this process, in order to get to know what is living inside resistance. We want to invite whatever is living inside of it, out, and into the light of day.

Listen: Once what is living inside of resistance flows out and onto the page, then we are in a position to listen to what it has to teach. Great insight can come from this process.

From here, now that we’ve received insight, and possibly guidance too, it’s time to take this very precious information and honor it, align with it, and take the action needed to move out of stuckness.

There’s no better guidance than that which comes from within, so treat it like a most prized possession. Give it its due, and listen to it.

These are some of the ways to work skillfully with resistance. We’ll save the others for another time.

Of course, working with resistance can also mean doing nothing about it at all. Leaving it be and living in it, being surrounded by our same struggles over and over. Eventually, things may shift on their own, or then again, may not.

Is this a chance worth taking? I for one am not sure I want to leave this one to chance. There’s so much living to do.

Getting unstuck

On: August 6th, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In: Addiction,eNewsletters,Psychological Healing,Trauma

flowers in a vase

It’s painful, I know.  To be sitting in an emotional place of “I don’t want to be here anymore.”, wanting to break free, but for whatever reason, can’t.  No matter how much effort is put into getting out of it, we still remain in it.  At times, it can even feel like we’re headed in the wrong direction . . backwards.

It feels yucky.

It’s frustrating.  Discouraging.  Self-doubt can emerge.  Sadness can set in.  We can feel like giving up hope that tomorrow will be any better than today, but for some strange reason, we don’t.  We want to get past this something we’re in.

What’s it all about?

Some might say it’s resistance, a nebulous energy that feels like it’s pushing back on us when we’re trying to move forward.  

I don’t disagree with this.  But I wonder why this energy shows up at all?

Some would say it’s because we’ve reached a threshold in our mind, a conditioned edge we’ve learned over time we’re not able to get past.  

Before we can get past it, sometimes there’s something the unconscious mind likes to do in order to continue to keep us safe and protected from the unknown.  So the unconscious sends in resistance.

Resistance can emerge when we want to do something we’ve never done before, but, it also can emerge when we want to feel in ways that are different from what we’ve become accustomed to feeling:  like the darker corners of the mind where the effects of a traumatic event or an addictive behaviour can take us.  Into a paralyzing fear, a deep depression, a debilitating anxiety, or  jumping out of the present moment and into a dissociated state.

The unconscious mind sends in resistance to meet us at the threshold of change.  It’s not there to block us.  It’s there so, with all the courage we can muster, we can face the experiences from our past that are mirroring the reasons why we can’t move forward.  Once we take the time to pay attention to resistance, it begins to loose its power, and dissolve.  Now the gate to our heart felt desire, can open.

Here are a few things to consider when we find ourselves face to face with resistance:

  • Be present to it,
  • Accept it as it is,
  • Get to know it,
  • Move the energy,
  • Listen.

In next week’s edition, we’ll take a look at the ways in which we can do these things, and in the course thereof, begin to make friends with resistance.  

One more thing:  There are those who would say, “Don’t entertain resistance, just push through it, and keep pushing until you’re where you want to be.”  I don’t disagree with the idea we need to keep moving in the direction of our desire, whatever it may be, but I believe it’s how we do this that’s important. 

It is possible to do harm to ourselves by pushing too hard too fast beyond our threshold of psychological comfort.  It’s not a popular idea, I know.  But to grow, I know want to be moving with myself and my energies, not against them.

Honesty is such a lonely word

On: July 30th, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In: Addiction,eNewsletters,Psychological Healing,Trauma,Yoga

keep it real

“Honesty, it’s such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue.” So goes the popular late ’70’s lyric by singer songwriter Billy Joel.

Consider for a moment how much of the ‘untrue’ we all live with in our society? How much of what we hear are lies, how many layers of deception envelop our everyday experience? I’d say, we’re swimming in it. It surrounds us wherever we go.

Then there are the deceptions we live with privately, inside ourselves. You know the ones I mean. The stories we tell ourselves to protect ourselves from our own truth. The little white lies and half truths we tell ourselves for good reason, or simply out of habit.

Then there are the traumatizing experiences many of us have endured growing up, that have led to being distracted, or even misled, away from our pain and our authentic experience.

The pain doesn’t just go away because it’s outside our awareness of it. It just goes to the basement of our mind. We humans are very cleaver at finding creative ways of protecting ourselves from our pain, even when it looks irrational and destructive to the people around us. We find ways of coping to keep it there, like with one or more of the many addictions we can develop.

Another way we can instinctively protect ourselves from our pain is by creating a false front to the world. We create a false front to the world by denying our experience and the pain we may be feeling. When we grow up in a threatening environment, we do this unconsciously in order to survive.

We do this by learning to please the important adults in our life. And it works in the short-term, but, we pay a price in the long-term. Because we’ve unconsciously agreed to deny our experience in the name of survival growing up, overtime we pay the price with our identity. We come to forget who we really are.

How can we remember?

It’s simple, really. We can remember with honesty. A Yogi and a therapist would say the same thing. It’s with honesty we can come to reconnect with our experience and come back into genuine relationship with our self.

We do this ‘work’ when the time is right. When our safety is no longer in jeopardy, when we feel a pull from within to heal old wounds, or when we’re so overwhelmed with emotion and frightening memories, that it feels like we have no choice but to attend to the pain that can no longer be held inside.

As a result of this ‘work’, we no longer feel the need to hold onto wearing a false front to the world. We can survive emotionally without it, and simply be our self in the world.

One straight forward way of beginning this process is by simply starting to listen. Starting to listen to ourselves again, to our thoughts, our feelings, our dreams, our fantasies, our fears, our pains, our grief. To simply beginning to listen to what we hear inside.

Sometimes this doesn’t come easy and we need extra support to hear what’s going on inside. We can do this by separating ourselves from the business of life, and being in nature. Allowing the Stillness that envelops us there to quiet our noisey minds, so we can listen inwardly and hear more clearly what’s happening in there.

Or perhaps it means lying down on our mat in Savasana, the Corpse Position, and sliding into the Stillness from this experience, to listen inwardly to what’s going on inside.

* * *

If you’d like more information about how to do Savasana, hop over to the blog post titled ‘Get the Vibe‘.

* * *

Listening inwardly is one important key to building a bridge to our self. Getting honest with ourselves is another.

We get honest with our selves to go beyond the mask and engage in REAL relationship with our self. We get honest so we can begin to heal any pain we find there, and at the end of the day, know peace.

Come to think of it, I’m not sure I agree with Billy Joel. Honesty is such an un-lonely word, when we take the time to listen inwardly and engage authentically in the most fundamental relationship in our life. When “Everyone is so untrue.”, as the song says, all the more reason to be true to our self.

If you’d like to learn more about being true to yourself, click here, and put ‘Honesty’ in the subject line. Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you’re facing right now. I’ll get back to you right away.

Three little words

On: July 23rd, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In: Uncategorized

There are 3 little words that are key to the process of transformation. In fact they’ve almost become cliché.

They get bandied about like we all know what they mean and how to bring them to life. But I’m not sure this is even the case.

They’re the apparent panacea for when things go wrong, “Just do this, and all will be well again.”, they say.

Yet they also contain a much deeper, unseen meaning. When acted on with heart, they can alter the course of our life for the better.

What are these 3 little words? I’ll let poet Danna Faulds explain:

 

Let it Go

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold:

the holding of plans or dreams or expectations – Let it all go.

Save your strength to swim with the tide.

The choice to fight what is here before you now will

only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts

to flee from the very energy you long for. Let go.

Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes

through your days whether you received it gently

or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.

Take this on faith; the mind may never find the

explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward

nonetheless. Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry

you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams

or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of

rest and peace, and certain transformation.

***

I love this poem. It inspires me to reflect on what it means to let it go, and how doing so can take me to unknown places beyond my wildest dreams. It’s such a turn on to think about.

On a related note, the restorative style Yoga we’ve been talking about over the last few weeks is a powerful way of teaching ourselves through our bodies about the experience of letting go. How to do it and how it feels to surrender to the experience in unintimidating ways.  Where else can we get to know this experience outside of our everyday lives? I don’t know of any other, other than through Yoga.

What a gift.

How to rest and renew when you’re exhausted

On: July 16th, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In: Addiction,eNewsletters,Psychological Healing,Trauma,Yoga

The body’s need to rest, restore and rejuvenate during our waking hours is too often forgotten.

We expect our bodies and minds to go-go-go, and oftentimes on insufficient fuel with poor nutritional value.

We can push ourselves to ‘get it done’ and go beyond our own edge to do so, even when we know how far is too far.

Then there are those of us who don’t yet have an awareness of how far is too far, and sadly end up burnt out or worse (with a stress related illness). 

Fortunately, we can learn where our edge is and how far we can push ourselves without over doing it.

Furthermore, during the day our energies are too often traveling in one direction – outward – without enough fresh energy being generated from the inside out to sufficiently re-charge.

One  central reason to take the time to re-charge is in order to keep going with our active lives.

It’s almost as if we need to die to the world around us, or withdraw our senses from it, in order to rest deeply and rejuvenate. 

But even in death, there is potential for new life.  New life that comes from resting deeply and and doing what appears to be nothing.

Productive doesn’t always have to mean visibly active to have an impact.

This is one of the societal myths we live with, and for some of us, it takes us to our actual death.  Death by the hyper-stress from hyper-productivity, that is.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not opposed to being active and productive.  Quite the contrary.  I enjoy spending energy to get things done.  But I’ve learned where my edge is now, and how much is too much when it comes to energy output.  I’ve learned too how to rest deeply and rejuvenate my bodymind whenever its needed.

As I mentioned earlier, productive doesn’t always mean visibly active.

It can also mean quiet and still, nurturing and soothing.  It can mean feeding the bodymind with love.  A love that restores our vital energies before being born anew to the day, now brimming with enlivened energy for the tasks ahead.

While it all sounds good, how do we achieve this desirable state of renewal?

One way is through a restorative style of hatha Yoga.  Where the body is held in a posture in a supported way so it can do what it’s designed to do naturally, rest and restore.

Take the Supported Child’s Pose, for example.  Simple to set up and execute, yet so very beneficial.  It restores depleted energy and quiets the mind in the process.  It can also gently release tension in the lower back and may relieve shoulder tension as well.

What you’ll need for this posture is a mat if you have one, a bolster if you have one, and a blanket.  If you don’t have a mat or a bolster, then a blanket to go on the floor, and a blanket, or two, rolled up into a sausage (a vegie sausage that is 🙂 ) will work just fine. 

Here’s how we set up the Supported Child’s Pose:

  • We place the bolster or rolled up blanket(s) into the center of the mat, lengthwise.
  • We sit down onto the bolster at one end, with our chest facing in the direction of the top of the bolster and mat.
  • Then we carefully lie down onto the bolster, paying attention to creating comfort for our body in this position.  We’re straddling the bolster now with our belly and chest resting against it.  One facial cheek comes to rest against the rolled blankets.  Hands and arms can come to rest comfortably on the mat on either side of the body, either alongside the shoulders or ears.
  • We can rest here for up to 10 minutes, doing nothing in particular.  We allow our breath to rise and fall in the body in its own natural way, as we hold this soothing position.

Even when we’re feeling completely spent, we can rejuvenate our energy by taking the time to rest and renew with a restorative style of hatha Yoga.  Try it for yourself and see how this simple posture makes your bodymind feel.

A simple way to rest and restore

On: July 9th, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In: Addiction,eNewsletters,Psychological Healing,Trauma,Yoga

There are complicated ways to rest and restore the bodymind and then there are easy, simple ways of doing the same thing. I stay away from the complicated ones that involve driving too far away from home or spending too much time searching for suitable parking, as they can tire me out even further when I’m already exhausted. 🙂 I like to keep things simple, while at the same time, workable and effective.

When I do, things work out really well. I can spend the energy I have to create the conditions for my bodymind to do its work to rejuvenate its vital energies, and, do so from the convenience of own home to boot. Without fail, I find the relief I seek from the stress and fatigue I’m carrying.

I accomplish this through Yoga.

A gentle, restorative style of Yoga that is, where the holds are long and the body is well supported in the postures.

In practicing this way, the “medicine” flows from the inside out, from the bodymind itself. After all, it knows how to rest and restore itself. All we need to do is give it the space it needs to do so. I love spending the time at home doing just that. And it fits nicely into my busy schedule too.

Here’s a posture I draw great benefit from every time I do it. It slows down the restless mind while calming an over charged nervous system. With a pillow between the knees, this Lying Down Fetal position, provides relief to a tired lower back as well.

What you’ll need is a mat if you have one, 2 pillows from your bed, one blanket, and a second blanket if you’d like.

  • Come down onto your mat, lying down onto one side of the body. A blanket against the floor would work just fine too.
  • Allow yourself to draw both knees into your chest into a fetal position. Bring one arm to rest on the floor above your head. Allow your head to rest against this extended arm. The opposite arm can rest in front of the body in a comfortable position.
  • Then, place one pillow lengthwise between your knees and calves. For added comfort, place a second pillow behind you on the mat, against the lower and upper back. It feels comforting to the body to add this extra step.
  • You might also want to place a blanket over your body for an added cozey feeling.

Okay, I know it sounds like a lot of work. It just takes some maneuvering to get the body into the right position. The pillows provide a nice cradling sensation for the bodymind. They really do add something special to this Lying Down Fetal position.

Allow yourself to rest here in this way for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it feels as though it’s time to come out of this posture.

Also, if you have trouble sleeping, this posture done in bed with a pillow between the knees and covers over the body is an effective way of welcoming in the sandman. I like to watch the movement of the breath in my body while resting in this position. Within 15 minutes, I’m asleep. Works like a charm.

Consider gifting yourself with this simple restorative style posture when you feel the need to rest and restore your vital energies, or when you need a little help falling asleep. You’ll be so glad you did.

Bridging to Tranquility

On: July 2nd, 2015 at 3:30 pm | In: eNewsletters,Trauma,Yoga

Sometimes doing nothing in Yoga includes doing something. By that I mean using the strength of the physical body as the starting place for relaxing into a restorative posture. Such is the case with the Supported Bridge position.

With the pelvis propped and supported and the feet anchored firmly against the earth, the Supported Bridge creates a somatic passageway for easing into tranquility in an effortless way.

To begin, you’ll need a non skid mat, if you have one, if not, that’s okay too. 2 pillows from your bed, one stacked on top of the other. Something to go over your eyes, like an eye pillow or a small soft blanket. Loose comfortable clothing is perfect for doing this posture.

Speaking of doing the posture, here’s how:

  • Stack one pillow on top of the other lengthwise. Place the stacked pillows in the middle of your mat, width-wise, so the narrow sides of the pillows are facing either side of the mat’s longest edges.
  • Come down onto your mat bringing the back of your pelvis to rest against the stacked pillows, Allow yourself to lie down on your back, with your arms to help you get there. Bring your feet to rest against the mat about hip width apart with the knees bent.
  • Then, bring the arms to rest along side the body, with the palms of the hands facing earthward.

Allow yourself to do something central to your Yoga practice: Notice the position of your body. How does it feel? Are you ready to practice, or, does your body need more adjusting to get into just the right spot. Allow yourself to listen to your body give it what it needs.

  • Then, allow yourself to notice the position of your neck. Is it safe and free of discomfort here?
  • Do you need another pillow underneath your hips for a deeper experience, or does it feel just right with 2? Consider carefully your answer to this question. Higher is not necessarily better here. It’s finding the place for the pelvis that feels just right, where your body feels cradled in the position, while at the same time feeling, good. It’s from this place that the magic can happen.

Rest here in this position for as long as it feels comfortable to do so. Breathe deeply here, with the breath rising on the flow of the inhalation, and falling on the flow of the exhalation. And as you breathe here in this way, allow your body to relax a little further into this position. Savor what you feel.

  • To come out of this position, gently lift the pelvis up off of the stacked pillows. In your own way, remove the pillows from underneath your body, then slowly, with both hands and arms resting firmly against the mat or floor, lower the spine back down onto the mat.
  • Then, allow yourself to draw both knees into the chest, and bring both hands clasping around the knees. Rest here for a few moments, giving the lower back a gentle stretch in the opposite direction to the Supported Bridge.
  • When you’re ready, release both hands from around the knees, and return the right and left feet back down onto the mat. Then from there, extend both legs one at a time flat down onto the mat.

Rest here in Savasana, or the Corpse position, for as long as you’d like. Feel what you’re feeling in your body here. Allow yourself to enjoy the way you feel.

Symbolically, the Bridge position refers to the notion of depending on our own foundation. That is, depending not only on the lower body to support us in this position, but also on the knowledge we’ve learned in life thus far. Do I have sufficient foundational knowledge to go on? If not, what is it that I might need?

Physically, the Bridge position is another Yoga posture that calms and soothes the restless mind. It strengthens the lower body while undoing its tensions, and in the course thereof, creating a bridge to tranquility.