Yoga Therapy: Constructive Rest Pose
Many of us have a difficult time taking rest when we need it. (I know I do!). Even If we are
tired or injured, “the art of doing nothing” may not come easily. So when we have an
injury and want to ‘do something’ about it, I suggest trying this pose. When we take
Constructive Rest, effectively we are Supporting the body and the healing process by
gearing down our current operating system. One of the benefits of this pose is the
Resting of the Psoas muscle. Research in Yoga Therapy has shown that there is a
direct connection to the Psoas and our Sympathetic Nervous System and how the body
holds Stress. It may be clear to some of us that our lives are on ‘overdrive’, thereby
‘exhausting’ the Nervous System and the Psoas Muscle. (This muscle is a very powerful
muscle, that when ‘overworked’ or tired, can cause Back pain and other issues in the
body.) The key is nourishing rest, not seeking a stretch for the muscle.
Yoga Therapy is all about shifting gears and focusing on Rest as the first step in our
Constructive Rest Pose (This is a great beginning pose, say in a short series of 4 or 5
gentle poses. When I am healing from an injury, I plan to spend about 5 minutes in this
pose, and if time allows, 5 mins in 3 more poses).
Begin by lying on your back. Be sure the head is supported with a folded blanket or small
pillow, so that the front and back of the neck feel soft and long. Bring the feet about as
wide as a yoga mat and see how the low back feels, it may be that it will be more
comfortable for the low back if the knees fall in and rest on each other in the middle.
Feel the connection of the feet on the ground or earth. Feel the big toe and baby toes on
the ground. Feel the inner knees connecting, and the thigh bones resting into the hip
sockets. (Gravity is doing this for us). The pelvis is supported and see if you can sense
the back of the pelvis (sacrum) as it is supported by the floor. Place hands onto your
lower belly, lower rib cage, or on the floor beside you. Begin to notice your body as it is
breathing. Can you sense which parts of your body are moving with the breath? Now
feel the tops of the shoulders (the shoulder blades) as they are supported by the floor.
Feel the back of the skull on the floor beneath you. Notice the effect of working with
gravity and how the body naturally can release towards the earth. What is happening in
your jaw? See if you can invite softness to the jaw and muscles in the face. Soften the
ears, and the muscles around the eyes.
When you are ready to come out of the pose, roll onto one side and rest there before