The breath is an important aspect of yoga practice for a reason. It is not only necessary for our physical existence, but it also has a significant impact on our energy, mental, and emotional thought processes. If we are overworked or stressed, the main step we miss is our ability to breathe deeply and comfortably.
Restorative practices at home can help you breathe more freely and easily. Each position concentrates on one of the rib cage’s four sides. As a result, the delicate tissue surrounding the ribs grows more flexible and stretchy, allowing for more mobility in breath flow.
You’ll require a calm, comforting spot, as well as a blanket and a pillow. Enabling the brain to soak in silence is as important as relaxing the muscles surrounding your lungs throughout the practice. Instead of employing physical exertion or strain to deepen your breathing, let it flow naturally over time.
1. FOR THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BODY
Curl a blanket vertically while lying flat. Put the blanket on your right side waist while leaning on your right hip and facing the long side of the mat having your knees arched. If your head is comfortably resting on the floor, stay there; alternatively, put the pillow beneath your head or into the hollow behind your neck.
Consider stretching your left arm outward in front of you, towards your left side. Allow the respiration to slow and deepen, experiencing or picturing a bit extra space widening up between your left ribs and hips with every breath. With each inhalation, your left ribs and waist will expand and contract when exhaled.
Observe your breath moving on your left side of the body. Lastly, to release the yoga pose, put your left hand on the ground next to you and push into it.
2. FOR THE FRONT BODY
Make sure your blanket roll is aligned to the long side of the mat. Find a posture in which you can rest your lower back and legs. Straighten your legs, bend your knees, and put the heels of your feet close. Place your feet widely apart and bend in with your knees. Lower yourself slowly such that the blanket holds your spinal column. If your blanket is not too long, add a pillow beneath your head to help you relax your neck. Place your hands on the floor or outspread, palms up.
After feeling rested, focus on your chest, front ribs, and abdomen. Let these parts relax and sink in as you exhale. Gravitational pull could also drag your shoulders and arms onto the ground, expanding your torso.
Following 3 or 4 mins, draw your palms down against the floor, bring your lower ribs towards your hips, and slide up to a sitting pose. Take a few deep breaths to experience a newly gained openness in your front body.
3. FOR THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BODY
Spread your right side fully over the blanket to uncover your ribs and waist. Arrange the blanket such that it is aligned to the tip of your mat on your left side. Concentrate on your breath, extending your right sternum and right waist. Make a bit extra room across each rib and right hip with every inhale.
Hold for 3-4 mins. Once you’re through, push yourself back onto your supports with your right hand just on the floor next to you. Rest your hips up onto your heels, and do a couple of deep breaths to discover the differences in your front and lateral ribs.
4. FOR THE BACK BODY
Roll down a blanket for about 3 – 4 inches aligned to the corner of the mat. Lay flat atop of it, squeezing the roll around the lower rib cage and the top of your pelvic region. You can also put the free edge of the blanket as cushioning beneath your ribs or pelvis as required.
Reposition your awareness of the rhythm of your breath when you’ve set in. Watch your stomach inflate and force the blanket away as you breathe in. Loosen up your belly entirely as you exhale, enabling the blanket roll to sink into your body. Your back ribs and the area surrounding your kidneys open up with every firm inhale. Your back core relaxes with each peaceful exhale. Hold this yoga pose for 3-4 minutes and then be seated comfortably.
And you’re done!
Note that effective breathing is essential for healthy wellbeing. Regardless of how occupied or overworked you’re, a quick, basic restorative practice is all you require to refresh your mind.