Constructive Rest Pose
Constructive Rest Pose
‘The mysterious psoas muscle is the main muscle involved in your fight or flight response in your body. Your psoas contracts when you are frightened. It will tighten when you experience, mental, emotional or physical stress.’
Working on relaxing and restoring your psoas, and thus a happy psoas, will make you feel more grounded and relaxed and will give you a bigger range of motion (you might also experience less lower back pain). Making your psoas happy again also means that you are moving from an activate sympathic nervous system, to your parasympathic nervous system. When you consciously relax your psoas you send a signal to your nervous system that you are safe and free from danger, and that you are safe. So you can relax. You move from unsafety (fight/flight) to safety (rest/digest).
Today I am sharing one of my favorite poses to bring my nervous system back to her parasympathic state. For those who are not familiar with the term: it is also called your rest and digest system. The part of your nervous system that conserves energy, slows down your heart rate, stimulates digestion, activates metabolism, helps the body to relax and much more. And knowing how to return to this state is what you want if you want to create a happy, healthy, radiant and free version of yourself.
The next pose helps you to bring your psoas muscle back to peace and rest. It is a fairly simple pose physically, and that is why I love it so much. You can do it basically everywhere, if you can find yourself a nice spot to lie down. The secret of this pose is the time, you need to stay in the pose for at least 15 minutes.
Lie on your back and bend your knees to about 90 degrees (see picture below). Place the soles of your feet on the ground, parallel to one another and in line with your hip sockets. Your heels are about 20 to 30 cm from your buttocks. This distance is different for everyone, so play around so you can let your lower back and your neck be as natural as possible. Ideally the muscles in your legs, hips and belly can relax.
Rest your hands on the floor beside you, on your heart or on your belly.
If you neck feels tense, you can place a blanket or cushion underneath your head. Your neck should be comfortable and your forehead slighty higher than your chin.
If you feel a pinch in your lower back, play around with the distance between your heels and buttocks, or with the distance between your feet. If nothing works, softly drop the knees towards each other until they touch.
When you have settled in, set your timer for 15 minutes.
Consciously breathe in and out and let gravity do the work. Be aware of the sensations in your body: physical, mental, emotional, energetic. You can name them out loud, and every time you notice that you are getting back into story, thoughts or fantasies, bring yourself back to the sensations and your body.
You may notice a difference in your left and right hip and the distance to the floor. This may show you the difference in the tightness of your left and right psoas muscle. You don’t have to change anything, just keep on breathing, surrender more and more to gravity and notice what happens in these 15 minutes.
Slowly come out of the pose, and feel the effects. Just a reminder that there is no right or wrong, good or bad. You also do not have to explain anything. Just feel, notice and expand your awareness.
* the first time I did this pose I had a major release in my lower back > this came up as a strong and intense pain during the pose, and I stayed with it, and breathed with it (knowing that it was a pain asking for my attention and awareness). After the pose I really took the time to get back and I have been very gentle with myself. Eventually I experienced a major release in my lower back!
Enjoy and if anything pops up, please reach out to me!
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