You’re ready for a deep, restorative iRest practice and the teacher begins by asking you to find a comfortable position on your back. You look around the room (or as the case may be, the Zoom) and everyone else seems to be managing well. In fact, they all look pretty blissed out. Why can it be so hard to just lie still?
Not every practitioner can safely lie down with their legs extended, confirms yoga teacher Donna Farhi in her book Pathways to a Centered Body: Gentle Yoga Therapy for Core Stability, Healing Back Pain and Moving with Ease (coauthored with Leila Stuart). The solutions and alternatives are sometimes straightforward: a pillow or bolster under the knees, for example, can ease pelvic and spinal discomfort. Since that is not always a surefire bet, Farhi offers other options of effective reclining poses.
- Constructive Rest Position This pose can be ideal for iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation “not only because it helps to release the deep spinal muscles,” writes Farhi, “but also because it offers a physical balance between attentiveness and relaxation”. It releases the deep psoas muscles while rebalancing and lengthening the spinal column, making it a powerful way to alleviate spinal discomfort. Want to give it a try? Explore this article, complete with photo diagrams.
- Constructive Rest for Bendy Backs It’s a complicated word with even more complicated effects: hyperlordosis is an accentuated curvature in the lumbar spine that can cause compression, pain, and even numbness and tingling down the legs. Take heart: a variation of Constructive Rest Position can help you to release and lengthen your spine and reduce your lumbar curvature while enjoying the benefits of iRest. Check it out here.
Is there a way to be more proactive with your back care? Indeed. To help ensure you don’t encounter pain during your meditation practice or in daily life, Farhi offers several therapeutic spinal releases. These are wonderful antidotes to long days of sitting or standing, when you are likely to have achy joints and feel mentally depleted. Try this practice to lengthen your spine and boost energy levels, and prepare you for a more comfortable iRest practice.