Restorative Pose Of The Month - Makarasana (Crocodile)
Thursday, March 27, 2014
This restorative expression of crocodile pose is especially useful for those individuals who have to either stand or sit for prolonged periods of time.
Pose Set Up: Fold up a small blanket or place a pillow directly across the hips and pelvis, preferably covering from tops of thighs to the belly button to fully support the sacral region and lumbar spine. Place additional padding, blanket or pillow, under the calves and ankles so that knees may stay slightly bent and thus taking pressure out of the low back by shortening the hamstrings.
Pranayama: If you have a very busy mind, try using your belly to breathe. Notice the earth's resistance against the abdomen. Try this 3-5 times. Eventually, the stomach muscles that tend to harbor tension will grow weary and relax. Now, allow your breath to find its own way in the body. The breath will naturally take the path of least resistance. Notice how it moves into the low back, the side waist and ribs, then behind the heart. Try 3-Part Breathing here. Breathe into the low back, then the mid back and ribs, finally behind the heart. Exhale, relaxing the shoulders, the mid back, then the hips and low back.
Health benefits: Used to counter rounding in the low back. Resets spine, opens psoas region.
Chakra: Balances all, but primarily the first and third chakras, Muladhara and Manipura respectively. Helps to keep us grounded (Muladhara), anchored to the earth when we lye prone. The compression of the belly (Manipura) helps to rid the body of harmful stress hormones.
Visual Meditation: Lying close to the earth in crocodile pose, feeling much like the crocodile as it lives its life so close to the earth. Thinking about how this animal only looks for what it absolutely needs. What is essential to our survival today?
Sound (Nada Yoga): Haa, like fogging up a mirror, allow the lower lip to part from the upper lip, let the exhalation remain breathy.
Yama: Shaucha, purity. Let's use our breath to carry out whatever is not useful or necessary in this moment to sustain peace of mind.
Mantra (positive psychology): I give myself permission to relax.