Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Supported Fish Pose

As an office dweller, one of my favorite styles of yoga is called yin yoga. 

Yin yoga is done seated or laying down and the poses are held for 3-5 minutes. Blankets and blocks are used generously to help the body feel supported so it can really open up into the poses. The point is to get into the body's connective tissue. It gets into the muscles somewhat, too.  

Anyway, one of my long-time favorites is the Supported Fish Pose. Here is traditional Fish Pose from the Yoga Journal. The supported variation has you put a rolled up blanket or yoga block just under your shoulder blades and then rest your head on a blanket or block. Extend your arms out to a "T" position or however feels comfortable. 

This pose is great for those of us who sit at a computer screen all day. Or for people (e.g. parents, delivery persons) who frequently lean over and pick things up.

Here's is how it might look with blankets:
Image from American Council on Exercise.

Or using yoga blocks:
Image from Elephant Journal.

Or in bed with a pillow:
Image from The Fit Girl's Kitchen.

Settle in, close your eyes, and just relax in for 3-5 minutes. When you are ready to move, do so slowly. Remover your blankets, blocks, pillows and lay flat for 30 seconds to a minute. Feeling the difference in your body. 

Ahhhhhh. Such a relaxing opening across the chest. I have tight shoulders so I feel this opening there as well as in the tops of my arms.