Tuesday Tip of the Day - Restore with Fish Pose
Ahhh, restorative fish pose. This might be my favorite restorative pose ever. It's funny, because if you're familiar with the "regular" version of fish pose, I used to absolutely loath that pose. It felt so very awkward to me. I rarely, if ever, taught the pose and if I ended up in a class where I it came up, I would reluctantly, and very cautiously, make my way into it.
Along comes restorative fish pose. Ahh, the wonder...the magic. It is unbelievable what props can do for a pose. As you can see in the picture, restorative fish pose uses two yoga blocks (alternatively, you could use a bolster or a rolled up blanket in place of the second block). One block goes under your head (I'd stick with the lowest position of the block). The second block (that's the one you can replace with something else) goes in between your shoulder blades as you lie down on it--it should end up being right under your chest so that your chest "puffs up" from the block. Your arms can reach out to the sides like a T if that is comfortable. Your legs can be extended (as shown), or if that puts too much pressure on your low back, your knees can be bent and your feet can be flat on the floor.
The pose is meant to open your heart and your lungs. Close your eyes and relax your shoulders down as you open your palms to the sky. Often throughout our day, we inadvertently close off the front side of our body. We hunch over a computer, a steering wheel, etc and just close off everything. So this opens us back up. This pose helps to open up the chest and even the throat. It allows your shoulders to relax. It allows your body to find a gentle, supported backbend. Simply relax into this pose and breathe. As it is a restorative pose, you can stay here for 3-10 minutes. If this is a new pose to you, start small (2-3 minutes) and work your way up if it feels good.
How did it feel? Try it for a few days--this might become one of your favorites too!