Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rock Pose for Digestion

I love Rock Pose. I feel calm, grounded, a little bit like time stands still when I'm just sitting on my heels. I've just discovered that in this position, coupled with deep, slow breathing where you feel your belly distend on the inhale and press in on the exhale, helps digestion after a meal.

When I first started yoga, sitting in Rock Pose was excruciating on my knees, and I felt like the circulation in my legs just stopped. Others feel the pain on the tops of their feet, or their ankles. Happily, sitting like this for a little while each day will help increase mobility in these areas, as I am proof of now being able to enjoy, even crave, resting like this for long whiles.

You can help get more comfortable by using bolsters:
~ sitting on a blanket folded several times for padding on the floor
~ placing a small cushion or rolled up bath towel under the ankles
~ placing a rolled up hand towel behind the knees

Then, place your hands on your thighs, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and think of nothing other than the air entering your lungs and exiting your nose.

Want to strengthen your digestion even more? Try this exercise once in a while, but be sure to do it on an empty stomach, please!

Sit in Rock Pose, getting comfortable enough to endure several minutes. Bring your hands over your head, palms firmly touching, elbows straight. Begin breath of fire, where you concentrate on the exhale (through the nose only) by pushing in your stomach, and inhale briefly (through the nose only) without really making efforts here, just allowing your stomach to relax. Your pace should be quick: two or three breaths per second, pumping your belly quite noticeably. Continue for two to three minutes, then lower your arms and relax. If you like, lie on the floor in Corpse Pose for a minute and completely let go. Done.


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