Clear Out Shame in The Solar Plexus with This Therapeutic Yoga Pose

Supported Half Moon - Arm Circles

SUPPORTED ½ MOON WITH ARM CIRCLES

This restorative side opening position creates space in the hips, low back, intercostal muscles of the ribs and shoulders. The pelvis naturally realigns while tension is eased in the low back. Tension in the side body restricting the diaphragm is cleared, so breathing becomes easier.

Lungs are strengthened and the relaxation response is more accessible with deeper breaths. This is an ideal pose to open the side body before coming into deep twists. Finding length before coming into a twist protects the spine and low back. This variation of the pose is extremely gentle on the shoulders, but still provides an adequate stretch for the top shoulder.

While practicing this pose, the second chakra—the sacral chakra—and the third chakra—the solar plexus—are awakened. Emotional intelligence has the space to grow as you are more able to create healthy boundaries. The ability to gracefully move with the flow of life, without resistance to change, is enhanced. The energies of the right to act as your true self, connection to self-confidence and personal power with balanced self-esteem and ego-strength are boosted as both of these chakras come into alignment.

INSTRUCTION

  • Place your bolster horizontally on the earth. Sit with the right hip up against the bolster.
  • There are two variations for the bottom shoulder – for most stretch – use an inhale to lengthen the ribs and as you exhale, drape the rib cage on the bolster as you lengthen the bottom arm, palm up, resting it on the earth. Place a blanket (long rectangle fold) on the bottom shoulder and rest the head on.
  • Stack the knees on top of each with a blanket (long rectangle fold) between the knees and ankles or stagger the legs, scissoring the top leg back for more stretch.
  • Legs can stay bent or straighten. If your leg or legs are straight, be sure to keep a slight bend in the knee to protect the knee from hyperextension.
  • Inhale top arm up and over the head. Gently tug the top wrist to get a little more stretch on inhale. As you exhale, release the wrist and allow the hands to softly rest on the earth.
  • If this is too much stretch for the top shoulder, rest the arm out in front of you under a blanket (small rectangle fold). Option: place a folded blanket (large rectangle fold) on the top hip for weight.
  • For less stretch in the bottom shoulder – place a blanket (square fold) on the earth to use as a support under the head – about 12 inches away from the bolster.
  • Inhale, lengthen the ribs and as you exhale, drape the rib cage on the bolster. Head rests on the blanket, bottom arm lengthens out on the earth in front of you, palm up toward sky.
  • Stack the knees on top of each with a blanket (long rectangle fold) between the knees and ankles or stagger the legs, scissoring the top leg back for more stretch.
  • Legs can stay bent or straighten. If your leg or legs are straight, be sure to keep a slight bend in the knee to protect the knee from hyperextension.
  • Use an inhale to lengthen the top arm over the head. Rest the hand palm down (if this is too much stretch for the top shoulder, rest the arm out in front of you under a blanket, small rectangle fold). Option: place a folded blanket (large rectangle fold) on the top hip for weight.
  • Close the eyes and drop right into deep breaths. Breathe into the places you feel the stretch and expansion of the side body. When the awareness drifts, keep coming back to the breath and feeling what is there for you in the moment. Allow yourself to feel but also allow for the breath to melt away tension and holding.
  • Option: Arm Circles – before you transition out of the pose, take a few minutes to practice some gentle yoga for the top arm. Inhale, lengthen the top arm toward sky and as you exhale, slowly circle the arm around. If circling a straight arm isn’t accessible, bend the arm and circle the elbow. These circles gently stretch the top shoulder and loosen tension in the shoulder joint. Slower circles are more beneficial. Practice with deep breaths for 10-20 cycles of breath.
  • To transition to the other side: draw the knees together if they were apart or bend the legs if they were straight. Press the top hand into the bolster and come up to seated. Turn slowly away from the bolster and pause in a comfortable seated position. Close the eyes and breathe for 2 slow cycles of breath, resetting the spine to neutral before you transition to the other side. Slowly open the eyes and continue to turn, bringing the left hip against the supports. Follow the same instruction for the other side.
  • To release: draw the knees together if they were apart or bend the legs if they were straight. Press the top hand into the bolster and come up to seated. Turn to face away from the support and find a comfortable seated position. Take a few deep breaths before transitioning.

MY BOOK: YOGA FOR LOW BACK AND HIP HEALTH

This pose is from my book, “Yoga For Low Back and Hip Health”. In it, you’ll find easy gentle and restorative yoga instruction that anyone can do. You’ll be feeling better in no time, without drugs or surgery. No experience needed: it’s perfect for beginners and advanced yogis alike.

What’s in the book?
  • Over 200 pages of in-depth and appropriate instruction
  • 43 restorative and gentle yoga poses
  • 15 practical and unique yoga sequences. Practice at your convenience—no pressure to get to a packed studio class at an inconvenient time!
  • Includes over 300 high-resolution images to help you along
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