Monday, November 28, 2011

A Time to Return to Yourself

Mercury Retrograde 
Those of us who are interested in astrology always roll our eyes and take a deep breath as Mercury Retrograde cycles through every three or four months.  It is a time when mechanical and electronic devices tend to go awry, when the most basic communications can become misunderstood, or when we feel like we are working very hard and getting absolutely nowhere.  
The planet Mercury’s retrograde aspect can indeed be exasperating, but it is also a time that can be fertile (and yes, restorative!) when welcomed with the right attitude.  For as sure as we may break or lose something dear to us, we are just as likely to hear from an old friend or find that an aspiration we let go of months ago can now be fulfilled.
So I want to suggest a wonderful Restorative Yoga posture for these Mercury Retrograde weeks ahead (November 25-December 14th) along with a radical concept for this time of return:  What if we use it to return to ourselves?  
What would you do if that old friend suddenly showed up or called?  My guess is you would stop whatever you were doing and give them your undivided appreciation...and come away feeling revitalized.  
So in these next few weeks I invite you to give yourself that undivided time.  Take an hour, an afternoon or even a day to spend with yourself as we would an old friend.  Treat yourself with the same affection you would extend to someone you loved, and feel what it’s like to reunite with yourself.  
A Restorative Pose for Mercury Retrograde


Modified Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)
When I am really pooped I like this variation.  You can also do this pose against the wall, with your hips on a blanket and legs extended straight upward.
  • SIT ON A FOLDED BLANKET NEXT TO A CHAIR or AT THE EDGE OF YOUR COUCH or BED
  • LEAN BACK and SWING YOUR LEGS ONTO THE SEAT so THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET CUSHIONS YOUR HIPS and THE FOLDED EDGE IS TO THE SMALL OF YOUR BACK
  • KNEES SHOULD BE DIRECTLY OVER YOUR HIPS and YOUR CALVES AT A RIGHT ANGLE to YOUR THIGHS
  • I START WITH ANOTHER BLANKET or MAT UNDERNEATH ME and COVER MYSELF with YET ANOTHER BLANKET and EYEBAG TO STIMULATE THE PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM or RELAXATION RESPONSE 
  • YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO PLACE A ROLLED TOWEL BEHIND YOUR NECK or UNDER YOUR HEAD IF YOU FEEL ANY TENSION IN YOUR CERVICAL SPINE
  • BREATH SLOWLY and FULLY, RELEASE ANY HOLDING and ENJOY THIS POSE.  IF YOUR LEGS START TO TINGLE OR YOU FEEL ANY DISCOMFORT, JUST BREATH YOUR ARMS OVERHEAD, BRINGS KNEES TO CHEST AND ROLL ONTO YOUR SIDE.  STAY IN THIS "FETAL" POSITION UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO RISE.


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