(Reclined Cross Pose)
Due to our busy lifestyles, we rarely take time to simply relax and let go. This asana falls into the clan of poses known as "restoratives." By practicing restorative asanas, we can relearn the skill of relaxation, bringing our body, mind and spirit into a harmonious state.
"Supta" means to recline. The swastika is an ancient sacred symbol for luck and auspiciousness. In Supta Swastikasana, the legs are crossed, and the body is evenly supported with the chest open. This posture leads to deep relaxation and relieves stress and fatigue. Due to the rotation of the thigh bones, the hips are stretched, and stiffness in the knees is relieved.
1. Fold a blanket lengthwise and place on the floor. Then place another blanket on the first one; this one will be for your head. Sit in front of the lengthwise blanket and cross your legs, bringing your feet under the knees. Do not cross at the ankles or draw your feet close to the hips. Your thighs and shins should form the sides of a square, not a triangle.
2. Recline first onto your elbows and then position your back on the blanket. Ensure that your spine is lengthened and straight with your shoulders level. Bring the other blanket to touch the tips of your shoulders. Rest the back of your head on it. Your head should be placed so that the forehead is parallel to the floor. Do not throw your head back.
3. Press your elbows into the floor and tuck your shoulder blades into the back, down and away from the ears. Lift and open your chest.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Annie Yee Egi demonstrates Supta Swastikasana.
4. Rest your elbows and the back of your wrists on the floor with palms turned up. Keep your arms away from the body so there is freedom in the chest.
5. Position your entire body so your weight is evenly distributed. Do not lean left nor right. Relax your knees and let them rest on the feet.
6. Now close your eyes and unknit your brow as you let your face muscles go loose. Observe the flow of breath at the nostrils, allowing the limbs and trunk to relax, supported by the floor and blanket. Allow your collarbones to spread and your thighs to relax, bringing a sense of openness, surrender and freedom in the front of the body.
7. Stay in this position for five to 10 minutes, come up and change the cross of the legs, and repeat the pose.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.