Yoga for Relaxation

Once my snow pants were not even pretending to stay snapped, and I found myself holding my breath to bend over and tighten my bindings, we decided snowboarding season was probably over for me.  I needed a new activity.  The RV resort was closing the pool to rebuild the roof, so swimming was out.  The gym would still be open during construction but stairmasters and treadmils are just no fun.  I searched around to see what was closest and scored.  MT Hood Zen Yoga is about a mile up the road from our campsite, located in the Thriftway shopping center, near the ski shop and Coffee Brewsters.  Their new student special is 2 weeks unlimited classes for only $30!  You don’t even have to be a local, which makes it an amazing deal for even a short trip to the mountains, as the going rate for yoga classes seems to be about $15 per class these days.  Run by a chiropractor, who also offers massage, I found this to be the most beneficial yoga I’ve ever participated in.

A soft drizzle of rain sounds on the roof above, the essence of spa scented aromatherapy and nature sounds call for you to come in.  Natural light shines through the entry wall of windows, while soft candles add lit splashes through the rest of the studio.  Leave your shoes at the door, pour a warm cup of complementary organic tea, roll out a mat, sit and just breath. Before the class even starts, you’ll feel the peace sinking through your body.

An intimate class of 10 or less benefits a more personal guidance.  Instructors help ease you into positions, correcting and offering alternative postures to assist with injury or discomfort.  Soft bolsters propped under knees lessen strain on the lower back when in savasana (dead body/ corpse pose).  A rolled blanket beneath my ribs and hips removed pressure on my baby belly when in a lower cobra pose.

Wrapped in a tissue, a lavender eye pillow is placed over the eyes for ultimate relaxation.  Leaving the class has you thinking you just came out of a massage with muscles and mind relaxed, you feel refreshed to take on the day.

I found backside butterfly with cactus arms, and the pigeon stretches to be especially pleasing on releasing hip and pelvic tension.

Backside Butterfly with Cactus Arms
1. Lay on your back over a bolster or rolled blanket vertically, so that one end sits at about your tail bone and the other end supports your neck
2. Bringing the soles of your feet together, bend knees and slide your heels towards your body while allowing gravity to pull the outside of your knees toward the ground, opening your hips and pelvis

3. Stretch your arms above your head with palms facing up, and slide arms down to bend at the elbow halfway to form a “Y” or cactus arms

Focus on gently breathing. The position should be comfortable, but the longer you stay in it the more of a stretch you will experience.  Remember to ease out of stretches slowly, and always in the opposite way you got into them.

I find the Butterfly stretch nice at night when reading in bed, and it must be comfortable for baby too as I can always feel baby kicking and playing when I’m in it!

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