Have you experienced calm and relaxation with restorative yoga? Does your body respond well to the deep pressure touch of weighted items? If so, this post may be just for you. Restorative yoga poses and weighted items work with the “rest and digest” pathways of the nervous system. When we light up these pathways through mindful breathing and movement, muscle tension can soften and the breath can deepen. In this post, we share how Sommerfly weighted and sensory products can be incorporated into a restorative yoga sequence. *This information is intended for adults in good health, without injury, who have experienced these restorative yoga poses safely under the instruction of a qualified instructor. It is not intended for those with injuries or who have not yet experienced yoga instruction.* This post may also offer registered yoga instructors weighted options for enhancing instruction.
For the yoga sequence pictured below, the Sommerfly wristful fidget is used for gentle compression and weight on the wrist and forearms. First is a set of size large and second is a set of size small, closest to the wrist. Work with a length of time in the poses that works best for you, either counting breath cycles or using a timer, for example.
Child’s pose: The 5lb Sleep Tight blanket is used for weight on the shoulders, back, and hips. Prepare your props, such as a bolster seen below. Set the blanket in front of you with the neck cut out close to you. Once you are in a kneeling position, put the blanket on as you would a shawl with the cut out along the back of the neck. Adjust the blanket with the top sections of the weight over the shoulders. Come into child’s pose holding onto the blanket at the shoulders. Make any adjustments for comfort and drape of the blanket. Come into your preferred arm position, either releasing the hands palm up at your sides and behind you towards your feet or extending the arms forward, a comfortable distance from your head, with the palms down. Continue to relax into the position, breathing in and out comfortably with mindful awareness.
Legs Up the Wall Pose: Set the 5lb Sleep Tight next to your hip folded accordion-style with the side edge and neck in position. Come into the pose and pull the blanket up over the hips and waist. Unfold the blanket over torso, draping over the torso and shoulders. The bottom of the blanket can be folded up toward the stomach to adjust for length and comfort. Noticing the sensation of weight on the belly and torso, continue to breathe in and out comfortably with mindful awareness.
Basic Relaxation Pose: While seated, set the 5lb Sleep Tight next to you, folded accordion style with the neck and shoulders on top. Place the blanket over the hips. Take this relaxation pose in the position that is best for you, supporting the body under the knees if you prefer, as pictured with the bolster. Take hold of the top of the blanket with both hands and pull it up over the torso chest and shoulders. Adjust the bottom of the blanket to comfort. As you sense the supportive weight of the blanket, continue to breathe mindfully in and out. When you’re ready to come out of the pose, remove the blanket from the shoulders, chest, and torso. Bend the knees to release the bottom of the blanket toward the hips. Carefully slide the blanket off of the body, taking care not to strain the neck.
Basic Meditation Pose: Assume a comfortable seated position on a cushion or chair. Place the Classic Shoulder Wrap (large pictured above) on the shoulders. As the awareness registers the sensation of the weight, notice any adjustments that feel most comfortable. Allow the hands to relax on the legs while bringing attention to the breath coming in and going out.
Thank you for bringing Sommerfly into your yoga practice. Please practice wisely and gently, modifying the instructions as you need for your own ease and safety. If you would like to share any feedback or reflections on the practice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a yoga teacher or yoga therapist and would like to discuss how Sommerfly can enhance your instruction, I would be happy to speak with you.
Take good care,
Hollie Marron, OTR/L, RYT Occupational Therapist, Registered Yoga Teacher
Thank you to Desdemona “Bunty” Burgin for her photography. www.desdemonadigital.com