Constructive Rest is a simple restorative pose that happens to be one of my favorite positions to meditate in. I use this pose (and recommend it to my students) when the lower back starts to get tight or cranky, or if there is excess tension and constriction in the psoas or groin.
This pose is also wonderful to help us experience free and deep breathing, as it allows us to deeply release holding in the belly, groins, low back, and all along the spine. It feels like a cranial sacral adjustment as the weight of the head and sacrum release heavily into the floor and the whole spine is freed. Constructive rest is calming and can release over-effort so you feel gently energized afterward. It is also a great pose to address tension around the digestive system.
YOU WILL NEED
1 long, rectangular, folded blanket for back support
1 foam block for leg support
1 large hand or dishtowel for neck and head support
Place a long rectangle-folded blanket, vertically, up the center of your mat. You will lie down on this, the edge of the blanket filling in the curve of your low back.
Place your towel near the top of your mat so that it is there for you when you are ready to set up your neck and head support.
Prepare your strap: Place a block between your knees. Secure a strap around your thighs so that the block doesn't drop from your knees, and yet the strap doesn't cut off your circulation. You want it just tight enough to feel that your knees can't separate, the block can't fall, and you don't need any effort in your thighs to keep your legs up and together. This will help you release all muscular effort in your legs.
Move Into the Pose
With the strap around your thighs and the block between your knees, lie down on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor, arms resting alongside your body. Bring your feet a few inches from your seat and a little wider apart than your hips.
As you explore being in this pose, feel free to readjust with any micro-movements that help you feel more comfortable, grounded, and at ease.
Enjoy several long exhales as you progressively release your body weight into the ground.
Relax Into the Pose
Breath by breath, let go into the ground. Trust that your props and the ground will support you. They will hold you up and together.
Allow your feet, seat, back, and head to fall into the embrace of the earth. Let go of all effort in the thighs, seat, and belly.
For the last couple of minutes in this pose, bring your hands to your belly and pause to feel your palms receiving your breath. Imagine the breath unraveling any lingering knots inside.
Slowly transition out of the pose by taking the block out from between your legs, and sliding your strap off. If you’d like, hug both knees to your belly for a few breaths. Gently move in any way that feels good to you. Mindfully roll to your side and pause, then with care, press up to sitting.