Relaxation Sequence

Use this sequence after any of the others to conclude your practice. For a short practice, you can use the Warm up sequence and then this Final Relaxation. For longer more active practices, add one of the Basic, Intermediate or Advanced sequences in between. You can even use this sequence on its own after a hard day or to recharge from jet lag, an all nighter or any stressful situation. Always use this sequence, though, after the others.  The most important of practice happens in corpse pose when your body absorbs the fruits of your practice.

Things you might want to have handy: Yoga Mat, Bolster, Yoga Block, Blankets, Eye pillow

Step 1: Bridge
Duration: 5-15 breaths
Pose Review: Bridge Pose

Lying on your back, bend both knees and bring your feet just in front of your hips and parallel to one another. On an exhalation lift your hips off the ground.  Be aware of your knees so that you don’t let them flop out to the sides, but rather maintain your alignment with your knees in front of your hips and over your ankles. You may stay here at first, enjoying this very mild inversion.

To create a supported version, have a block near at hand and place it under your sacrum. You can choose the shortest dimension or the tallest, depending on your feeling today.

To complete the active pose, interlace your fingers behind your hips with your thumbs up. Roll first one shoulder under your body, then the other, bringing your shoulder blades so close on your back that they support the lifting of your chest toward your chin. Do not flatten the curve of your neck or bring your chin down to your chest. Bring your attention to your core and maintaining the lift of your hips.

To come out of the pose, unlace your fingers, unroll your shoulders, and slowly lower your body from the top of your spine to the bottom, trying to feel each vertebrae along the way.

Step 2: Happy Baby
Duration: 5-10 breaths
Pose Review: Happy Baby Pose

From the last stage of Bridge pose, draw your knees into your chest and hug them, rock a bit from side to side.  Separate your knees and grasp the outsides of your feet with the same side hand, or your ankles at first. Lift the bottoms of your feet to the sky, and breathe by expanding your belly, rocking a little bit like a happy baby.

Step 3: Corpse
Duration: 10 Minutes or more
Pose Review: Corpse Pose

Stretch out along the floor and allow your feet to drop naturally out to the sides. Bring your hands down by your hips, palms up, and gently close your eyes and allow your mouth to fall gently open with your tongue disengaged from the roof of your mouth.

You may wish to support your knees with blankets, drape your spine along a bolster or cover your eyes. Or you may just wish to allow your body to fall into the ground beneath, watching sensation and tension melt with it, leaving just the natural rise and fall of your breath.  

As thoughts, feelings, pictures or words come into your attention, watch them with a feeling of detachment - just for now. For these 10 minutes there’s nothing you need to do. Notice how the thoughts appear, morph and disappear like clouds in a clear sky on a summer day.

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