Bolster Your Spirit

Overview

For those who live on the go and have stress on the rise, Bolster Your Spirit is the perfect antidote. It is time to return to a balanced life where effort is supported by rest and rejuvenation.

These beautiful postures will allow your body to open effortlessly, your mind to experience stillness, and your spirit to nourish both. These pages hold many possibilities for finding your way to harmony. The gentle postures are the keys to entering a new space where you are able to ...

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Overview

For those who live on the go and have stress on the rise, Bolster Your Spirit is the perfect antidote. It is time to return to a balanced life where effort is supported by rest and rejuvenation.

These beautiful postures will allow your body to open effortlessly, your mind to experience stillness, and your spirit to nourish both. These pages hold many possibilities for finding your way to harmony. The gentle postures are the keys to entering a new space where you are able to embrace and replenish your self and to Bolster Your Spirit.

"Mana and Kathy are continuing to help others heal. This time it is for all who are tired, weary, and tense. The restorative poses described in this book, when practiced regularly, will ease your tensions, your breath and just make you feel dashed good!"

-Aadil Palkhivala, JD, CYT, AHSP, Yoga Master

"Bolster yourself and bolster your yoga library with this easy-to-use restorative yoga manual. ... The clear photographs and detailed instructions allow new students to develop their practice and feel safe and rejuvenated in the process. ... Divine space is created in each pose; space for reflection, meditation, feeling and awareness."

-Susan Hyman, physical therapist

"How wonderful to have a book that teaches us how to use bolsters to aid relaxation and rejuvenation. This book supports health and wellness-physically and emotionally-which is much needed in today's busy, stressful world."

-Letitia Cain, National Director of Naturopathic Medicine, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781458201232
  • Publisher: Abbott Press
  • Publication date: 12/5/2011
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 1,384,827
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.09 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Bolster Your Spirit


By Mana Iluna Kathy Triplett

Abbott Press

Copyright © 2011 Kathy Triplett and Mana Iluna
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4582-0123-2


Chapter One

Meditation Posture - I

"Nowhere will you be able to find peace unless you have peace in your heart." ______________

The Pose:

• Sit on the side of the bolster near the edge.

• Fold the legs on the floor in front of the body.

• Lift the lower abdomen.

• Keep the spine vertical and erect.

• Move the kidneys gently toward the chest.

• Rest the hands on the thighs, palms up.

• Relax the elbows toward the floor.

• Lift the sternum while lowering the shoulder blades.

• Keep the chin parallel to the floor.

• Relax the neck, throat and shoulders.

• Rest the eyes and mind on the flame of white light glowing in the Heart Center.

The Benefits:

• Allows one to quiet the body and focus the mind in the Heart Center.

Meditation Posture - II

"Give yourself up - it is the best way of finding yourself." ____________________

The Pose:

• Sit on the end of the bolster near the edge.

• Fold the legs on the floor in front of the body.

• Lift the lower abdomen.

• Keep the spine vertical and erect.

• Move the kidneys gently toward the chest.

• Rest the hands on the thighs, palms up.

• Relax the elbows toward the floor.

• Lift the sternum while lowering the shoulder blades.

• Keep the chin parallel to the floor.

• Relax the neck, throat and shoulders.

• Rest the eyes and mind on the flame of white light glowing in the Heart Center.

The Benefits:

• Allows one to quiet the body and focus the mind in the Heart Center.

Baddha Konasana - Supported

"It is in silence that the soul best expresses itself." _______________________

The Pose:

• Sit on the side or end of the bolster (for people with more open hips, a foam pad can be used to catch the buttocks in back, with the sitting bones on the floor).

• Bring the soles of the feet together.

• Hold the ankles.

• Lift the lower abdomen.

• Keep the spine vertical.

• Move the kidneys toward the chest.

• Keep the chin parallel to the floor.

• Press the soles of the feet together to move the knees apart.

• With open or closed eyes, keep the inner gaze at the Heart Center.

The Benefits:

• Sitting on a bolster allows the hips to open more easily and keeps the back from rounding.

• Opens the groin muscles.

• Strengthens the spine.

• Circulates energy through the pelvis.

• Eases menstrual discomfort.

Virasana - I

"To express Harmony, of all things Simplicity is the best." _____________________

The Pose:

• Sit on the front end of the bolster.

• Bring both feet back to rest next to the bolster.

• If the tops of the feet or ankles are uncomfortable, place a rolled blanket under each ankle.

• If the knees are uncomfortable, place one or two foam pads under the buttocks.

• If there is sharp pain in the knees, do not do this pose.

• Move the knees directly forward from the hips.

• Lift the lower abdomen.

• Keep the spine vertical.

• Lift the sternum as the shoulder blades move down.

• Keep the chin parallel to the floor.

• Rest the hands on the thighs, palms up.

This is a good meditation posture when crossed legs become uncomfortable.

The Benefits:

• Keeps the knee joints flexible.

• Allows the hip muscles to release.

• Strengthens the spine.

• Stretches the tops of the feet, keeping them flexible.

Virasana - II

"The whole creation speaks of the Divine to him who knows how to hear within his heart." ___________________

The Pose:

• Kneel on the bolster.

• Place the folded blanket to touch the back of the knees between the thighs and calves, and sit down, with the toes off the bolster.

• There must be no sharp pain in the knees. If there is add extra blankets.

• Lift the lower abdomen.

• Keep the spine vertical.

• Lift the sternum as the shoulder blades move down.

• Keep the chin parallel to the floor.

• Rest the hands on the thighs, palms up.

This is a good meditation posture when crossed legs become uncomfortable.

The Benefits:

• Helps open the knee joints.

• Releases the hips.

Virasana - III

"It is only in quietness and peace that one can know what is the best thing to do." _____________________

The Pose:

• Sit on the side of the bolster with the knees forward and the lower legs under the bolster.

• Bring the big toes together, with the lower legs and the feet on a blanket if necessary for comfort.

• It is acceptable for the heels to move apart even though the big toes are together.

• There must be no sharp pain. If there is, add extra blankets.

• Lift the lower abdomen.

• Keep the spine vertical.

• Lift the sternum as the shoulder blades move down.

• Keep the chin parallel to the floor.

• Rest the hands on the thighs, palms up.

This is a good meditation posture when crossed legs become uncomfortable.

The Benefits:

• Opens compressed knee joints.

• Keeps the knee joints flexible.

• Allows the hip muscles to release.

• Strengthens the spine.

• Stretches the tops of the feet, keeping them flexible.

Eka Pada Supta Virasana

"Sweetness adds its smiling touch to life without making a fuss." ______________________

The Pose:

• Sit 3 inches away from the bolster.

• Bring one foot back with the knee directly forward from the hip.

• The forward knee should touch the floor. If it doesn't, place another bolster under the body so that the knee releases to the floor.

• There should be no sharp pain in the knee. If there is, place another bolster on top of the bolster so there is less pull on the quadriceps and knee.

• There should be no low-back discomfort. If there is, place a foam pad under the buttocks.

• Bend the other leg, with the foot on the floor next to the inner thigh.

• Lie down on the bolster with your head on the foam pad (if the neck feels uncomfortable, place a foam pad or blanket under the head).

• Bring the arms away from the body to open the armpits, palms up.

• Alternate legs, so both sides receive the benefit of the pose.

The Benefits:

• Relaxes the diaphragm.

• Opens the lungs.

• Lengthens the abdominal muscles.

• Aids digestion.

Supta Virasana

"It is the heart that has wings, not the head." ____________________

The Pose:

• Place two bolsters with the top one 6 to 10 inches behind the bottom bolster.

• Sit on the bottom bolster.

• Place both knees forward, and bring the feet next to the bolster.

• Keep the knees directly forward from the hips.

• Rest the hands on the feet (or outward as shown, palms up).

• Place three foam pads in front of the bottom bolster under the buttocks, then lie back on both bolsters for additional knee comfort.

• There must be no sharp pain in the knees.

The Benefits:

• Relaxes the diaphragm.

• Opens the lungs.

• Lengthens the abdominal muscles.

• Aids digestion even better than Eka Pada Supta Virasana.

Bhujangasana

"The hopes of today are the realizations of tomorrow." __________________

The Pose:

Not recommended for individuals with chronic lowback problems.

• Lie on the bolster with the tops of the thighs at the bottom of the bolster.

• Place the hands under the shoulders with the elbows touching the body.

• Tighten the buttocks, and move the tailbone toward the heels.

• Move the shoulder blades toward the buttocks.

• Inhale, press the hands into the floor, and push the upper body off the bolster. (Raise the upper body off the bolster only as far as it feels comfortable for the low back.)

• Move the sternum forward.

• Reach into the toes — stay for three breaths.

• Spread the feet hip-width apart to further release the lower back if necessary.

The Benefits:

• Maintains flexibility of the spine.

• Moves the spine counter to its usual forward bend.

• Opens the Heart Center.

• Strengthens the arms.

• Strengthens the back muscles.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana

"It is better to do well than to do quickly." _____________________

The Pose:

It is best not to do this pose during the menstrual cycle.

• Place the hands beside the bolster a little wider than the shoulders, fingers wide.

• Place the top of the forehead on the bolster and/or foam pads as the feet move back 3 to 4 feet from the bolster. Spread the feet hip-distance apart.

• Lift the buttocks toward the ceiling.

• Extend the sides of the body toward the sitting bones as the heels descend toward the floor.

• Relax as much as possible, with enough weight on the head to help support the body along with the shoulders, hands and arms.

The Benefits:

• Lengthens and releases the spine.

• Gentle inversion allows release of abdominal organs from gravitational pull, allowing circulation and stimulation in this area.

• Gently stretches the hamstring muscles.

• Opens and strengthens the shoulders and arms.

• Stretches the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.

• Supporting the head allows one to stay longer in the pose, for enhanced benefits.

Supta Baddha Konasana

"To conquer the difficulties there is more power in a smile than in a sigh." ______________________

The Pose:

• Sit about 3 inches in front of the bolster.

• Bring the soles of the feet together comfortably close to the body.

• Place the belt loop around the back at the sacral area, under the toes, and over the thighs and adjust firmly.

• Support the knees by placing blankets or foam pads under them. (There must be no pulling or discomfort in the groin area.)

• Lie down, and move the tailbone toward the heels. (If the low back feels uncomfortable, place a blanket or foam pad under the buttocks.)

• Place the head on one or more foam pads for comfort.

• Bring the arms away from the body to open the armpits, palms up.

• Move the shoulders toward the floor.

The Benefits:

• Opens the Heart Center.

• Allows the body to feel open, supported and deeply relaxed.

• Aids the circulation of energy in the pelvis.

• Gently stretches the abdominal muscles.

• Relaxes the shoulder and neck area.

• Especially useful during menses.

• The longer one stays in this pose, the greater the benefit.

Back Bend - On Cross Bolsters

"A drop of practice is better than an ocean of theories, advises and good resolutions." _______________________

The Pose:

• Cross two bolsters.

• Lie on the length of the top bolster.

• Bring the legs together with the belt around the mid-thighs, soles of the feet on the wall.

• Variation 1: Don't use the belt, and just allow the legs and feet to relax apart.

• Variation 2: Place the back of the neck at the curved end of the top bolster to support the neck and relax the head back.

• Bring the arms above the shoulders.

• If it is more comfortable, stretch both arms to the sides. (If the shoulders can't find a comfortable place, hold each elbow and place the arms above the head.)

The Benefits:

• Gently stretches the front body, quadriceps, and upper and lower abdomen.

• Opens the chest and shoulders, making breathing easier.

• Relaxes the neck and throat.

• Supports the spine, allowing the spinal muscles to release.

• Curves the spine in the opposite direction from the usual rounding forward.

• The belt keeps the legs together while they relax.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - I

"Always remember that on the happiness you give will depend the happiness you get." ____________________

The Pose:

• Align two bolsters lengthwise.

• Sit on the bolster to place the belt around the mid-thighs.

• Lie down.

• Slide back until the tops of the shoulders rest on the floor.

• Bring the arms away from the body to open the armpits, palms up.

• Keep the legs straight.

• Relax the neck, throat and shoulders.

• Rest the eyes and mind on the flame of white light glowing in the Heart Center.

The Benefits:

• Opens the chest and diaphragm.

• Gently removes the forward bend of the upper back.

• Aids the circulatory system.

• Releases the gravitational pull on the abdominal organs and legs.

• The belt keeps the legs together while they relax.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - II

"Your soul blossoms to the Light as a flower opens to the sun." ______________________

The Pose:

• Cross two bolsters.

• Sit on the bottom end of the top bolster.

• Place the belt around the mid-thighs.

• Lie down and slide back until the head and shoulders rest comfortably, heels on the wall. (If the low back feels uncomfortable, place two foam pads at the bottom end of the top bolster, as shown.)

• Move the tailbone toward the heels.

• Relax the neck, throat and jaw.

• Bring the arms above the shoulders with the right hand in the left hand.

• If more comfortable, stretch both arms to the sides. (If the shoulders can't find a comfortable place, hold each elbow and place the arms above the head.)

The Benefits:

• Opens the chest and the Heart Center.

• Gently stretches the chest, rib cage and back muscles.

• Reverses the usual forward curve of the spine.

• Increases the flow of oxygen into the lungs.

• The belt keeps the legs together while they relax.

Viparita Karani - I

"To conquer a desire brings more joy than to satisfy it." __________________

The Pose:

Avoid this pose during menses or if you have high blood pressure or a heart or eye condition.

• Place the bolster 2 inches from and parallel to the wall.

• Lie on the bolster with the buttocks touching the wall. (If the hamstrings are tight, move the bolster farther from the wall and move the buttocks a comfortable distance from the wall.)

• Rest the upper back, head and shoulders on the floor.

• Place the belt around the mid-thigh.

• Bring the arms out, palms up.

• Draw the shoulder blades toward the wall.

The Benefits:

• Releases the hips and low back.

• Gentle cardiac stimulation.

• Opens the chest.

• Gently removes the forward bend of the upper back.

• Stimulates and energizes the kidneys.

• Reverses gravitational pull.

• Reverses the blood flow from the legs and feet.

• The belt keeps the legs together while they relax.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Bolster Your Spirit by Mana Iluna Kathy Triplett Copyright © 2011 by Kathy Triplett and Mana Iluna. Excerpted by permission of Abbott Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword....................5
Notes from the Authors....................6
With Gratitude....................7
Meditation Posture - I....................8
Meditation Posture - II....................9
Baddha Konasana....................10
Virasana - I....................11
Virasana - II....................12
Virasana - III....................13
Eka Pada Supta Virasana....................14
Supta Virasana....................15
Bhujangasana....................16
Adho Mukha Shvanasana....................17
Supta Baddha Konasana....................18
Back Bend – On Cross Bolsters....................19
Setu Banda Sarvangasana - I....................20
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - II....................21
Viparita Karani - I....................22
Viparita Karani - II....................23
Heart Opening - I....................24
Heart Opening - II....................25
Janu Sirsasana....................26
Pregnancy Resting Pose - I....................27
Pregnancy Resting Pose - II....................28
Side Stretch....................29
Balasana - Child's Pose....................30
Tummy Rest....................31
Pranayama Posture....................32
Shavasana - I....................33
Shavasana - II....................34
About....................35
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