Rodney Yee's Restorative Yoga Sequence to Prepare for Pranayama

Rumor has it that when B.K.S. Iyengar’s daughter Geeta asked him to teach her pranayama, he said, “Go practice Savasana (Corpse Pose) for 10 years. Then we’ll begin.” So, the road to learning pranayama starts with relaxation. Then you move on to breath awareness—of assessing what is in the way of your natural breath. Finally, there are many pranayama techniques that will keep you engaged for the rest of your life. If you practice without a teacher, red flags that you’ve gone too far are as follows: tearing of the eyes, ringing in the ears, shaky handwriting, irritability, and anxiousness. All of these are signs that you need to do less—that you might want to consider resting in Savasana. It is important to be honest and accept the feedback your body gives you. It’s necessary to check in periodically with a proficient teacher who knows you well and has an extensive pranayama practice of their own (a daily pranayama practice for at least 10 years). The following sequence will help you relax, observe obstacles to peace (both internal and external), and prepare the diaphragm for deep breathing.

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Lie back with a sandbag nearby. Straighten your legs and press them together. Reach strongly through your heels. Reach your arms along the ground above your head, and place a sandbag on your palms and...
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Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose). Place a rolled blanket on the mat for your shoulder blades to rest on. Loop a strap around the middle of your thighs. Make sure your knees are facing up. Release your le...
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Remove the props and lie down on your right side with extended legs—as if doing a side-lying Mountain Pose. Keep your feet flexed and your top arm out in front of your chest with your fingers on the...
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Place the front legs of a chair along the long edge of your mat. Sit on the front edge of the seat. Separate your knees so your thighs (and feet) make a 90-degree angle with each other. Elongate your ...
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Lie back again, this time with bent legs. Lift your hips and place a block under your sacrum—at a height that is comfortable. Keep your upper arms parallel to each other, bending at the elbows to mo...
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Fold 2 blankets 1 foot wide, 1.5 feet long, and 2 inches high. Stack them and place the long side a few inches from a wall. Sit on the blankets with one hip against the wall. Roll onto your back and s...
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Fold a blanket to about 8 inches wide, 2 feet long, and 3 inches deep, and add it to the middle of your mat for spinal support. Fold another blanket into a pillow. Sit in front of the lower blanket wi...
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Remove the props and sit on a block. Take the blanket you used for spinal support in the last pose and place it perpendicular to your seat. Cross your lower legs so that your ankles rest on the blanke...
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Created By Patty Hodapp

Fitness Instructor

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This workout is the product of the trainer who created it. IDEA and Athletes' Performance, Inc. are not responsible nor endorse the efficacy of this program or the appropriate use of the exercises held within.