This class is designed to help if you are someone who has seasonal allergies during this time of year when all the beautiful flowers start to come into bloom. There are actually three separate times of year when seasonal allergies tend to occur: spring (tree pollen), summer (grass pollen), and early fall (ragweed pollen), so feel free to use this class whenever you need it. This will also be a useful class if you have a common head cold, if your shoulders need some stretching, or if you need a nice way to calm down in the evening.
Here are some class notes to help with unfamiliar poses and prop usage:
Shoulder opener with blocks:
We do move into shoulderstand at the end of class. I highly recommend you practice shoulderstand with a folded blanket under your shoulders to avoid any compression into your fragile cervical spine or pressing your neck into the floor. Yoga Journal has a perfect picture of salamba sarvangasana with a blanket here if you need an image.
Directions to get into Salamba Sarvangasana (shoudlerstand): Place a neatly folded blanket with about an inch of thickness at the middle of your mat. You will eventually put your shoulders on the smooth edge of the fold, but first take the end of your mat and fold it over to the smooth fold of the blanket so that you have all sticky surfaces. Lie down, with your shoulders about an inch down from the end of the mat and blanket. Your head should be off the blanket and on the part of the mat that is not elevated; when you touch your shoulders, you should feel that they are lifted about an inch off the floor resting on the blanket, while your neck should not be touching anything. There should be a lot of space between your neck and the floor. Bend your knees and place your arms along the sides of your body. Lift your knees toward your head and beyond to lift your hips. As your hips move higher, place your hands with fingers pointing towards your feet at your mid-back. With bent knees, shimmy your shoulder blades toward each other and narrow off the space between your elbows. Once your hips are directly above your shoulders, begin to lengthen your legs towards the ceiling. The higher your legs lift, the more you may want to walk your hands down your back — towards the ground and open your shoulders. Take your gaze to your toes, your breathing belly, or close your eyes.
Final Restorative pose: