Asana, Yoga off the mat

Practice tip: What support is needed?

When I started learning about therapeutic yoga from Susi Hately, I noticed this question was coming up a lot. What support is needed? What is the support that would create enough safety to move with ease, to have less pain, to relax, and to reveal what’s possible? I often find that I don’t know. But this I’ve learned:

When my symptoms (physical and mental) worsen, there is a need for support that has not been met.

When I find myself irritated, complaining, or gossiping, support is missing. The clearer I can get on what that support looks like so that I can provide it (or ask for it!) in appropriate ways, the better I feel.

I often find it perfectly acceptable to be under-supported, but my body tells the truth.

Pain, tension, and the urge to fidget all indicate that I haven’t quite found the sweet spot yet. This is true whether the support is physical (such as a blanket under my arm), emotional (such as a listening ear), or help with a task.

Take a simple pose example like lying on your back in Savasana, or Corpse Pose, as is typically done at the end of a yoga class, and often at the beginning, too. I personally can get by pretty comfortably lying flat on the floor. (This isn’t the case for everyone.) But adding more support is more comfortable. And adding enough support — which tends to be way more than I want to add — creates the circumstances for my whole system to relax and let go.

Support doesn’t always mean props. Maybe it’s a pleasant environment. Maybe it’s a guided practice. Maybe it’s someone to watching your kids. Maybe it’s the presence of a pet watching over you. Maybe it’s the right medication. Maybe it’s delegating some tasks so that you feel you truly have the time and space in your life to rest. Maybe it’s something else entirely.

Imagine what your life would look like if you had all the support you need.

Creating that life can start on the yoga mat, and then it reverberates out from there. The video below shows how to use tiered blankets to create enough support in Savasana. Some people may feel supported with fewer blankets – feel free to play with different combinations to see what works best for you.

The information and instruction contained in this video and post are in no way intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only. Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Consult your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program.

CLICK HERE for a post with other propping suggestions for Savasana.

For personalized guidance on how to support yourself, please reach out via one of the buttons below.

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