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Restore & Rejuvenate

Lesson 8 of 8

Restore: Side Body & Back

Carling Harps

Restore & Rejuvenate

Carling Harps

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Lesson Info

8. Restore: Side Body & Back

Lesson Info

Restore: Side Body & Back

Welcome to your restorative for your side, body and back. This practice is a combination of restorative hot postures and Longyan holds designed to unravel the low back, to rejuvenate your tired obliques and to bring some more spaces, torso and diaphragm for longer. Bigger fuller, happier breath in this practice will use a plethora of props as usual, so blankets blocks pollsters. Whatever you've got that will make this nice and supportive are great. Go ahead and certain child's pose for this practice. Sony's is wide is the mat big toast touching and reach the arms all the way out long towards the top of your mat. If you need more support for the knees, you can always take a blanket and put that in between your calves so that as you sit back, you've got a little more heightened support. And then relax the forehead, the third eye centre right down on the mat. Take a few breaths here. Maybe just rock the head a little side to side massaging before head that space. The little furrow between...

the eyebrows, it softening the jaw and then sticking with the child's both shape in your lower body to start to walk both sets of hands over towards the left side of your mat. Your left hand might come off the mat. Your right hand might even stack on top and see if you can find as much length is possible through the whole right side of the body. So as you reach up and over, see if you confined length all the way from the fingertips to the right hip crease so that that lateral stretch makes its way all the way down from the upper body to the lower right now. As you stretch here, you might notice that the hips want a lift a little bit. So try to anchor those suckers all the way down, get really heavy on with your next breath. Start to walk the hands all the way back your center and then over to the right. So right hand comes off the mat, left hand might come off as well. It may be even stacks on top of the right and then drop the head down. You might release a year to the mat. Whatever feels comfortable feeling that poll of the left hip back Just a smidge. So you get a little more length between the hip crease in the armpit. Set to walk back through center. See if you can tip toe the fingers a little bit further. Lengthen all the way out. It's almost as if you're gonna plant the hands and pull your toast torso forward like you're gonna lengthen your spine out of your pelvis so you can create that traction in length and then drop the head back down, anchoring the hips back the fingertips. Ford. So it's like you're dragging out, stretching in between the two points it and then walk the hands back underneath shoulders. Remove any blankets that you might have or props and sit back on the heels. So go ahead and transfer your way onto your butt seeking. Just roll over the toes and come into a nice, easy suit. Costinha. So easy, cross legged seat. Bring the hands of the knees and just take a moment to sort of press against the knees and lengthen the heart up to this guy that feel the shoulder blades sort of pin back, squeezed together as if you're sort of lifting your chest up with those shoulder blades of scapular pulling and lifting good. And then on the exhale, go the opposite direction. So keep the hands on the knees, round the back and feel the shoulder heads move forward, puff out through the back body and round the spine. Drop the chin, dear Test one more like that. Inhale, lengthen and lift. Feel that sort of back. Then sensation, Lift all the way from the very top of the sternum and then exhale round. Drop it down, chin to chest. Check the tailbone under so you get that big, lengthening sensation through the back body and then come back to center. And you're going to sort of take that movement that flexion of the spine, and start to move it instead of just forward and back, side to side. So a little bit forward, like you're doing before, and then move the torso in the rib cage a little over to the right and then back into that rounding shape and then torso over to the left so it almost becomes a sort of circular motion. I like to think of it is like stirring the pot or what not. So you're creating a little bit of heat in the hips and in the torso. And more than anything, we're just sort of trying to gain a bit of mobility and create some movement in a part of our body that doesn't often get a lot of movement, right? We might like do side planks and we might do oblique work and bicycles and all that good stuff, but we don't do a lot to stretch it out, right? So those muscles become very tight and shortened, and they really only work in that very small range of motion. So seeing if you can find a little more space, right, breathe into the sort of stuck areas you go faster, slow, whatever feels good. Where have you been going? One direction this whole time. Go the other and then start to come back to center. We are going to move into a new provisional cone asana, which fancy word for wide legs. So you're gonna bring you're bolster and a blanket and a block in front of you. You don't need all of it. But I do like to give you the options so you can find something that's comfortable. So this wide legged straddle is going to start out as this big straddle, right? Really big shape. But I want you to keep your right leg, how it iss and then bring the left leg in. Right, So half of a straddle. And what we're gonna do is we're going to set up a little bit of a fortress on this right side for just to support our whole body. So it may be a block. It may be just a bolster, right? It may be a combination, so I kind of like the block blanket combination. So we're gonna go with that and you're gonna use this prop to just sort of rest your elbow. So find yourself into that sort of optimal space different for everyone. Rest your elbow and lean over to the right and you can lean your hand, your head in your hand, or you can sort of cup it and cradle it here. And you might just stay right here. This might be plenty. Or if you want more, reach the left arm up and all the way overhead, right. And instead of just keeping out here, it's sexually takes work. I want you to bend that elbow and cradled the head as well. So you kind of lean back into it. Right? So this is a side body stretch. We're lengthening out the left side of the body, and we're also leaning back so that leaning back is gonna help to get a little bit more and you should feel nice. Big stretch the left side as well as in the queue. Els those big muscles on the back side of the body and just allow everything to lean over. Your right side is going to get short. It's totally fine letting your left arm just sort of rest on your head and support. Give yourself a little encouragement to lean back into right, And this is plenty. You don't need to bring your level all the way to the ground or change anything. Just let this be really simple. Drop some of that weight into the right elbow. Let the shoulders relax. You're not holding yourself up for resisting this. Allow that. Used to creep it that quick shift from effort to ease. It's tempting to want to hold yourself up here. Can you let go of that responsibility and instead just release Drop the side body over me and the torso back just a tiny but and then keep anchoring that left hip down to the earth. Right? So that left hip creases reaching down is the tour. So reaches up and back couple more breaths and then bring your left arm all the way up over to start to initiate the movement. You could just sort of press your head back up, right? Oh, big stretch back to center and then check inside. So you're gonna switch your legs left leg straightens out into that half straddle, and then the right leg comes in. It doesn't have to be any particular shape. Just bring it in. So you've got some more support on this side, and it doesn't feel so big. Okay, your block blanket. Whatever your proper is here, that's gonna support you. Just make sure it's nice and sturdy on the same thing. Left elbow comes onto the prop comes onto your block. So it's nice and support him and just cradle your head. Right? Greed alert. Enough. Give yourself enough support that you can actually kind of lean back into it. I feel that right hip angered ounce of the hip creases reaching down towards the mat and then right arm up overhead, Stretch it long and then bend the elbow, cradle your head and allow yourself to lean back into it. Okay, news the strength of those arms to support the head. Enough until you feel that sort of teeter totter. There's a go weightless place here where you can kind of just relax into it. Trusting is Julian encouraging that movement of the connective tissue in the low back on the right side here, reaching down to the right sit bone and then almost reaching off through the right side of the lungs, the right side of the ribs of pulling and stretching in opposite directions without too much effort, I didn't notice of your shoulders have crept away up into your ears. See if you can drop those guys down a little bit. Just let that right arm sort of rest on the head and then lean back into the hand, read a little bit more deeply into the right side of the lungs. As you feel everything expand little space in the serious the lattes. Can you give those big, strong muscles a little bit more life right now? But let me use your next breath so slowly start to pick yourself back up. Right hand comes down, Lift the head up off of that hand, shift your props out of the way. So as you drop down and come out of that wide legged forward fold, we're actually gonna come all the way onto our sides so the blanket can be there as a support. I think a blanket and a bolster is nicer than a block totally up to you. And this is gonna be a nice big support for our side body here. So come right on to your right side and you're gonna lean your arm over the bolster so that it's a nice big support underneath the rib cage in the side body. So this right side down here is gonna want to drop, and that's okay. Keeps coaching the hip away from the bolster. So you get mawr length on the lower half of your torso and then right leg comes nice and long left leg crosses over again. You can just sort of rest your head again. Here. It's totally fine. And what we're looking for is that extra length on the bottom half of our body Yeah, So the top half is gonna get a little crunchy, and that's fine. We want to find some length from the right arm pit down to the right hip here. And if you want a little bit more of a stretch, it doesn't. This doesn't need to be a super intense posture, right? We're gonna be here for a little bit. If you want a little bit more, you can take that top leg and kick it out straight. And then if you want a little bit more as well, you can take the bottom leg the right like bend the me and you're gonna use your top arm to reach back for the foot. So this one gets a little Presley, right? But once you figure out where you're going here you can keep reaching through that left leg, then the right leg and then kick into the hand just a tiny bit. So you feel the front quad and that right hip start to turn on and stretch right? And the real work is just sort of holding on to that back leg. If that's too much, it feels like you're doing something you don't need to then obviously let it go. Right. But we're looking for length through the whole side of the right body. A little bonus on the straight leg with the left one. Let your head fall heavy into your hand, right? There's no need to hold it up here. Give it a break. A Z. The body starts to melt into this shape a little bit more. You may want to let go of that bent leg. Just find a little bit more ease When we're breathing in yoga, I think we typically think about breathing front to back. This is expansion, this lift of the chest and that's what we think about is air inhales. But in a practice like this, where we're really working on creating space in the side body in the backs, they want you to think about moving some of that breath into the sides of the ribs. It's if you take that left hand onto your rib cage here, you can actually feel those inhale sort of puffing up on the left side right and then dropping back down. So the ribcage is really mobile. We just don't always use all that mobility, so see if you can keep that left hand on the rib cage and just sort of feel the breath and encourage those inhales to actually move and fill your left hand. And you'd be surprised how much space you can get in the lungs there about 10 rounds of breath here, feeling that sort of tangible in and out of the breath, the expansion, the contraction and use that to connect. Use that to help to calm any racing thoughts. Slowing the breath down will slow the mine down inadvertently. Uh, when you start to finish up that 10th breath you can really set hand, bring your left knee back into your chest and all you're gonna do is just roll right over to the other side. So you're gonna come onto your left side and same thing set up with your will. Stir your blankets so it's nice and supportive, sort of right underneath the armpit between the armpit in the bottom of the rib cage. Another arm is gonna come over to support the elbow, may or may not reach the ground as long as supportive. That's all that really matters, and then your bottom leg your left leg reaches long towards the edge of the match and your top leg, your right leg comes all the way over. Drop your head into your bottom hand. Let the shoulders relax. Let the heavy really heavy, right? Really, really heavy. Let it totally go and focus here on lengthening the bottom leg all the way forward and away from the bolster. So you get us much space is possible. It's like you're trying to grow an extra inch or to see if you can reach, reach, reach so that you feel that stretch all along the outside of the left hip even. And then, if you took more on the first side, go for it straight in that top legs of the right leg reaches out and then your bottom leg left, maybe bends, and you can use your top arm to reach back and grab a hold of the foot. If you can't reach the foot and you want this, you can always use a strap sort of last. So get in there and still get the same effect, right? Just be mindful that if it's too intense or it's causing you to use too much effort to take this variation than just chill out right. Take the the one. Take the simpler modification right and just enjoy that stretch without having to overwork. Maybe releasing that back leg. Get that me a little bit of a break. Then again, same thing here is on side one on your right hand's here rib cage. Just sort of see if you can feel that expansion and contraction with the breath. So use your inhales to not just breathe forward and back, but read all the way up into the hand and expand the right side of the rib cage into that right lung a little bit. That's if you can fill up the hand with your breath with your ribs and then exhale. I feel everything moved back together, right? So we're looking for this expansion side to side, right, breathing to the full capacity of the lungs, rather do than just sport and back, which is where most of us typically go, right. But there's more. There's all this potential, so can you create deeper, fuller breaths through this new found space on the side body? About five more breaths here. Uh oh. On when you're ready, start to unravel in the right knee into the chest and put yourself up to a seat. Good. You can keep your bolster right about at the top of the mat, kind of where it is and take a variation on half pigeon so much less intense, more focused on the torso in the low back, then actually on the hips. And this one right leg comes forward, just like your regular half pigeon. And then you can lean your weight over to the right and just sweep that left leg back behind you. It's your almost in this more of like a star shaped seat, and then you're bolster and her props can be right in front of you. Kind of finagle one side of the other if you find that sweet spot where you really want to be. But all you really need to do is relax and given to them. So feel that right hip, keep moving back. Left hip spinning under you. Can Tucker untucked the foot. You can add padding whatever you need so that you're really comfortable here, right? This might be plenty. This is a pretty big twist in and of itself. If you want more stretch all along the outside edges the body. You can keep moving the blankets and bolsters over, so it becomes a bigger twist. MM. Slowly start to walk your way, pack up right and just come right over to the second side. Election comes forward election pretty parallel with the top amount. If it's available, flex the left foot and then lean over to the left and sweep the right leg back behind you. And once you find a comfortable shape and it feels okay on your back, me patting can help relieve. If there's an intention there, right that or changing the angle of the shinbone. Yeah, so take care of your knees. And then once you find that balance, go ahead and call your hands forward. Lean forward into your props. You can stay directly forward or again. If you kind of take it on the diagonal, then you may get a little bigger. Stretch through the right side of your body. Here, slowly start to make your way out. Bring your props back forward and then to come out of it. You can just sort of give that back like a little bit of a boost. Bring it around to a nice cross like it seat. Go ahead and scooch all your good stuff out of the way and roll all the way onto your backs. So as you come down onto your backs, you can hug the knees into your chest. Might feel good to sort of rock a little side to side. Massage out the low buck at any kinks in there and then happy baby. Sony's come out towards the armpits, flex the feet, grab ahold of the inside edges of the feet and just draw the thigh bones down. It won't be here for very long, but just see if you can find a little bit of length from the tailbone forward and the shoulder heads directly down to the Met on the knees, back into the chest. Squeeze everything in for your forehead all the way up to your knees and then release. Lengthen the legs long when we're gonna find a nice big side body stretch that it doesn't have an official name, but think of it as sort of like you're trying to make the shape of a banana, right? So you're gonna walk your feet over towards the left right. Your hips stay grounded so feet to the left off of the mat. And then you might even cross your right ankle over your left, right, sort of lock them in place and then same thing. Keep the hips in the center of the body grounded. Walk the arms and the head over to the left. It's your making this sort of banana like shape, this crescent moon shape in your body. And then once he reached the upper body over, you can actually hook onto your right wrist with your left hand and pull in lengthen as well. And this isn't gonna be for most of us the deepest, most intense stretch to start with. So we are going to spend a little bit of time here to sort of lengthen out. And you can close the eyes. You can roll the head from one side to the other. You might even sort of Reston ear on a bicep if it's there for you. I keep imagining your right hip sort of grounding to the earth even as you lengthen through the right side in that right leg when it hooks over. This is one of those stretches that is subtle but really effective. And you couldn't sort of be here for a long as you like, right, depending on how much space you want and how comfortable you can get. So allow yourself enough time to really sort of drop in here. Keep moving that breath throughout the whole torso, right? With easyJet exaggerated shapes, it should be easier to actually move the breath into those sort of stuck spots. Is the upper test is a little bit were limited in the free exposed area, right? That's where we want it. And then start to walk your feet in your arms back towards center. Take a moment at center. You can drop your arms down. More like she Boston If you need to sort of move that blood flow around a little bit and then eventually over to the second side so feet come off to the right, right? Try to anchor the hips down and then cross the left ankle over the right and then arms and head. We've over to the right as well, just like on the other side. Right hand grabs a hold of the left wrist and can lengthen it up and over and intensify the stretch as needed. Right? You might find you don't need any more intensity and just sort of the shape in and of itself does the work. So don't feel like you have to Once you've got the shape just relaxed the head let us for a tumble. Either direction, whatever feels natural, trying to cultivate as much space in your body. Breath your mind as possible on whether you're doing a lot of work specifically in these muscles. Or maybe you're just sitting. You're traveling a lot. If you spend a lot of time and cars or on planes, things like that, these air all stretches and little bits of the body that often get neglected, right, So So can you find that extra room that, you know, six hours on the plane didn't give you any of Can you expose those areas that have been stuck and shortened and sort of constrained for the bulk of your day or week? Give them a little bit of attention. It will go a long way. I mean, about 10 more breaths here, Then start to work your way back through center. Once you find center, you might reach the arms all the way overhead that toes for trying to get us long as you can see everything out, even leaving a little symmetry and then before you totally let go and find your Shiva Sena. If the low back is still feeling a little tender, you can take a blanket and roll that up. Place it underneath your knees. Lean back with that little bend in the knees. You could bring some ease into the front hips and in turn into the low back. Let your arms roll open your feet. Just sort of splay in whatever direction is natural. Feel the eyeballs heavy in the head, the eyelids closed. Soften the face the jaw. Take a few deep big breath. Come back to that full expansion of the lungs. Get every ounce of Aaron announced, then with your next inhale. Can you pull it just a little deeper with your Exhale through the mouth. Let it go. Relax, release and find your Shiva Sena. Welcome to stay in shape. Hasna. As long as you like, as long is available to you, Thank you for practicing. Today, almost a

Class Description

Skill level: Beginner
Classes: 6
Time: 30 min
Cycle: 6 days

Before you can truly tap into your creativity, you need to clear your mind of all the noise and chatter of the surrounding world. A restorative yoga sequence helps you reach a level of calm, quiet and introspection so you can free yourself from the daily grind and explore the deepest parts of your psyche. In this restorative yoga for beginners series, you’ll learn how to:

  • Implement your own self-care routine
  • Counterbalance the hard, intense physical work you do every day
  • Release tension, increase mobility and relieve pain from overused muscle groups in your hips, legs, arms and shoulders
  • Reset and unwind to reduce stress, improve mood and help you sleep

Based in Los Angeles, Carling Harps is known for her lighthearted attention to detail and commitment to the growth of her students. She connects individuals to the practice through intelligent and informed sequencing, compassionate and intentional adjustments, and relevant alignment instruction. She has been featured in and contributed writing to publications such as Yoga International, Mantra Magazine and Yoga Digest. Carling will teach you a restorative yoga sequence that will help you:

  • Access your body’s unique needs
  • Create new connections and continue to find your center
  • Perform hatha postures and long yin holds

Workout Descriptions:

Active Reset
This low-impact, gentle flow yoga sequence is designed to build minimal heat and create space in your body through repetitive movement and opening.

Full-Body Yin
This yin yoga routine uses long relaxed holds to target fascia and tightened connective tissue in overused muscle groups across your body.

Nighttime Restorative
This evening yoga sequence is designed to cultivate a restful body and mind by blending calming postures, supportive props and deep breathing.

Restore: Hips and Legs
This calming yin yoga for hips and legs class combines hatha postures and long yin-style holds to help unravel the hips, glutes, feet and calves.

Restore: Shoulders and Arms
This yin yoga for shoulders and arms class combines restorative hatha postures and yin holds to target the upper back and shoulder girdle to relieve wrist pain and to soften overused muscles in the neck.

Restore: Side Body and Back
This yin yoga for back class combines hatha postures and long yin holds to help unlock the lower back and tired obliques, and create more space in the torso for fuller, clearer breath.