There are lots of reasons you might not want to lie down on your back for relaxation (not least the danger of being stood on by a toddler that I mentioned yesterday!)
Sometimes lying on your back can just feel too exposed or vulnerable, sometimes it might be contra-indicated (like in third trimester of pregnancy), you may find it makes you cough or have difficulty breathing. You may find you just can’t settle.
Side-lying is an excellent alternative accessible to most people. Lying on your left side (the home of the heart and the stomach) is said to support the digestive and circulatory systems. It has echoes of the foetal position and can feel very cosy and safe, so can help with anxiety. I practiced here with my back near the wall for additional security, but you could also do this on a couch for extra cosiness.
The little ‘bridge’ I’ve made for my top arm is here created from two tins and a big book, with a blanket on top. I have a yoga bolster between my knees, but a couple of bed pillows would work (that keeps the pelvis stable). You need to put plenty of padding under your head, ideally soft so you don’t squash your ear!
You can listen to any of my free online yoga nidra recordings in this position, and it especially works well for the Mother and Baby / Tot relaxation I shared yesterday as you can keep your eyes gently open and watch over your kids.
If that doesn’t work my friend Lucy sent over some more brilliant ideas of games for exhausted parents to play with their children while resting in this pose.
All brilliant ideas from Paula Kuka http://www.instagram.com/common_wild
Close up of the empty nest – creative yoga props!