Transforming Fear to Joy

The Big 6 Restorative Poses — a gift of self-love

All of life is a journey. We are carried along at life’s pace, whether we choose to run or sit still.
Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, Hunters of Dune

The first half of my life, I spent my time running … running from the hurtful words of friends and family, running to keep up in business and running to avoid dealing with my own personal discontent. Regardless of the pace at which I chose to live each day, life had its own time clock, and no amount of pushing a rock uphill or racing to be the first to a ‘finish line’ manipulated life’s timing. In reality, willfulness and manipulation only made me unhappy and eventually ill. The primary lesson I learned was that going against the grain and pace of life’s flow is a significant source of suffering.

So many of us end up mentally or physically ill before we can understand this life lesson and heed its call. As a matter of fact, the stress we unconsciously or willingly put ourselves through has erupted into not one but several global epidemics — COVID, anxiety, depression, heart disease, substance abuse, homelessness, etc. As a yogi who has healed her body and mind with asana, pranayama and meditation, a restorative yoga practice is a weekly gift of loving kindness I give to myself.

All of my students let out a sigh of contentment when I guide them through a restorative sequence. Try this sequence below for yourself and notice if you feel the same way. Then ask yourself, “When was the last time I felt this good?” If you are not feeling this level of ease and contentment on a daily basis, I encourage you to bring more restorative yoga into your life. At the very least, practice restorative yoga once a week. You might notice how it gently wins you over and quickly becomes your gift of self-love.

Stay with the Yoga Actions used for last week’s active Big 6 sequence and notice the differences and/or similarities between these two practices.


1.  INHALE up the inner faces of the tailbone and sacrum. Let your inhale pass through the sacral-lumbar joint.

NOTE: The inhale up the front of the tailbone scoops the lower abdominals into the body initiating the Mula Bandha (energy lift).
The inhale up the front of the sacrum scoops the mid & upper abdominals initiating the Uddiyana Bandha (energy lift).

2. EXHALE down the back faces of the sacrum and tailbone.

NOTE: The top of the tailbone draws down & away from the bottom of the sacrum.
The bottom of the lumbar lifts up & away from the top of the sacrum. 

  1. KAIUT VIPARITA KARANI (Kaiut Legs Up the Wall) 10m
    – clasp hands under bolster
    – reverse clasp after 5 m

  2. SALAMBA SIRSASANA I (Supported Headstand) 2-3 m
    – crown of head is grazing the floor or not on the floor

  3. SALAMBA SARVANGASANA (Supported Shoulderstand) 3-5 m

  4. SALAMBA HALASANA (Supported Plow Pose) 3 m

  5. SALAMBA SETU BANDHA SARVANGASANA (Supported Bridge) 1 m each variation

  6. SALAMBA SAVASANA (Supported Corpse Pose) 5-10 m
    – surrender to the support of the blanket, floor and chair

May ease and contentment rise up from within and wash away your suffering. Namaste.

Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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