Valerie is a native New Orleanian, mom to Marley, educator, yogi, reiki practitioner and overall inspiring healer. Beyond her work in the healing arts, she also works as an adjunct instructor and success coach at Delgado Community College, where she works with and supports young people and adults working towards their HiSET (high school diploma) and integrates meditation and mindfulness into each of her classes.
We asked Valerie to share with us her favorite restorative yoga as we transition into cooler, slower days.
Fall Restorative Yoga
Supta Boddha Konasana or bound angle pose is by far one of my favorite asanas. It invites openness into the hips, the lower, middle and upper back, the neck and shoulders.
Grab a bolster, or roll up a cozy blanket. For extra support, place a block under the head of the bolster.
To come into it:
Bring your tailbone to the edge of the bolster. bend your knees, and slowly come down on your back with the bolster (pillow) vertically in line with your spine. Bring the pads of your feet together and let your knees open wide. Bring a block under each knee or thigh to take pressure off of your hip flexors. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and sigh it out of your mouth. Relax here for 7-10 minutes.
How does this seat of vulnerability feel in your body? Does it cause you pain or discomfort? How can you offer yourself more support in this position? How can you offer yourself more support off of your mat?
After taking 10 deep breaths, let your shoulders and your fingers release a little bit more. Even we give ourselves permission to relax, we still hold tension in our bodies and can benefit from a reminder to ACTUALLY relax. It's so easy to stay in fight or flight mode with one eye open. Exhale, let it out.
I love wearing sweaters, cute layers and boot while sipping hot cocoa and pumpkin spiced lattes. New Orleans doesn't have much of a fall but there's magick in the air nonetheless. This time of the year is great for to indulge in creamy soups, drinks and spices. It's important to pay attention to your ayurvedic doshas during this time. Check in to make sure you're not indulging into much spice and warmth.
I also like to check in with my root chakra and prepare my home for the upcoming year. What things, situations or even relationships can I let go of? What am I making room for? Take time to journal and be real clear with what you need and what you can release. Be vulnerable and honest, even if it's just with yourself. Be intentional with what you're looking forward to in the new year.
Favorite Smoke Products
1. Ritual Perfume
I'm a moon child (Cancer) so I love everything about rituals. There's beauty in everyone's personal journey or ritual - whether it be how they get ready in the morning, or prepare dinner or to teach a yoga class. So many things that we do are ritualistic. I was pleasantly surprised at the light and airy ritual fragrance.
2. Full Moon Rose Body Oil
Who doesn't love roses? I've only used rose water before for cleansing so the rose oil is a definite treat. It's an instant pick me up to restart your day and it smells amazing!