Find a quiet space, roll out your mat (if you have one) and grab some yoga props from around the house to enjoy these 5 simple but powerful restorative yoga poses.
Restorative yoga is a restful practice that holds yoga poses (asanas) for a longer duration using props like yoga blocks, blankets, and bolsters. It is a practice of deep relaxation that emphasizes the meditative aspect of yoga—the union of body and mind. Through the use of props for support, many of the postures are held almost effortlessly for about 5-8 minutes. So set a timer and let yourself relax and rest deeply into these yoga postures - the purpose is to be as comfortable as possible with minimal 'stretch' sensation, let the pose do the work!
1. Balasana - childs pose
Come to a kneeling position, sinking hips towards heels;
Bring your big toes to touch, then separate knees about hip-width apart;
Walk your hands forward, extending your arms in front of you, keep them by your sides or fold them to rest your forehead;
Rest your forehead on the mat or on a block or cushion for extra support - a bolster along the front of the body may also be used;
Breathe deeply into the back of the body, let each exhale release you deeper into the pose
2. Supta Baddha Konasana - supported reclining bound angle pose
From a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together making a diamond shape with the legs and let your knees fall out to the side
Use cushions under your thighs if you have tight hips or back;
Place a yoga bolster length ways under your spine, add an extra cushion or rolled up blanket under your head
Recline back onto the support, allowing your spine and head to rest comfortably on a pillow or the ground;
Rest your arms alongside you or place them on your belly;
Take deep, wide breaths and enjoy the gentle opening this pose offers.
3. Setu bandhasana - supported bridge pose
Lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet about hip-width apart;
Place one or two blocks or a bolster under your hips for support - this should feel comfortable so no effort is needed
Relax your arms alongside you, palms open, fingers gently curling.
Close your eyes if comfortable and take deep breaths across the front of your body, resting the weight of your pelvis into the support of your props.
4. Supta Matsyendrasana - supported reclining twist pose
Lay on your back and bend your right leg, knee toward the sky,
Place a bolster or cushion along the left side of your body,
Reach your right arm to the right, palm on the ground.
Place your left hand on your right knee.and lower your knee to the support on your left. Turn your head to the right if it feels okay for your neck;
When the timer finishes, slowly come back to center and repeat on the left side.
5. Viparita Karani - legs up the wall pose
Find a space near a wall - using a chair or sofa in place of a wall works too!
Sit down beside the wall, and lie down slowly
Swing your legs up to lean onto the wall, keeping them straight-ish
If you have a yoga belt or similar, you might use this around your thighs to provide extra support
A folded blanket or bolster under your low back may also be nice
Rest your arms by your sides, on your belly or overhead
Close your eyes (if that’s comfortable for you, if not soften your gaze on a single point/object) and focus on your breath, letting this gentle inversion calm your mind.
If you're wanting to learn more about the powerful practices restorative yoga can bring into your life, join us for specialty workshops and trainings online or live in-person.