Restorative yoga poses are a wonderful way to recuperate, unwind, and unwind. As the name suggests, these poses are less strenuous than a normal yoga practice and primarily focus on restoring your physical, mental and emotional self.
The adjective restorative refers to something that has the power to restore health, strength or well-being. In a yoga context, it means relaxing and recovering the body and mind through poses that release tension.
Restorative yoga poses include very gentle twists, forward seated folds, and gentle backbends.
Restorative yoga poses are generally maintained for longer than in a conventional yoga practice and are intended to reduce stress and relax the body. They provide a peaceful way to move and relax your body and joints, and calm the mind.
This passive healing allows your body to be completely still and can help your nervous system calm down.
If you enjoy exercising without the intensity and impact of most sports, a restorative yoga practice might just be the solution for you.
6 essential restorative yoga poses
Restorative yoga poses are performed while sitting or lying down, sometimes with the help of props to make the exercises more comfortable and allow the body to completely relax in the pose.
Each pose is typically held for 2-5 minutes each and does not require any pulling, pushing, balancing, or flexibility.
Enjoy the gentle relaxation offered by these 6 restorative yoga poses.
1. Child pose
Child pose is a great way to start a restorative yoga flow because it helps you take control of your breathing and feel grounded. Balasana in Sanskrit, you can include this pose between poses that are more difficult to recover.
How to do:
- Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart and your big toes touching, then sit on your heels.
- As you exhale, bring your torso forward so that it is resting on your thighs and extend your arms out in front of you, resting your forehead on the floor. Extend your lower back while exhaling.
- Your palms should face the floor. If it is too difficult to extend your arms above your head, you can also rest them at your sides, palms up.
- Add a cushion under the head and arms if this position is too difficult. Feel the weight of your body and relax on the floor.
- Breathe in and out deeply and intentionally. Stay in this pose for about 5 minutes.
- Return to a seated position to release the child’s pose.
Child’s pose can help relieve stress and fatigue, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting. This pose gently stretches the spine, hips, glutes, hamstrings, and shoulders.
2. Laying the legs up to the wall
This restorative yoga pose stretches your hamstrings and relieves your legs and feet.
How to do:
- Place the short end of your mat against a wall and lie down on it, bringing your butt as close to the wall as comfort allows and swinging your legs upward.
- Make sure your legs are extended against the wall and feel the pull of gravity on them.
- Concentrate on your breathing and let your body relax, releasing the tension in your muscles. Stay in this position for at least five minutes.
Viparita Karani in Sanskrit, this pose can relieve tired or cramped legs. “If your feet start to tingle during this pose, bend your knees, touch your soles together, and slide the outside edges of your feet along the wall, bringing your heels closer to your pelvis,” recommends the Yoga Journal.
3. Tilting bound angle pose
This restorative yoga pose is great for opening up your hips and reducing resistance in the groin.
How to do:
- Begin to sit with your legs extended in front of you and your back straight. Inhale.
- Exhale and bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet in front of you. Relax your hips and lower your knees as low as your body allows you to.
- Using your elbows, lower yourself to the floor and bring your back to the floor.
- Extend your arms out to the sides and hold the pose for at least two minutes, inhaling and exhaling purposefully and trying to relax the hips as much as possible.
- Use the help of your hands on your knees to deepen the pose.
Supta Baddha Konasana in Sanskrit, you can lift your feet slightly off the ground to deal with the tension on the inside of the thighs.
4. Torsion of the spine in the supine position
Jathara Parivartanasana in Sanskrit, is a satisfying pose.
How to do:
- Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides.
- Pull your right knee towards your chest and, as you exhale, pull it towards the left side of your body with a slight twist of your torso.
- Exhale and deepen the twist, keeping your shoulders on your mat. Extend your arms out to the sides and breathe deeply. Turn your gaze to the opposite side.
- Repeat on the other side, maintaining the pose for the same amount of time.
This is a great pose for stretching the back, glutes, chest, and obliques. Perform this pose after your muscles have warmed up so that you can twist more deeply without discomfort.
Don’t force your knee to the floor, but lower it as much as you can comfortably. Use a pillow underneath if you need extra support.
5. Happy baby pose
Happy Baby is a gentle pose ideal for relaxing and unwinding. Ananda Balasana stretches your hips, inner thighs, lower back and groin.
How to do:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
- Keeping a neutral spine, bring your knees to your chest and lift your feet to the sky. Your hips should stay on the floor, with your tailbone touching the mat.
- While flexing your feet, wrap your first two fingers around your big toes and pull down slightly. Release your hips, bring your knees closer to your chest, and relax. Continue to breathe deeply and relax your back against the floor.
Happy Baby is a treat and is recommended to relieve stress, fatigue and help you come back to the present.
6. Corpse pose
Known as Savasana in Sanskrit, the corpse pose is the usual ending of a yoga practice. It is exceptional for deep relaxation and stress relief.
How to do:
- Lie on your back and extend your legs, arms out to sides with your palms facing up.
- Get into a natural position, making sure your whole body feels comfortable on the floor. Wiggle your butt muscles and shoulders until you do.
- Stay in this pose for at least five minutes, focusing on your breathing to begin with and just being. Release any tension in your muscles.
Corpse Pose is where you learn to master the art of relaxation. You will gradually become aware of all the parts of your body and the thoughts that are troubling your head. It is therefore an excellent restorative yoga posture to relieve stress and improve your emotional well-being.
Restorative yoga routine
Restorative yoga postures faq
What are the restorative yoga postures?
There are many restorative yoga poses that you can add into a flow, but six good ones to start with are:
- Child pose
- Legs up to the wall
- Lying Bound Angel Pose
- Supine spine twist
- Happy baby pose
- Corpse pose
What are restorative yoga poses used for?
Compared to regular physical exercise, restorative yoga may help decrease the body’s chemical response to stress, lower blood pressure, and decrease pain and fatigue, a 2016 review in the International Journal of Psychology find.
The same review found that there is more emphasis on regulating breathing and mindfulness during yoga practice.
Restorative yoga is great for relaxing and opening up your muscles. From a physical standpoint, if your goal is to lose weight with yoga or to use yoga to build muscle and flexibility, you might be better off practicing a variation like Hatha or Yin Yoga. , or do standing yoga.
Restorative yoga is good for relaxing and spending time focusing on the inside, with little external distraction.
The other physical and mental benefits of restorative yoga are:
- Greater flexibility over time
- Improved mind-body connection
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Greater relaxation and improved general well-being
Regular yoga practice has been shown to help increase self-esteem and can improve muscle strength and flexibility, as well as promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function.
Who Should Do Restorative Yoga Poses?
Restorative yoga is beneficial for both beginners and advanced yogis. As a gentle, passive stretching practice, restorative yoga is for anyone who wants to relax and unwind both body and mind.
If you find it difficult to stay still for long periods of time and your mind is buzzing from place to place, restorative yoga can help bring some calm in the storm, although it may feel unusual and uncomfortable in the storm. start.
If so, find ways to wait for the practice with background music or shorter poses – don’t force yourself to be perfect, the goal of yoga is to be at peace and focus on being perfect. union between body, mind, and spirit.
Restorative yoga poses are for anyone who wants to take a break from an intense activity or life, to completely relax and restore both body and mind.
Do I need to be flexible to do yoga?
No, yoga adapts to your skills and you shouldn’t stretch to the point of pain or discomfort. All poses can be changed to meet you where you are. Yoga is ultimately about internal and external balance, so nothing should be forced.
If you have a hard time with poses, we recommend that you practice them with a certified coach.