A mild restorative yoga practice might aid in this process. It can assist with a variety of other issues as well.
Restorative yoga postures include extremely mild twists, sitting forward folds, and backbends that are softly supported.
The idea is to hold a pose for as long as you’re comfortable, with the support of props like bolsters, blankets, or pillows.
Restorative yoga poses are frequently performed with props that help you to relax into the stretch. All positions are held for 5-10 minutes, and the only thing you do is breathe deeply and relax.
It is often practised after a strenuous workout when your body is exhausted and in need of some serious recovery. It is basically due to its nature and the usage of props.
The poses are slow and gentle enough that you can fall asleep while holding them. In addition, it’s very therapeutic on the muscles, joints, and stress levels because it promotes deep breathing and relaxation.
Restorative yoga poses are best for those who want to focus on healing. Here are our favourites:
Child’s Pose (Bālāsana)
The most popular resting posture in any yoga practice is a child’s pose. In Child’s pose, sit on your heels with your legs mat distance apart, and bend your torso forward until your tummy rests comfortably between your thighs and your forehead on the mat.
The arms are either straight out in front of the body or lying comfortably close to the torso.
There are several variants to this posture, but I’ll show you my favourite. Before lying down, grab a bolster and position it between your legs. Then, fold gently into the bolster and prepare to feel like a newborn in the womb.
Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)
The emperor of restorative postures! To achieve this posture:
Sit nearest to the wall with your bum. Then, lift your legs against the wall while lying down on your back.
Bring your bum to a point where you can easily rest your legs straight up the wall.
Relax your legs and body completely, and breathe. Stay for 5 to 10 minutes.
Supported Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Place a bolster or long cushion behind you so that the short edge of the bolster touches your lower back.
Lay down on the bolster with your legs in front of you and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Stay as long as you like, and remember to take deep breaths.
Supine Spinal Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)
Lie down on your back. Pull your right knee up to your chest, lay your left hand on the right knee, and gently twist your torso to the left. Place a bolster or two beneath the knee to allow it to rest comfortably.
Maintain both shoulders on the mat, stretch your arms to the sides, and take deep breaths.
Reverse the process, holding the posture for the same length of time on the opposite side.
Sleeping Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
For sciatica sufferers, the sleeping pigeon posture is the ultimate. To enter the pose, you must first go down on all fours.
Next, lift your right leg and place your shin at the front of the mat. Next, put your knee slightly out to the right and your foot near to your pelvis.
Check that your back leg is straight behind you. To assist level out the hips, place a block beneath the right sitting bone. Next, place one or two bolsters on the inner of your right leg and gradually fold forward onto them.
Make sure your inhales and exhales are of similar duration and that you hold the posture for at least 5 minutes—repeat on the other side.
Supported Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Come to staff posture by sitting on the edge of a bolster with a straight back and legs extended out in front. Bend your knees slightly and lay a pillow or wrapped blanket beneath your feet.
Place another bolster on your thighs and fold softly onto the bolsters. Hinge from the hips and maintain a straight spine until your belly touches the bolster. Stay in this position for 5-10 minutes, breathing deeply into your diaphragm.
Thread the Needle Pose (Parsva Balasana)
Begin on all fours. Wrists, elbows, and shoulders are straight, knees are exactly beneath hips, back is flat, and core is engaged. If necessary, double up your mat under your knees.
Then, with a bit of twist of the body, raise the right arm to the sky, bend the elbow and thread the arm beneath the left one until the right shoulder and temple are on the mat.
Stay here for a few breaths before repeating on the opposite side.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Begin by laying on your back. Bend your knees and get your feet as near to your pelvis as possible. Next, open the knees out to the sides, bringing the soles of the feet together.
Place bolsters beneath both knees to soften the stretch in your inner thighs. Next, you can either open your arms to the sides or rest them on your tummy.
Stay here for at least five minutes, breathing slowly and steadily.
Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Lie on your back and bend your knees and feet closest to your bottom as your fingertips can reach. Place a yoga block on the lowest height level under your sacrum (the broadest surface flat on the floor).
Depending on what seems right for your practice, you can cross your arms or lay your hands on your belly. Hold this posture for 3-5 minutes, inhaling deeply into your abdomen.
Optional: if you feel comfortable, raise the block a level to stand on the long thin edge and hold this variant for 3-5 minutes.
Seated Cat-Cow (Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana)
Cat and cow position is included in most yoga forms and courses because it gently moves all spinal vertebrae in both directions.
The sitting variant of cat and cow is soft and will undoubtedly make you feel as though your body has much more room in it than it had before your practice.
Cross your legs and place your hands on your knees. Sit tall and firmly in your sitting bones. Inhale, arch your back, lean forward slightly, leading with your heart, and softly glance up for a bit of backbend.
Exhale by round your back, holding your knees with your arms outstretched, and looking down at your navel.
Take a few deep breaths and perform the movement in slow motion.
The benefits of restorative yoga
- The benefits of restorative yoga are similar to many of the benefits you may experience with other forms of yoga.
- Relaxes both the mind and the body. For example, yoga decreases stress and anxiety and lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone.
- It relaxes the nerve system. Restorative yoga helps to change the balance of your nervous system from the fight-or-flight reaction (sympathetic nervous system) to the relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system).
- Improves your mood. According to research, yoga promotes relaxation and deep breathing, which may help lessen depressive symptoms.
- It alleviates chronic discomfort. Yoga has been found in research to help decrease pain linked with headaches, back pain, and osteoarthritis.
- It helps you sleep better. According to research, including yoga in your daily practice may help improve the quality of your sleep.
- Enhances well-being. Aside from stress reduction, studies have discovered that practising yoga may reduce weariness, more energy and enhanced well-being.
- Restorative Yoga is usually considered safe and is frequently advised for those suffering from acute or chronic ailments.
- Yoga is safe to practice during pregnancy.
Restorative yoga is a contemplative, passive style of yoga that allows you to focus on your breath while relaxing your muscles.
Unlike other types of Yoga, Restorative Yoga asks you to maintain asanas or postures for an extended period, often 5 minutes or more.
Props such as folded blankets, yoga mats, yoga blocks, or bolsters are frequently used in restorative yoga. These props assist in supporting your body, let you deepen the position, and calm your entire body.
Restorative yoga is mild and usually regarded as safe for the majority of individuals. However, if you have any concerns regarding the safety of restorative yoga, consult with your doctor or physical therapist before beginning.
It is best to learn with an experienced teacher. However, private yoga instruction can help you develop the poses and get you familiar with the proper breathing techniques part of yoga.