Why? Some people cannot afford props like blocks and blankets or have limited space to store them.
Blankets, blocks, eye pillows, and bolsters (large yoga cushions) are used in restorative yoga to create a cocoon of warmth, cosiness, and tranquillity in which to rest and recharge.
However, just because you don’t have any yoga props doesn’t mean you can’t practice this relaxing and revitalizing type of yoga at home.
With that in mind, here are some go-to Restorative Yoga poses that are supportive, approachable, and nourishing for the body, mind, and nervous system without requiring complicated prop setups.
Constructive rest pose
With few or no support, this may be a powerful Restorative Yoga position. Lay on your back with your legs bent, feet on the floor, and hips apart to prepare for Constructive Rest.
Find the space between your buttocks and heels where your shin and thigh bones feel like they're lying on each other like two cards in a house of cards.
Supine twist offers some quiet moments to the nervous system. Pausing in this posture, especially when paired with paced breathing or the dirgha (3 part) breath, calms the sympathetic nervous system.
To do this pose, put your hands on the ground for support, twist from side to side, and your back to the ceiling.
The ‘figure-four form, with one ankle crossing over the opposite thigh just above the knee, is a beautiful prop-free variant of Pigeon Pose.
The lower foot can be lying on the floor, on a block, or the wall with the shin (approximately) parallel to the floor.
Most yoga types and classes include cat and cow posture, which gently moves all spinal vertebrae in all directions.
The sitting version of cat and cow is soft and will make you feel as though your body has a lot more room in it than it had before you started practicing.
Thread the Needle Pose
Lie on all fours. Wrists, elbows, and shoulders are all straight, knees are exactly beneath hips, back is flat, and core is engaged. If necessary, double up your mat under your knees.
With a bit of twist of the body, raise the right arm to the sky, then bend the elbow and thread the arm beneath the left until the right shoulder and temple touch the mat.
Stay in the position for a few breaths, then switch sides and repeat.
You can do restorative yoga poses without props, but they’re not always easy or safe to do without them.
When you can, get yourself a nice bolster and a few blankets. Find yourself a good yoga teacher and practice these poses with her guidance.
There are several therapeutic yoga retreats alternatives available throughout the world if you want to learn more about them.
They provide something for everyone, from luxurious vacations to budget-friendly women’s-only retreats.
Yoga can help you to feel more grounded and connected, so pick up a mat and practice!