Restorative Yoga Poses To Relieve Stress
Say Goodbye to tension and stress with these tried and true restorative poses. Hold each pose for 2-3 minutes (approximately 20 – 30 breaths), or as long as is comfortable.
Create a support of firm pillows, blankets, or a bolster lengthwise in front of you. Lower onto your knees, placing them on either side of the support, keeping your toes together.
Fold the upper body over the length of the support. Rest your forearms on the floor along the support, and turn to one side (or rest the forehead on the support – whatever is most comfortable).
Let gravity pull the legs toward the earth as you soften the lower back, and release the tailbone toward the heels. Halfway through, turn your head to the other side as the body continues to settle into the pose.
Half- Pigeon Pose
Start on all fours and slide the right knee forward toward the right hand. Lower your right hip onto a bolster, pillow, or folded blanket as you extend the left leg back, with your toes pointed.
Remain upright using your hands to support you, or lower down to the forearms.
Carefully come up to down dog, and lower onto the left hip to repeat on the other side.
Supported Bridge Pose
Lie on your back with the knees bent, feet planted flat on the floor, hip-distance apart. Extend the arms by your side and roll the shoulder blades in toward one another to feel a slight lift in the chest.
Carefully lift the hips off the ground and slide the yoga block directly under the sacrum, the large, triangular bone at the base of the spine. (Note: Always come into bridge pose before you place the block under your sacrum; don't try to lie down on the block.)
As you rest here, arms can remain down by your sides, stretched overhead, or straight out in a T. Beginners can keep the block at its lowest height, and go higher as ready.
To come out, press down into your feet and lift the hips. Remove the block and gently lower back to the floor.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Lie on your back with the soles of your feet together, knees pointing outward, and slide the heels as close to the groin as is comfortable.
Place the arms at 45-dgree angles to your torso with the palms facing up, or place one hand on the low belly and one on your chest to help focus on the breath.
With each exhalation, let the knees float toward the ground, creating a stretch across the inner thighs and groin. If the stretch is too deep, place additional blankets or cushions beneath the knees for support.
To exit, gently roll to your right side with the knees drawn to your heart, and gradually prop yourself up to sitting.
Seated on the floor with your legs slightly bent, slide a bolster beneath the knees and slowly lower the back, neck, then head onto the floor.
Let the arms rest comfortably by your sides, palms facing the sky. Close the eyes, become aware of your natural breath, and let go. Rest in this pose for anywhere from 2-15 minutes.
When ready, roll, onto your right side, take 2-3 breaths, and gently press your hands into the ground to lift you back to sitting.