When it comes to yoga, Restorative Yoga is the perfect style of practice for those who are new to yoga and also those who are veterans. Restorative yoga is a practice focusing on meditative and relaxing poses that help the body let go and restore the nervous system. This type of yoga is great for releasing stress and calming our minds and bodies.
There are dozens of different poses you can use in a restorative yoga practice, but here are five of our favorites.
Pose 1: Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This is a traditional yoga pose and is a great way to start any yoga practice. Start by kneeling on your mat with your big toes touching and your knees wider than your hips. As you exhale, slowly lower your torso towards the earth and extend your arms forward. Allow your forehead to touch the ground. This is a beautiful, comforting pose to connect with your breath.
Pose 2: Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)
This rested pose can help relieving tension in the upper back, shoulders and neck. Start by kneeling on your mat with your arms in front of you. Begin to exhale and walk your arms forward as you lower your chest and forehead towards the earth. Stay in this pose for several breaths and sink deeper slowly with each exhale.
Pose 3: Reclined Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
This pose helps to release tension in the abdominal area and improve digestion. Start by lying your back and bring both knees into your chest as you inhale. Exhale and place your arms in a cactus-position as your drop both of your knees to the left side. Allow your legs to be heavy and stay in the pose for several breaths. Repeat this pose on the opposite side.
Pose 4: Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
This restorative pose helps reduce any inflammation in the body, as well as relieving stress, anxiety and fatigue. To practice this pose, begin by lying flat on your back and bring your legs against a wall. You can support your lower back with a pillow if needed. Allow your breath to be your focus in this pose, and stay in it for as long as you’d like.