3 restorative yoga poses to help you relax
Yoga gives you access to your inner peaceful place in the midst of everyday stress.
After a yoga class, you feel calmer and more centered.
Even if you can’t always make it to one of our yoga classes, there are simple restorative yoga poses you can do at home to help you relax and let go of the pressures of your day.
What is restorative yoga?
How often do you feel that you’re fully supported? That everything has been taken care of and there’s nothing you need to do other than simply be? This is the feeling that restorative yoga brings. It is a passive yoga practice, during which you hold each pose for 5 minutes or more. You’ll use cushions, pillows, blocks or any other props to minimise the strain on your muscles so that you can relax and let go completely. Restorative yoga gives your body an opportunity to release the ‘flight, fight or freeze’ stress response that so many of us live with permanently and enter a state of rest and regeneration.
3 restorative yoga poses you can do at home to relax
Supported child’s pose (Salamba Balasana)
To get into child’s pose, kneel on your yoga mat with your knees wide. Have a bolster or a long pillow in front of you. Sit back on your heels, then gently lower your chest onto the pillow. Have your arms on each side of the pillow and your buttocks in contact with your heels. Place one cheek on the pillow, get comfortable and relax.
This pose stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and is deeply calming.
Legs-up-the-wall pose (Viparita Karani)
Lie down flat on the floor with your legs up the wall. Shift your buttocks as close to the wall as possible. If you need to, place a pillow under your head. Let your arms rest alongside your body, wide on each side or on your belly. Once you’re comfortable, relax and focus on your breathing. To come out of this pose, draw your knees to your chest, then roll onto one side and push yourself up to sitting position.
This pose assists the blood circulation from your feet back to your heart and brain.
For this pose, you will need a chair that will allow you to have your legs bent in the knees at 90-degree angle. Positions yourself similarly to the previous pose, except you will have your shins parallel to the floor with your legs supported on the chair.
This pose provides relief for tense lower back by allowing your back to be completely flat and supported on the floor.
Hold each pose for 5-10 minutes. Practice them in a sequence or one at a time and notice how your body and mind are becoming relaxed.
It is easy to fit 5 minutes of restorative yoga into your day. Link your practice to something you’re already doing. For example, after coming home from work and before cooking dinner, give yourself the gift of the legs-on-chair pose. Or spend some time in child’s pose before brushing your teeth at night.
For a longer yoga practice with an experienced teacher and in a supportive environment, come to one of our yoga classes in the Blue Mountains.
Article written by Tatiana Apostolova, a freelance writer and a mum of three, passionate about holistic living, yoga, creativity and travel.