Top 9 Restorative Yoga Poses

Restorative yoga pose is a gentle yoga practice that focuses on slowing down and opening the body through passive stretching. Restorative yoga poses are held for longer periods of time usually five to ten minutes and use props for support.

Top 9 Restorative Yoga Poses:

Top 9 Restorative Yoga Poses
Top 9 Restorative Yoga Poses

1_Child’s Pose:

Child’s Pose also known as the Balasana is a restful and gentle yoga pose that is often used as a transitional pose between more challenging poses. It is known for its stress-relieving and calming properties.

How to Practice Child’s Pose:
  • Begin on your hands and knees with your big toes together and your knees slightly wider than your hips.
  • Gently push your hips back toward your heels and separate your knees slightly wider than your hips.
  • With your big toes together your legs will form a V shape.
  • As you exhale lay your torso between your thighs by resting your forehead onto the mat.
  • You can also extend your arms forward by reaching towards the front of the mat or rest your arms on the floor alongside your torso and palms up by releasing the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor.
  • Allow the weight of the shoulders to pull the shoulder blades wide across your back.
  • Stay in the pose for anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes by focusing on your breath and relaxing your body.
Benefits of Child’s Pose:
  • Gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles.
  • Relieves stress, fatigue and anxiety.
  • Improves mental focus.
  • Relieves back and neck pain.
  • Relaxes the muscles on the front of the body.
  • Passively stretches the muscles on the back of the body

2/3_Seated Cat/Cow:

Seated Cat Cow Pose also known as the Marjaryasana-bitilasana in Sanskrit is a seated variation of the traditional Cat Cow Pose. It is often used in chair yoga and is suitable for senior citizens. This pose involves gently flexing the spine forward and back while sitting on a chair by making it accessible for individuals who may have difficulty with traditional yoga poses on the floor.

How to Practice Seated Cat Cow Pose:
  • Sit in a sturdy chair with your feet flat on the ground positioned toward the middle of the chair.
  • Place your hands on your thighs.
  • Inhale and arch your back by opening the chest and lifting the chin slightly.
  • Exhale and round your back by drawing the chin toward the chest.
  • Repeat the movements slowly by coordinating them with your breath.
Benefits of Seated Cat Cow Pose:
  • Calms the mind.
  • Relieves stress.
  • Opens the chest.
  • Stretches the abdomen, back, spine and upper neck.

4_Supported Bridge Pose:

Supported Bridge Pose also known as the Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is a restorative yoga pose that promotes relaxation and healing. It involves lying on your back with a block under your pelvis to lift your hips and stretch your hip flexors and chest.

How to Practice Supported Bridge Pose:
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
  • Place a yoga block under your pelvis widthwise across your sacrum to support your hips.
  • Press your feet and arms into the floor and lift your hips up keeping your thighs parallel to each other.
  • Relax your shoulders and neck and breathe deeply.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths and then release and lower your hips back down to the floor.
Benefits of Supported Bridge Pose:
  • Stretches the hip flexors and chest.
  • Promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
  • Improves digestion, respiration and circulation.
  • Relieves headaches and anxiety.
  • Balances and tones the kidneys, adrenals, thyroid and parathyroid glands

5_Reclined Bound Angle:

Reclined Bound Angle Pose also known as the Supta Baddha Konasana is a restorative yoga pose that is deeply relaxing and recommended for practitioners of all levels. It is a hip-opening asana that instills a sense of deep relaxation. 

How to Practice Reclined Bound Angle Pose:
  • Lie straight and flat on the ground.
  • Bend your knees to bring the soles of your feet together to touch.
  • Relax your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Stay in the pose for up to a minute, breathing deeply and slowly.
Benefits of Reclined Bound Angle Pose:
  • Lowered blood pressure.
  • Decreased heart rate.
  • Decreased muscle tension
  • Relief from fatigue and insomnia.
  • Reduce nervous tension and stress.

6_Thread The Needle:

Thread the Needle is a gentle and effective stretch that targets the upper back, shoulders and chest by  providing relief from tension and discomfort.

How to Practice Thread the Needle:
  • Start in a neutral position on all fours by keeping your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Tuck your toes under.
  • Open up your chest to the right as you extend your right arm toward the ceiling. Direct your gaze toward your raised hand.
  • Begin to move your right arm under your chest toward the mat. Your torso should naturally shift to face downward. Keep both knees and your left arm grounded for support.
  • Continue to slide your right arm onto the mat by allowing your right shoulder to rest on the mat. Extend your left arm overhead so your fingertips touch the mat and rest the right side of your head on the mat. Continue shifting your right fingertips to the left until you feel a stretch. Hold the pose and focus on your breathing and repeat on the other side.
Benefits of Thread the Needle:
  • Full body stretch.
  • Opens your shoulders, neck, arms, chest and upper back.
  • Allows for a light twist in the spine.
  • Releases upper back and shoulder tension.
  • Promotes a sense of calm in the body.
  • Stretches your thighs and hips.

7_Supported Forward Fold:

Supported Forward Fold is a restorative yoga pose that helps to release tension in the back, neck and shoulders. It is a gentle pose that can be modified to suit different levels of flexibility.

How to Practice Supported Forward Fold:
  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your back straight.
  • Place a bolster or folded blanket on top of your legs and fold forward over the bolster or blanket.
  • Rest your forehead on the bolster or blanket and allow your arms to rest on the floor alongside your body.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths by focusing on your breath and relaxing your body.
Benefits of Supported Forward Fold:
  • Stretches the hamstrings, hips and lower back.
  • Relieves stress and tension in the back, neck and shoulders.
  • Calms the mind and promotes relaxation.
  • Improves digestion and circulation.
  • Reduces fatigue and anxiety.

8_Supine Twist Pose:

Supine Twist Pose also known as the Supta Matsyendrasana is a restorative yoga pose that involves lying on your back and twisting your spine. This pose is known for its ability to release tension and improve flexibility.

How to Practice Supine Twist Pose:
  • Lie on your back with your arms extended out to the sides.
  • Bring your right knee up to your chest while the left leg remains straight. Drop your right knee to the left so it crosses over your left leg.
  • Place your left hand on your right knee and lay your right arm out to your side. Gaze towards your right hand.
  • Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths and then switch sides.
 Benefits of Supine Twist Pose:
  •  Relieving back pain.
  • Stretching and releasing tension in the back muscles.
  • Massaging the back and hips.
  • Hydrating the spinal disks.

9_Legs Up The Wall:

Legs Up The Wall also known as the Viparita Karani in Sanskrit is a restorative yoga pose that offers numerous benefits including relaxation, stress relief and improved circulation.

How to Practice Legs Up The Wall:
  • Sit on the floor with your left side against the wall  with your bent knees and your feet drawn in toward your hips.
  • Swing your legs up against the wall by keeping your right leg straight.
  • Rest your right knee on the wall and place your right hand on the floor outside your right knee.
  • Breathe deeply and relax in the pose for up to a minute.
Benefits of Legs Up The Wall:
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body.
  • Provides stress relief and reduces anxiety.
  • Relieves tension in the neck and shoulders.
  • Improves circulation and reduces leg swelling.
  • Alleviates knee pain, leg cramps and backaches.
  • Softly opens the backs of your legs.

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