Relax and Re-energize with Restorative Yoga

candlelight2Restorative yoga is a simple and effective way to relax and reset.  Doing one pose for 10 minutes or settling in for a few can provide immediate relief from stress, anxiety and exhaustion.  Let your body relax into a pose supported by props (bolsters, blankets or blocks), connect to your breath and calm the mind.  As you rest in each pose for 10-20 minutes, let gravity do the work to stretch and release tightness.  A few of my favorite poses include:

  • Reclined Goddess (Utkata Konasana) opens up the hips flexors and is good way to start a practice.  Using a bolster to lie back and blocks to support your knees make it easy to relax and release.
  • Supported Fish (Matsyasana) opens your chest, releases tension in the neck and shoulders.
  • Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) is a gentle backbend that engages the core and calms the nervous system.
  • Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karanidrains) drains the stress of your day away, bringing energy back in an inverted version of corpse pose.

To create a relaxing environment light candles, diffuse essential oil and listen to mantras.  Your body temperature will drop so choose a location away from drafts and keep blankets nearby.  Yoga Journal is a good resource for asana instruction and illustration.

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