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5 Restorative Yoga Poses for Relaxation

by Yes Health

In its simplest form, yoga is a tool to help us control our breath. Breathing more slowly and deeply instantly helps to relax our minds and bodies and gives us an energy a boost. It’s no wonder yoga is known as a powerful antidote to stress. 

These five restorative poses are for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. And you don’t need any props. A mat is great if you have one, but if not, you can just sit comfortably on the floor–or venture outside to your patio or backyard. Find a quiet place where you can be alone for just five minutes. Try this mellow sequence after you wake up to start your morning in a positive, peaceful way that will stay with you throughout your day.

 

Five Restorative Yoga Poses

  1. Child’s poseKneel on the floor with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart. On an exhale, lower your torso between your knees. Extend your arms in front of you or alongside your torso with your palms facing down. Relax your shoulders toward the ground. Rest in the pose for as long as feels good for your body.
  2. Legs up the wall – This pose is a personal favorite of Coach Kalyn, especially after a day of being on her feet. Gravity aids in the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid. Start by setting up a cozy space around a wall. (You can even do this in bed and use your head board.) Put a towel or pillow under your hips and shimmy your body as close to the wall as possible, then walk your feet up the wall until your body is in an L-shaped position. Let your arms rest on your belly or at your sides and focus on slowly inhaling and exhaling through your nose.
  3. Seated cat-cow – Wake up your spine by gently moving it in all directions. Sit cross-legged or with your knees bent facing the ceiling hip distance apart. Sit up tall with your hands resting on your knees. As you inhale, arch your back, lean forward leading with your heart and gently look up for a slight backbend. On your exhale, round your back, holding onto your knees with your arms extended and gaze down at your navel. Repeat this several times moving with your breath.
  4. Happy baby (a.k.a. dead bug pose) – Open the hips and stretch your inner thighs, hamstrings and groin with this delicious release. Lie on your back with a neutral spine. Gently pull your knees toward your chest keeping your tailbone on the floor. Flex your feet so your soles face the ceiling. Wrap your first two fingers around your big toes and pull down lightly. Breathe deeply while you let your back relax into the floor.
  5. Savasana (a.k.a. corpse pose) – This one may seem overly simple at first glance, but how often do we take time to lay flat on our backs and focus solely on breathing? Try opening your arms into a T-shape or cactus position to help open the chest. For a deeper opening, use a firm pillow or rolled up towel lengthwise under the spine.

Related Content: So You're Not a Gym Person, Now What?

Want to take a deeper dive into restorative yoga? Check out this class with Coach Sara S. 

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