Use these restorative poses to destress, relax and rejuvenate.
Are you feeling stressed out or tensed up and looking for some natural relief? If so, it’s time to give restorative yoga a try. Restorative yoga includes poses that are comfortable and supportive, which allows your body and mind feel totally relaxed. You can use props like a block, or even just a rolled-up blanket, to support your body when practicing these poses.
Try the yoga sequence below and hold each pose for at least 30 seconds. Over time, you can build up strength and work your way up to holding each pose for up to eight minutes! As always, be patient with your body and know your limits to avoid injury.
By Jessica Gouthro
Block Supported Butterfly Savasana
Set up your blocks about four to five inches apart, the top one horizontal and the bottom one vertical. Sit about six inches in front of the bottom block and lie back so that the bottom block is right between your shoulder blades and your head rests on the top block. Adjust the blocks as needed until you feel comfortable. Place the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to fall open.
Block Supported Relaxed Bridge
Lie down on your back. Place your feet flat on the ground and press up to a bridge pose. Slide a block right under your hips, at the base of your spine, and relax onto the block.
Block Supported Fetus Pose
Kneel on your shins and sit back on your heels. Place a block about one foot in front of you, flat on its side. Lower your forehead onto the block, turning your head to one side. You may switch sides after a while, or place your forehead straight on the block for symmetry. Stretch your arms down by your sides, relaxing your shoulders.
Block Supported Side-Lying Pose
Lie on your side and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle. Place one block between your knees. Place another block under your head. Stretch your bottom arm out on the ground in front of you and allow your top arm to rest comfortably by your belly.
Block Supported Iron Cross Twist
Lie on your back and stretch your arms out to your sides. Bend one knee up to hip height and cross it over your midline to twist your hips to the side. Place two blocks under that knee to allow you to rest in this twisted position.
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All images courtesy of Jessica Gouthro.