A Few Favorite Restorative Poses
Supported Child's Pose ~ Balasana
To come into the pose: sit on your shins, knees spread wide around the bolster/pillow-pile in front of you. Lay forward in Child’s Pose resting the body over the bolster. Arms can rest forward or behind, the head should take equal time being turned to each side. Make sure to have enough support under the belly. You don't want any strain in your back.
Add props as needed:
- Discomfort in the ankles? Try a small blanket or pillow under the fronts of the ankles.
- Discomfort in the knees? Put a pillow or blanket between the calves and the backs of the thighs.
- Discomfort in the back? Raise the height of your bolster pile.
To come out of the pose: place the hands on either side of the bolster pile to support the torso and gently roll up. Take a few breaths before moving on. For more detailed information visit the Do Restorative Yoga Blog.
Supported Puppy Pose ~ Uttana Shishosana
To come into the pose, kneel in front of a bolster or a stack of pillows/blankets. Walk your body out over the bolster pile and then rest the torso down, stretching the arms out in front. You can rest your forehead on a block or the floor if that is comfortable.
Supported Puppy is a great pose in its own right but it is also a great alternative if Supported Child's Pose isn’t comfortable on your feet or knees. To come into this pose from Supported Child's Pose you can raise the hips in the air, bring the knees a little closer together, and then rest your body over the bolster, arms stretch out in front, and the head can rest on a block if that is comfortable.
To come out of the pose, place the hands on either side of your bolster to support your torso and roll up gently. Take a few breaths before moving on. For more detailed information visit the Do Restorative Yoga Blog.
Supported Bound Angle Forward Fold ~ Baddha Konasana
To come into the pose, sit on the floor in Bound Angle pose - knees drop out to each side and the soles touch. Feet can be as close to or as far away from the body as is needed for comfort. Sit on a wedge or a blanket to give a lift to your sit bones.
Position blocks or blankets under your knees on each side if needed. Rest the arms and head on a chair seat or stack as many bolsters or blankets in front of you as you need to be able to forward fold with comfort. Stay as long as you are comfortable.
To come out, round the spine to upright, push the bolsters away from you, bring the knees together, and roll to one side. For more detailed information visit the Do Restorative Yoga Blog.
Reclining Bound Angle ~ Supta Baddha Konasana
To come into the pose, sit on the floor in Bound Angle pose (souls together knees out to the sides).
Fix a belt/strap loosely around your waist, stretch it to the inside of the thighs and then wrap it around the back side of the feet/ankles. Lay back on the floor or over a bolster. Allow your knees to open to the side, resting them on bolsters, blocks or blankets for comfort. Tighten the belt as much as is comfortable. Stay as long as you are comfortable.
To come out, loosen the belt, bring the knees together, roll to one side and sit up. For more detailed information visit the Do Restorative Yoga Blog.
Supported Bridge ~ Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
To come into the pose, lay on your back with your knees bent. Lift your hips in the air and place a block under your sacrum. Rest your hands by your side.
For a greater chest opener, walk your shoulders under you. A belt can be strapped around the thighs to help keep the legs together effortlessly. Stay for a few minutes or as long as you are comfortable.
To come out, lift the hips up, slide the block out from underneath you, drop the hips back down to the floor, hug the knees to the chest, then roll to one side before sitting up. For more detailed information visit the Do Restorative Yoga Blog.
Tips on getting comfy...
1. In Restorative the difference between heaven and not-heaven can be as little as using ½ an inch more propping.
2. Don't assume you are comfortable. Really pay attention to what your body is telling you.
3. Try props in places you always thought you never needed props: under the knees, a small support under the low back, a little bit more height. Experiment and watch your breath.
4. Play some relaxing music such as Anugama - Shamanic Dream, Stephen Halpern - In the Om Zone, or Robert Gass - Om Namaha Shivaya.
5. Visit my blog for detailed descriptions, additional tips and more poses.