Restorative yoga: What is it?
Restorative yoga is the more passive genre of Asanas that help relax muscle tension, provide relief from common pains and aches, and can help you sleep better. Unlike other yoga styles such as Vinyasa Flow Yoga or Power Yoga, which are much more active and will help strengthen your muscles, restorative yoga is all about relaxing your muscles and your mind.
The challenge when it comes to restorative yoga is the deep breathing and meditiation
Restorative Yoga Poses
Fists Forward Bend
Stand and hinge your torso forward at the hips. Bend your knees slightly and allow your torso to rest on your thighs. Fold your arms so that your hands are in the crook of your elbows, and squeeze your hands into fists to release tension in your spine.
Stand with your feet together, hinge forward at the hips, and bend your knees so that your palms are flat on the floor (if they aren’t already). Shift your weight so that your arms are supporting you as you hop or walk your legs back. Use your hands to push your body back towards your heels until you feel a stretch throughout your back and legs
On all fours, arch your back upwards to “cat” pose, letting your head relax downwards. Then let your back curve downwards and look upwards in “cow” pose. Breathe deeply as you move back and forth between cat and cow poses.
Sit with your knees slightly apart and folded underneath your body, then lean forward to rest your forehead on the ground.
Lay on your stomach and place your elbows below your shoulders. Prop yourself up on your forearms, taking care to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.
Legs Up the Wall Pose
Sit with your side to the wall, and legs extended. Lean back to the floor, swing your legs up the wall, and relax.
Happy Baby Pose
Lay on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Grab the inside of your feet with your hands, and bring your feet up and to the side to a comfortable spot.
Two Knee Spinal Twist
Lay with your back on the ground, and your knees bent. Let your knees fall to one side, and look in the opposite direction, with your arms extended to both sides.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Start in an upright (sitting) Bound Angle Pose (the “butterfly” stretch), then roll your spine back until your are laying down.