Simple Restorative Yoga Poses for Everyone
Supported backbend pose: This heart-opening pose releases tension from back and shoulders. It also helps improve posture and the flow of breath in the upper chest, rib cage and belly. It is great for anyone that has a job where they are hunched over a computer or driving for extended periods of time.
1. Come into a seated position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor; rest a bolster, pillow or stack of blankets beneath the back of the knees and extend or gently bend the legs. 2. Place a block, bolster or rolled blanket beneath the upper back to support the upper rib cage and lie down. 3. Place a pillow or folded blanket at the desired height under the head to support the head and neck.
Legs-up-the-wall pose: This is a gentle inversion that helps relieve stress and improves circulation in the upper body and head, resulting in a rebalancing and refreshing effect. It can also relieve headaches, alleviate lower-back pain and boost energy levels.
1. Sit sideways five to six inches parallel to the wall. 2. Gently swing legs up against the wall and lie down softly. 3. Adjust a rolled blanket or bolster beneath the lower back so that the tailbone drops over the bottom edge. 4. Place a pillow or folded blanket under the head and rest an eye pillow over the eyes. More flexible practitioners may be closer to the wall and be more elevated by a prop support, while those less flexible will want to be further from the wall at a lower setting.
Supported child’s pose: This pose is found to be comforting and relaxing to the mind, nervous system and abdominal organs. It can improve digestion, release tension in the lower back and ease stress. It may also aid in the relief of menstrual cramps.
1. Place a bolster lengthwise on the fl oor and incline it by placing a block below the top of the far end of the bolster. 2. Sit in a wide, kneeling position with knees on either side of the low end of the bolster, toes pointing to the back. A rolled blanket may be placed beneath the ankles. 3. Fold forward, with the entire torso and head against the bolster. Rest the head to one side and switch halfway through. 4. Support forearms with folded blankets.
Gina Cronin is features writer for Natural Awakenings magazine and teaches yoga and meditation.