When I first started practicing yoga, I was drawn to classes with a fast pace and a good soundtrack. Classes with names like Yin and Restorative were dead zones on a schedule as far as I was concerned. It wasn’t until my first teacher training, when Restorative was a requirement that I allowed myself some rest. I have come to believe that a Restorative practice is necessary for any balanced program. The less you are drawn to stillness, the more you probably need it.
I am challenging myself to add a restorative pose into my day for all of April. Sometimes it will be in the morning and sometimes in the evening, but as Spring heats up outside, I am going to commit to slowing down. Give it a try and let me know, how it goes for you, below are some poses that will calm both body and mind if you let them.
Legs up the wall: Lie down on the floor with your hip next to the wall. Pivot your legs so they go up the wall and your spine is perpendicular to the wall on the floor. It does not matter how close your seat is to the wall. Take your hands out by your sides and let your palms face the ceiling.
Supda Bodhakonasana: Place a bolster or large couch cushion on the floor, fold a towel and place it at the end of the cushion on the floor (you will sit on the towel) have two more pillows nearby. Sit on the towel, bring the bottoms of your feet together and let your knees fall wide apart, place the additional pillows under your knees for support, lie back onto your large cushion or bolster. Inhale, and exhale for longer than you think you need too. Relax your jaw, and the sides of your neck, let your body ease into relaxation…..for many of us it is unchartered territory.
River Pose: Take three towels, fold one neatly, it will act as a pillow. Take the second one and roll it up about halfway, this will leave half of it flat and half rolled. Roll the third one entirely, so it resembles the inside of a ho-ho… Place the pillow towel underneath your head. The half rolled towel should be placed along the mid back, right at the bra-line if you are familiar with that location. The final fully rolled towel should get placed underneath the knees, and legs extended.
We are lucky enough to live in a time when Restorative yoga is being innovated and taught by great teachers. The two websites below are incredible resources for developing and understanding of the benefits of this incredibly healing practice.