5 Restorative Yoga Poses for When You Need to Chill
Sometimes instead of flowing through an intentional and challenging vinyasa practice, you just need to chill. That’s where restorative yoga comes in. Restorative yoga is a style of yoga that focuses on providing rest for your body and mind through a series of gentle stretches. Many restorative yoga practices incorporate plenty of twists and folds to improve circulation and alleviate pain in the areas like the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Most importantly, restorative yoga offers you an opportunity to relax your mind and release any stress or anxiety that has been building up, so that you can leave your mat feeling refreshed and renewed. Here are 5 restorative yoga poses that you can use the next time you feel the need to chill out.
Just like a traditional cat-cow, this variation focuses on the contrasting motions of arching and curving in the spine. In a seated position with your legs crossed and hands resting on your knees, begin curving your spine inward by bringing your chin to your chest and your belly button in. Slowly roll your spine in the opposite direction by leading your head and arching your back until your chin points to the sky. Repeat this for a few rounds of breath.
Supported Bridge Pose
Visiting some of your favorite poses with the added support of props is a great way to increase your overall relaxation. For this option, you can use a yoga block or a rolled-up towel to give support and relief to your lower back. Begin by lying down with your feet hip-width apart and knees pointed upwards. Place the block or towel under the lower portion of your back so that your hips are slightly lifted off the ground. Relax and take several deep breaths.
Thread the Needle
This pose offers a deep stretch for your shoulders and neck. Begin in an all-fours position with your knees and hands on the mat. Raise one arm high and thread it underneath your opposite armpit until your shoulder blade reaches the ground. Take a few deep breaths and then repeat on the opposite side.
Supported Fish Pose
This is another intense exercise that can be transformed into a restorative pose with the help of a block or rolled towel. Begin by lying down flat on your mat. Place the block or towel at the base of your neck so that your shoulder blades and neck are lifted off the floor and your head hangs down. Relax and take a few deep breaths here.
Supported Forward Fold
Folding poses are an amazing way to release tension in the lower back and neck. This pose adds the support of a yoga blanket or towel to further amplify your relaxation. Begin in a seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Place your blanket or towel on your thighs. Gently fold over until your forehead can comfortably rest on your towel. Relax here for a few deep breaths.
Now, more than ever, it’s essential to prioritize our self-care and make relaxation a habit. Try these 5 restorative yoga poses and enjoy some much-needed rest for your body and mind.