8 Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses and Benefits [2021]

Restorative Yoga Poses focuses on relaxation of mind. A new branch grown out of the ancient tree of yoga.

Exercising is directly connected to a healthy body and mind. Yoga bridges the gap between strength and calm. It has stood the test of time and proved its worth.

All the Restorative yoga poses are inspired by traditional yoga. The difference comes in the duration of each pose.

Restorative yoga practices holding on to asanas for a longer time. It also uses props like blankets and pillows to support the posture.

It is more like meditation to maintain mental and physical balance. It resets your body for a fresh start.

Here’s a list of Restorative yoga poses for relaxation

1. Balasana ( Child Pose )

8 Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses and Benefits [2021]
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As the name suggests, it brings out the child in you. This pose resembles the posture of a fetus. It is the most effective resting pose in yoga. It is restorative. Since this asana is done with the support of the head and torso, it stretches the lower back and neck. The stretching of the back, shoulder, neck, and ankles relaxes the muscles. This in turn relieves fatigue. This is the easiest asana to reduce stress and anxiety.

How to do it –
  1. Kneel on the floor and touch your toes to form a triangle between them.
  2. Rest your hips on your legs and sit straight.
  3. Place a long pillow in front of your body on the floor.
  4. Bend forward with your arms stretched forward parallel to your knees.
  5. Rest your upper body on the pillow.
  6. Then, Stretch your body forward.
  7. Try to hold this position in between 3 to 15  minutes.

2. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)

8 Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses and Benefits [2021]
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This asana is called the queen of restorative yoga. It takes you to the magic world once you get comfortable. This gives deep relaxation within minutes. It’s a great pose to improve the functioning of abdominal organs. It stretches the inner things as well as opens up the hips. Because of the stretching, muscle tension is reduced. This in turn relieves fatigue and stress.

How to do it –
  1. Lie down on the floor and support your upper body with one pillow that covers your neck and backbone.
  2. Rest your head and back on the pillow.
  3. Slowly bend your knees and bring your feet together. ( you can use pillows to support your knees as well )
  4. Spread your arms sideways with your palms facing up.
  5. With each deep breath try getting your knees closer to the ground.
  6. Hold this pose for 3-10 minutes.

3. Matsyasana (Supported Fish Pose)

8 Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses and Benefits [2021]
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In ancient times, this asana was called the destroyer of all diseases. Fish pose is inspired by the structure of a fish and lets you float like one. Because of the backward bending, blood circulation improves in the spine. The stretching of the torso makes abdominal organs stronger. It also improves the immune system as muscles get better blood circulation. It also improves body posture in general.

How to do it –
  1. Sit cross-legged and take a long deep breath.
  2. Slowly bend backward and rest your elbow and forearms on the floor.
  3. With the help of your elbow slowly put your head on the floor.
  4. Put a pillow under your head and lift your back as much as you can.
  5. Hold your legs while your back forms an arch.
  6. Try to maintain this position for 1-2 minutes.

4. Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)

8 Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses and Benefits [2021]
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Viparita Karani means inverted action. This means the blood circulation channels start flowing from legs to head. This balances the blood flow inside the body. Relaxing muscles in the upper body as well. It reduces headaches as blood reaches the head. It boosts energy as well as freshens you up.

How to do it –
  1. Spread a blanket near the wall. And put a big pillow right next to the wall.
  2. Sit sideways on the pillow with your left arm touching the wall
  3. Slowly bend backward on the blanket as your legs start reaching up the wall.
  4.  Support your back and pelvis with the pillow as your head touches the blanket.
  5. Spread your arms sideways and stretch your legs up the wall.
  6. Hold this position for 3 to 5 minutes. And increase the duration with time.

5. Eka Pada Rajapotaasana (Half Pigeon Pose)

8 Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses and Benefits [2021]
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This pose resembles a pigeon puffing his chest. The whole body is stretched in this pose. This improves flexibility, blood circulation, and breathing. It opens up the tight muscles in the hip, legs, and shoulder. As it opens up the hips, negative energy is passed out refreshing and relaxing your mood. It stimulates the nervous system as well.

How to do it –
  1. Sit on your heels and stretch your left leg behind. ( support your thighs with a pillow )
  2. Cross your right leg in front and bring it near your lower abdomen.
  3. Put your palms on the floor on both sides.
  4. Make sure your shoulders are parallel to your hips.
  5. Push your chest outwards and stretch your left leg behind.
  6. Hold this position for a minute and repeat with the right leg.

6. Supta Virasana (Supported Supine Hero pose)

8 Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses and Benefits [2021]
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Supta Virasana means lying hero. This pose brings inner strength and confidence abiding by its name. The stretching relieves all body pains. It improves digestion and increases flexibility. It is also a good pose to improve respiratory organ.

How to do it –
  1. Place a folded blanket on the floor
  2. Sit with knees together, legs bent, and feet pointed and resting to the sides of hips.
  3. Place a long pillow behind you and bend back on it.
  4. Stretch your arms on the ground above the head.
  5. Hold this position for 3 – 5 minutes.

7. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose)

8 Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses and Benefits [2021]
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As the name suggests, this pose resembles the structure of a bridge. It improves the digestion and functioning of abdominal organs. This pose focuses on the lower back and its best to strengthen the spine. It stretches the whole body which relaxes the muscle.

How to do it –
  1. Lie on your back and bend both the knees with feet flat on the floor
  2. Put your arms alongside the body with the palms facing down. Try touching your heels with fingertips.
  3. Press the feet into the floor and lift up your hips and lower back.
  4. Support your lower abdomen with yoga bricks or a rolled blanket.
  5. Press down into the arms and lift your chest up.
  6. Push your shoulders down to lift the hips higher.
  7. Hold this position for 2-5 minutes and increase the duration with practice.

8. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

8 Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses and Benefits [2021]
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This pose resembles the posture of a dead body. It is usually practiced at the end of the session. It looks like a nap but the body is completely conscious. Because of this the concentration power increases. This pose calms your mind and improves blood circulation. As it gets us closer to the ground, the air ( Vata Dosha ) element is balanced inside the body.

How to do it –
  1. Lie flat on your back with legs stretched forward. ( support your upper body with a long pillow )
  2. Spread your hands sideways with palms facing up.
  3. Close your eyes and start breathing deeply but slowly.
  4. Start focusing on each body part from feet to head.
  5. Stay in this position from 3 – 30  minutes.

All the poses mentioned above are restorative. They can help calm your body and mind, relieving stress and anxiety. You can literally do them anytime, anyplace, and the only equipment you need is discipline. They are good for all ages, genders, and all seasons. And just like yoga, do these asanas on an empty stomach for best results.

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