As the holiday season approaches, it’s more and more crucial that we take time to relax. Yoga of all kinds is good for lowering blood pressure, reducing heat rate, decreasing tension, and creating a relaxed state. Restorative yoga does all of the following things but even more so! The following sequence can be done anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on how long you stay in each pose. You’ll need a bolster, 2 blocks, 2 blankets, a strap or something similar, and possibly a chair. Set up a cozy space, maybe with a candle lit, the lights dimmed, and some relaxing music. Bring your props to your space, get settled, and get ready to relax!
Supported Supta Baddha Konasana
Behind you, set up a block on the medium setting, and then behind that set one up on the tallest setting. As the blocks get further away from you, they will be taller. Set the bolster on top of the blocks, setting one end behind your hips. You’re essentially using the bolster and blocks to create a wedge behind you. Bring your back up to the end of the bolster and lie back, letting your upper body be supported. Bring the lower body into Supta Baddha Konasana, letting the soles of the feet come to touch and the knees fall apart. Bring your hands to the belly, the hip creases, or let them rest down on either side of you, opening up the chest. Lie here with eyes closed for 3-6 minutes. If you find that your knees are uncomfortable, you can always bring extra blocks or blankets underneath the knee to support them.
Mountain Brook Pose
Lie down on the mat, and place a bolster underneath your knees. Place one or two blankets underneath your chest, lifting the heart. Place another blanket roll under the head and neck, supporting the entire body. Drape the arms out like a T with palms facing up. Stay here for 3-6 minutes.
Start off by bringing your mat over to a wall or any sturdy flat surface that’s perpendicular to the floor. Bring the hips up as close to the wall as they can get, and then let the legs relax on the wall. You can loop the strap around the legs, so that they stay supported and at hips width distance, or try it without. Either way, let the upper body melt into the ground, and let the legs rest and relax on the wall. Stay here for 3-6 minutes.
Supported Forward Fold
Sit down on the mat, and have the chair handy in case you need it. Some sort of folding chair or ottoman works great if you have one. Come to sit in a wide legged stance, letting your legs go where is comfortable. Sit the hips on a blanket if that’s more comfortable. From here, fold forward and let the upper body relax either on the chair, or on a bolster. You can stack additional blankets on top of whatever you’re using to adjust the height and make it taller. Stay for 3-6 minutes. If you rest one cheek on your support, be sure to spend equal time with the neck in the other direction.
Lie down on your mat, placing the bolster underneath your knees to support your low back. Place one blanket underneath the head to support the neck, and use the other blanket draped over your body to stay warm. Rest the arms down by the sides, with palms facing up. Stay here for 5-20 minutes.