Restorative Yoga!

Okay, some of you may know that I'm a major yoga junkie, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite restorative yoga poses with all of you!  I often take a restorative yoga class on Sunday and I swear, I almost always end up falling asleep during one of asanas (i.e. position).  I'm talking drool-worthy relaxation


Restorative yoga does exactly what it's been named for - it's intended to renew your mind, body and soul.  Whether you've tried yoga before and whether you believe in the practice of yoga itself is irrelevent.  I mean, who wouldn't want to lie around doing nothing?  ;)


Restorative yoga is easy.  Find yourself a nice, dimly-lit, quiet and solitary space in your home for at least 15-20 minutes and try some of the following poses (feel free to listen to soft instrumental or meditative music).


Be mindful.  Stay within your body's comfort zone.  Don't try and force your body to look exactly as shown in the following pictures because fact of the matter is, everyone is different.  Make sure you're comfortable and most importantly, just relax.  This moment belongs to you.
 


Okay some of you photo 3255527-1  Okay some of you photo 3255527-2


Viparita Karani - "Legs-up-the-wall" Pose



  1. Before performing the pose, determine two things about your support: its height and its distance from the wall. If you're stiffer, the support should be lower and placed farther from the wall; if you're more flexible, use a higher support that is closer to the wall. Your distance from the wall also depends on your height: if you're shorter move closer to the wall, if taller move farther from the wall. Experiment with the position of your support until you find the placement that works for you.
     

  2. Start with your support about 5 to 6 inches away from the wall. Sit sideways on right end of the support, with your right side against the wall (left-handers can substitute "left" for "right" in these instructions). Exhale and, with one smooth movement, swing your legs up onto the wall and your shoulders and head lightly down onto the floor. The first few times you do this, you may ignominiously slide off the support and plop down with your buttocks on the floor. Don't get discouraged. Try lowering the support and/or moving it slightly further off the wall until you gain some facility with this movement, then move back closer to the wall.
     

  3. Your sitting bones don't need to be right against the wall, but they should be "dripping" down into the space between the support and the wall. Check that the front of your torso gently arches from the pubis to the top of the shoulders. If the front of your torso seems flat, then you've probably slipped a bit off the support. Bend your knees, press your feet into the wall and lift your pelvis off the support a few inches, tuck the support a little higher up under your pelvis, then lower your pelvis onto the support again.
     

  4. Lift and release the base of your skull away from the back of your neck and soften your throat. Don't push your chin against your sternum; instead let your sternum lift toward the chin. Take a small roll (made from a towel for example) under your neck if the cervical spine feels flat. Open your shoulder blades away from the spine and release your hands and arms out to your sides, palms up.
     

  5. Keep your legs relatively firm, just enough to hold them vertically in place. Release the heads of the thigh bones and the weight of your belly deeply into your torso, toward the back of the pelvis. Soften your eyes and turn them down to look into your heart.
     

  6. Stay in this pose anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Be sure not to twist off the support when coming out. Instead, slide off the support onto the floor before turning to the side. You can also bend your knees and push your feet against the wall to lift your pelvis off the support. Then slide the support to one side, lower your pelvis to the floor, and turn to the side. Stay on your side for a few breaths, and come up to sitting with an exhalation.



Viparita Karani Instructions


With Bolster Photo  +  Without Bolster Photo  


 

Posted on January 3, 2012 at 10:19 am
Santosha
10
06/16/2012
Santosha

Santosha

  • 10
  • 15
  • 11.3k
392
Followers
393
Following

(8) Comments

lyfe_girl
4
06/08/2012
lyfe_girl

lyfe_girl

  • 4
  • 14
  • 2.31k
157
Followers
160
Following

lyfe_girl

Love this! :)

Posted on January 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm
Santosha
10
06/16/2012
Santosha

Santosha

  • 10
  • 15
  • 11.3k
392
Followers
393
Following

Santosha

Lindsie, this is one position that always puts me to sleep.  As in "twitch-yourself-awake" sleep - it's so relaxing!

Posted on January 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm
pavez19
4
07/14/2012
pavez19

pavez19

  • 4
  • 15
  • 2.26k
153
Followers
155
Following

pavez19

The thing I would love to do if I had more time (and $$$) is definatly yoga!! I have an app on my phone with some position that I must try! Anyway, thanks for the tips Santosha and feel free to add more positions (subtle message here!!) hihi!

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 12:09 am
Elocha
4
05/26/2012
Elocha

Elocha

  • 4
  • 16
  • 2.56k
176
Followers
176
Following

Elocha

gotta try this!!

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 12:10 am
NicoleJuliette
5
11/12/2011
NicoleJuliette

NicoleJuliette

  • 5
  • 18
  • 8.44k
292
Followers
295
Following

NicoleJuliette

Great idea Mica!


Ah I found yoga sooo helpful before my wedding! I went to class on the Thursday night before wedding weekend and my instructor was so impressed. I simply told her, "I needed this!" 


Salamba Savasana (Supported Corpse pose) We end every class with this position and it is one of my favorites. It's about getting your mind and body to reach ultimate relaxation. (perfect right!) I've been told it is one of the toughest poses to achieve as we often have so much going through our minds. (In our cases, schedule a fitting, pick up shoes, call the florist...) In savasana you can let it all go! Relax your mind, body and spirit!


Great idea Mica Ah photo 3256085-1


(Source)


Benefits: calm the brain and reduce stress, headache, fatigue and insomnia. Relaxes body ad helps lower blood pressure.


Props: Not needed but here are some tips that might may increase comfort.



  • A small roll under the low back for lumbar support

  • A small roll under each wrist

  • A small roll under the neck and/or a pillow under the head

  • A small roll under the ankles

  • Add a sandbag over the pelvis to encourage the hip flexors to let go

  • Add a sandbag on each shoulder to encourage releasing tension

  • Add a sandbag over the diaphragm to increase breath awareness 

  • A blanket over the whole body to keep warm 


When lying, hands should face up, to draw in new energy.

Relax your muscles, shoulder blades arms, feet...everything. Soften your jaw, release finger tension. Close your eyes and focus on becoming one with the ground.

Often in class we play soothing tones. Find something that sooths your mind, or just listen to the quiet! 

Remain in this pose for 10 - 30 minutes

To release from the pose wriggle fingers and toes first to awaken the body. Lift arms overhead and stretch your spine for a few deep breaths.

Ahhhhh Savasana! So good!
Posted on January 4, 2012 at 1:23 am
Santosha
10
06/16/2012
Santosha

Santosha

  • 10
  • 15
  • 11.3k
392
Followers
393
Following

Santosha

Pascale - I know, I have the same issue at times with getting to do yoga classes.  Time isn't always available and yoga classes are neither cheap nor a high priority when the wedding planning (or even life's stuff) really gets rolling.  BUT you can always do yoga at home, although I have to admit that there is something really great about doing a yoga class - it has a certain energy to it that is always lacking with doing a home practice.  The good thing is that there's sooooo many yoga DVDs out and even sessions on YouTube and yoga websites that allow you to do shorter sessions.  I'll try and find some good ones.


As far as time goes, even 15 minutes of doing 2-3 yoga positions is so beneficial.  I'm definitely not trying to indoctrinate/brainwash you into trying yoga (unless you want me to!  lol), but it's SO worth it.  Give it a try, check out other positions on your phone's app and I promise, the more you do it, the more you'll be able to unwind from all the stresses.  :)


Elo - YES.  Give it a go!  :)


Nikki - I am sooooooooo glad you posted on this thread (I was really hoping you'd jump in knowing that you love yoga too!).  AND thank youso much for posting another awesome relaxation position.  In fact, savasana has to be the ultimate relaxation pose.  :)  Give it a whirl girls!!!

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 5:20 am
NicoleJuliette
5
11/12/2011
NicoleJuliette

NicoleJuliette

  • 5
  • 18
  • 8.44k
292
Followers
295
Following

NicoleJuliette

Mica, I so wish this group was around just a few months ago. Glad to help ;) I love this stuff!


I agree with Mica. I started taking a few beginners classes and once I had the moves down I was confident to practice at home. I even have a room in our house dedicated to yoga. (I let DH do some working out there too =P) Sometimes I practice breathing exercises in my car. Super calming just to focus on breath. Who would have thought!?


I've purchased a few yoga DVD's and my favorite is the p90x yoga DVD. I know it by heart. I've tried some others but I always wind up back there. 


I've also downloaded some free yoga podcasts which are super cool. I put my iPod in it's doc and get my yoga on. This is a little tougher for noobs since there's no visual. But again learn a few moves and you're golden.


Another tip for cheaper classes: join Groupon, Living Social and other websites just like those. I've bought packages that rock, $25 for 5 classes? Score, especially when that studio has $15 regular drop in rate! Oh join their mailing lists and facebooks too. They often send out promo's!


 

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 2:29 am
Santosha
10
06/16/2012
Santosha

Santosha

  • 10
  • 15
  • 11.3k
392
Followers
393
Following

Santosha

YES!!!  I seriously love how you're adding on this Nikki - yoga is so beneficial and I'm so glad you're sharing these great tips because I know how helpful it was for you during your wedding planning!  It's so great for other brides to hear this coming from somebody else!  THANKS GIRL.  :)

Posted on January 7, 2012 at 7:42 am

Have a question? Contact Support
Top Contributors this Week
Canooknic
17 posts
Levisjoe
14 posts
zeuster
11 posts
Uhlease
9 posts
LauraSweet
8 posts
lorna247
7 posts