restorative Yoga - day three

Restorative yoga enables deep relaxation as you holding poses for longer periods of time with the help of props to completely support you.

The main focus of Restorative Yoga is that by relaxing in poses, with the aid of props, without strain or pain, we can achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation. Restorative yoga classes are very relaxing and slow paced. Props, like blocks, bolsters, blankets and straps are used so that you are supported in your pose comfortably.

Our parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated when we relax into poses, which promotes a relaxation response and reduces stress in our bodies. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for slowing your heart rate and breath and increasing blood flow to your vital organs, among other things. 

You can practice any of the following shapes on their own or your can combine all three for an indulgent 35 minutes of restorative bliss. 

Supported Supta Baddha Konasana (10 minutes)

Place the bolster lengthwise in the center of your yoga mat. Place the blanket folded into thirds at the top of the bolster for head support, like a pillow. Take a seat in the center of your yoga mat with the base of the spine adjacent to the bolster. Bend your knees into your chest and allow them to fan open to the sides, opening your knees wide, soles of the feet together.

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Supine Spinal Twist (7 minutes on each side)

Lie on your back in the center of your yoga mat with your knees pulled into your chest. Twist from the waist until the knees fall to one side. Place your blanket (folded into thirds) or bolster (if not too wide) in between the knees, supporting the knees and shins. Allow the legs to relax.

Twist the upper body towards the midline, extending the arms out to a “T.” Roll your head to the opposite side, completing the spinal twist. If the opposite shoulder comes away from the mat, support it with another blanket. 

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Savasana with Legs Up the Wall (10 minutes)

Place the short end of your yoga mat against the wall. Take a seat facing the wall, and begin to lie back, scooting your seat towards the wall until it touches. Extend the legs up the wall, resting your heels on the wall. If your low back tends to sway (lift away from the mat), place a blanket behind the low back. 

Relax the body, allowing the toes to turn outwards and the hips to roll open. Relax the abdominals, shoulders, and upper back. Arms can be by your sides palms facing up, or resting on your abdomen. You have the option to use an eye pillow for deeper relaxation.