Yoga Poses for Rest and Recovery
Fall can be a stressful time. The lazy days of summer are over, and it’s almost time to prepare for the holidays. Sometimes you need a little rest and recovery from the chaos! Yoga is the ideal way to take care of both your body and your spirit.
Setting up your space
To let your body relax and let go, you may need some more props than you usually use in your practice. You’ll need a mat, as always, but you might need extra blocks, a bolster, and a yoga blanket or two. If you don’t have a bolster, you can use a thick couch cushion, or even bed pillows in a pinch. A yoga blanket is nice to have on hand but use any blanket that makes you feel soft and cozy.
The best place for a restful practice is a room with little to no distractions. That can be hard to do, but if you can minimize extra noise and even lights, you’ll have a more relaxing practice. You might want to light a candle, burn some incense, or use some calming essential oils like lavender to really bliss out. If you’re doing these poses before bed, some of them can even be done in bed.
Child’s Pose: Balasana
Child’s Pose is the perfect restful pose. Start with your toes together and your knees apart. Lay across your mat with your chest in between your thighs, and your arms outstretched, lightly pressing into the mat, palms down.
For a more restorative Child’s Pose, you can lay yourself across a bolster that supports your chest, tucking your arms around the bolster, and resting your cheek first on one side, and then switching to the other. This is a great way to help relieve back and neck pain.
Legs Up The Wall Pose: Viparita Karani
This is an excellent pose to help you calm your mind and can be done several different ways. If you have wall space available, start with getting your bottom close to the wall (it doesn’t have to be touching) and extend your legs up the wall, keeping your back and neck on the floor or mat. You can keep your hands on your belly, or lay them at your sides, palms facing up. When getting out of this pose, you can bend your knees and roll to the side. For a little more cushion, you can put a yoga blanket under your hips, or even use your bolster.
If you don’t have wall space available, you can use a block to achieve the same effect. Use a yoga block on its lowest height, and place it under your sacrum, the small of your back. You can wiggle a little bit to get it adjusted right, and then extend your legs into the air, just like you would do if you had a wall support.
Seated Forward Fold: Paschimottanasana
This is an excellent pose for gently stretching your back, shoulders, and hamstrings. Sit on your mat with your legs stretched out in front of you, feet flexed. You can sit up on a blanket or bolster for a little more support. Lean forward at your hips while keeping your spine straight as you reach for your toes. You may not reach your toes, but you can use a strap, or bend your legs to bring you closer. This pose can be uncomfortable, but you shouldn’t push past the point of pain. The goal of this restful and restorative practice is to let your body and mind reset. Save pushing yourself for another day.
Corpse Pose: Savasana
The ultimate restful pose, and it can be done anytime you need a complete reset. Lay back on your mat with your toes turned out, and your arms at your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and completely let your body melt into the mat. For a more supported Savasana, you can put a bolster under your thighs, cover yourself in a blanket, or put your feet together, knees apart, and prop your knees on blocks for a supported Goddess Pose.
For more rest and recovery poses, sign up for our On Demand Library, and try out some of our Restorative classes.