Tragedy seems to be at every turn. From the tragic shooting in Uvalde, TX to the neverending pro-life saga, as a country, we are going through collective grief. During tough moments, it is important to find moments to rest and rest your mind, body, and spirit. Restorative yoga is self-care for me. If you've never heard of restorative yoga, it is a practice that encourages you to hold poses for a longer period of time (anywhere from 3-15 minutes). Restorative yoga uses blocks, bolsters, pillows, cushions, and even towels to support your physical body. As you hold the pose, you physically surrender into the prop and energetically surrender to release tension. Here are three restorative yoga poses that you can do anytime you need to slow down:
1. Child's Pose
Stretches your lower back
Hold for 3-5 minutes
To get into the pose: Connect your big toes and open your knees out wide. Sit your hips onto your heels, drop your chest towards the ground, and walk your hands out in front of you. Spread your fingers tips wide and relax your forehead to the ground.
Arrange your bolster or pillows so that you can rest your chest and forehead. You can place your arms out to the sides or next to you. Whatever is most comfortable. Option to place a rolled-up small towel on the backs of your knees to take pressure off of your knees.
To deepen: Allow your hips to melt closer to your heels. Sink your chest and cheek heavier into the bolster.
2. Deer Pose
Stretches your side body and back
Hold for 3-5 minutes on both sides
To get into the pose: Sit on the ground with the soles of your feet on the ground, and your knees out wide. Drop both of your knees to one side.
Arrange the bolster next to your hip and walk your chest towards the ground. You can put your hands out to the side, or option to diamond your elbows out, stack your hands, and place your forehead on your hand.
To deepen: Melt your shoulders away from your ears and soften your chest to the ground.
3. Reclined Bound Angle
Opens your chest and hips
Hold for 3-5 minutes
To get into the pose: Plant the soles of your feet together and open your knees like a diamond.
Arrange your pillows beneath your lower back, chest, and the back of your head. You can lift the prop supporting your head higher for more support.
To deepen: Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Surrender your back body into the props.
Practicing restorative yoga has helped me tremendously with my mental health. With anxiety, my mind can often race into the future. Restorative yoga encourages me to feel more awareness of my body in the present moment and to be mindful of my breath. I hope this practice leaves you feeling at ease.
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