When life is moving 100 miles per hour and stress levels are at an all time high, it can be hard to step back and slow things down again. Unfortunately, when life is racing forward, our mental and physical health bare the brunt of it. We become tired, stressed, sore, and anxious. However, restorative yoga could be the cure you are looking for. Restorative yoga is a healing practice that uses props like bolsters, pillows, and straps. These props help you hold passive stretches for several minutes. The poses promote healing, stress relief, and anxiety relief.
Restorative yoga can also help boost the immune system, balance the nervous system, and heal any emotional pain. All it takes is being still and quieting the mind.
Still don’t believe restorative yoga is for you? Give it a shot yourself with these 3 simple poses. You’re going to need a yoga mat and a bolster (or sub with a rolled up blanket or firm pillows).
1. Child’s Pose
Place either a bolster, firm pillows, or a rolled-up blanket, out in front of you. Place your knees on either side of the bolster and fold your upper body over top of it. Let your forearms rest on the floor next to you and turn your head to one side. From here, you are going to let gravity do the rest of the work. Soften your lower back and lets your legs fall toward the earth. Breath deeply. Hold this pose for 5 minutes.
2. Supported Heart Opener
Begin the pose by laying down on your bolster or folded-up blanket. It should support the length of your spine. Extend your legs and keep your feet hips’ distance apart. Let your arms fall out to your sides while keeping your palms facing up. Stay here for 5 minutes, being sure to breath deeply.
3. Restorative Corpse Pose
First, sit on the ground with your knees slightly bent and slide a bolster under your knees. Lie back slowly, starting with your back, then neck, then your head. Next, let your arms fall down beside you with your palms facing up. Breath deeply while fully surrendering into the pose. Hold this pose for 5 minutes.
Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from doyouyoga.com, yogajournal.com, and prevention.com