It can be tough to find some peace and quiet in our busy lives, but these restorative yoga poses sure are a great place to start. These are a few of the yoga poses I use when I feel stressed and overwhelmed and only have a few minutes to myself. The amount of relief I get from spending a few minutes practicing these poses, are beyond comprehend. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or just beginning your wellness journey, these poses will have a huge impact on your stress levels and mental health.
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What are restorative yoga poses?
Restorative yoga poses are a gentle and calming practice aimed at promoting relaxation and healing within the body. These poses involve the use of props, such as blankets, bolsters, and blocks, to support the body in a deeply restful and comfortable position. Unlike other more active forms of yoga, restorative poses are typically held for an extended period, ranging from five to twenty minutes.
By encouraging deep relaxation, restorative yoga allows the body and mind to release tension, reduce stress, and find peace. These poses are particularly beneficial for those recovering from injuries, experiencing chronic pain, or seeking relief from everyday stresses.
They promote deep breathing, improve circulation, and can enhance overall well-being. Restorative yoga poses offer a sanctuary for both body and mind, providing a valuable opportunity to unwind, recharge, and reconnect with oneself.
How can restorative yoga poses help with reducing stress?
Restorative yoga poses are perfect for reducing stress and anxiety in individuals of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. These restorative yoga poses encourage a deep sense of relaxation, which helps to release the body’s physical and emotional tension. By taking time out of your busy day to practice these restorative yoga poses, you can create a safe and nurturing environment where you can tune out the chaos of the outside world and let your mind and body relax.
These poses help to quiet the mind, slow down your breathing, and soothe any anxiety or tension that you may be holding in your body. With regular practice of restorative yoga poses, you may find that you are able to reduce the effects of stress and improve your overall quality of life.
Restorative yoga poses to help you relax.
These poses have become a staple in my daily routine to be able to wind down and get rid of some excess stress. Life can be tough and even though we might not think that we are stressed, usually tension builds up somewhere. These poses have helped me so much and my mental health thanks me for it! You don’t have to spend a lot of time, choosing one or two of these poses and doing them throughout the day will be enough. Make sure to invest in a proper yoga mat to avoid any injuries and make yourself as comfortable as possible.
1. Childs Pose.
This pose is a gentle way to calm your mind and body. This is one of my favorite poses that I usually end up doing in bed when I forget (which I tend to do). This pose is great for your back, hip flexors and ankle flexibility. Begin by kneeling on the floor with your big toes touching and your knees slightly apart. Slowly lower your torso forward, reaching your arms out in front of you until your forehead touches the mat. Focus on your breathing as you hold this pose for several deep breaths, allowing your mind and body to relax and release tension.
2. Cat-Cow Pose.
This pose is great for releasing tension in the neck and back, which can often be a source of stress. Begin by getting on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Inhale as you arch your back and lift your head up towards the ceiling, then exhale as you round your spine and tuck your chin towards your chest. Repeat this movement several times, focusing on your breathing and the movement of your spine.
3. Standing Forward Bend.
I do this as soon as I open my eyes each morning. I’m super stiff obviously, but it helps me wake up and feel good when I start my day. This pose can help to calm the mind and release tension in the back and hamstrings. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. On an exhale, slowly bend forward from the hips, lowering your torso towards your legs. Allow your head and neck to relax and focus on your breathing as you hold this pose for several deep breaths.
If your hands are already on the floor, use yoga blocks under your feet or stand on an elevated surface so that your hands can reach past your toes.
4. Seated Forward Bend.
This pose is similar to the Standing Forward Bend but can be done while sitting on the floor. Begin by sitting with your legs extended in front of you, and your back straight. On an exhale, slowly bend forward from the hips, reaching your hands towards your feet. Allow your head and neck to relax and focus on your breathing as you hold this pose for several deep breaths. Make sure to alternate between flexed and pointed toes as the activate different muscle groups for an additional stretch.
This pose is often called the “corpse pose” because it involves lying flat on your back, with your arms and legs relaxed. I love calling it “back planks”, it just feels more fitnessy? This pose can help to calm the mind and release tension throughout the body. Begin by lying flat on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs slightly apart. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing as you allow your body to completely relax. Hold this pose for several minutes, allowing your mind and body to fully unwind.
6. Legs Up The Wall.
Viparita Karani, is a restorative yoga pose that gives you the ultimate relaxation. In this gentle inversion, you lie on your back with your legs extended vertically against a wall, forming an L-shape with your body. This pose is the ultimate stress reliever, allowing the gentle force of gravity to ease tension in the legs, lower back, and hips. This pose is not only accessible for all levels of practitioners but also provides a ton of benefits. It promotes circulation, soothes the nervous system, and helps alleviate stress and anxiety. The pose encourages mindful breathing, fostering a deep sense of calm and grounding.
7. Pigeon Pose.
I find this pose extremely comfortable and is one of my go-to poses when I work on my flexibility too. This pose targets the hips, thighs, and lower back, making it a great way to get relief from tension and stress. To practice the pigeon pose, start in a tabletop position, then bring one knee forward towards the wrist while extending the opposite leg straight behind. The pose allows for a gentle opening of the hips and promotes flexibility in the hip flexors. The pigeon pose not only releases physical tightness but also encourages a sense of emotional release, making it a way to balance and tranquility in both the body and mind during a restorative yoga session.
What I love about this pose is that it’s quite versatile and can be adjusted for more experienced yogi’s or even if you are just more flexible.
What are the benefits of yoga?
Yoga offers numerous benefits for both the mind and body. It is a great way to improve flexibility and enhance strength, helping to tone muscles and improve overall physical fitness. Regular practice of yoga also helps to increase energy levels and boost endurance, allowing individuals to feel more refreshed and revitalized.
Yoga promotes better posture and balance, which can help prevent injuries and improve overall body alignment. Beyond the physical benefits, yoga is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, as it incorporates deep breathing and meditation techniques, promoting relaxation and calmness.
Yoga is a holistic practice that provides a range of benefits, including physical conditioning, mental well-being, and stress relief.
- Increases flexibility and improves posture.
- Builds muscle strength and endurance.
- Enhances focus, concentration, and mental clarity.
- Reduces stress and anxiety levels.
- Improves respiratory function and lung capacity.
- Boosts metabolism and aids in weight management.
- Promotes relaxation and better sleep quality.
- Increases body awareness and mindfulness.
- Enhances overall physical and mental well-being.
- Supports cardiovascular health and lowers blood pressure.
- Improves balance and coordination.
- Stimulates efficient digestion and detoxification.
Incorporating these restorative yoga poses can be an effective way to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, these poses are a great place to start if you’re looking to create a more peaceful and stress-free mind and body.
Your Wellness Warrior.