In the crazy, up-tempo life of most people with jobs, kids, and relationships, it’s important to take time for rest and rejuvenation. Sometimes all we have are 10 minutes to spare, and even that time can be enough to relax and reset with a few restorative yoga poses.
I myself am an athlete with a busy life and family, so the need for rest is extra important for my body. I’ve dug deep to find the very best restorative poses to maximize both time and relaxation; here are five simple yoga poses for anytime practice:
1. Legs Up The Wall
Legs up the wall is a great, restorative pose that draws blood out from the muscles in your legs, and allows any tension and stress to fall away. This pose is especially great after exercise, before bed, or anytime you need a quick dose of relaxation.
Place a mat or blanket against a wall and position your bottom and hips in line with the wall, 5-6 inches away. Swivel your legs up the wall, careful not to stress your hamstrings or glutes, and recline back so that you are lying facing the wall with your legs supported. Remain here for 3-5 minutes or longer.
2. Supported Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is the perfect recovery pose, stretching and relaxing the back, hips, shoulders, and neck. Additional support in this pose gives ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation.
On a yoga mat, come to all fours with your knees hip width apart. Place a bolster or several folded blankets vertically under your hips, torso, and head. Press your hips to your ankles (if they don’t touch, don’t worry!) lying down fully onto the bolster or blanket and letting your head rest on either side. Allow your arms to fall to your sides, gently stretching up and away from your body. Rest here for 3-5 minutes or longer.
3. Supported Reverse Child’s Pose
Similar to its namesake, reverse child’s pose opens up the quadriceps, hips, and psoas muscles, while also supporting the low back and allowing the body to find deep relaxation.
On a yoga mat, come to all fours with your knees hip width apart. Place a bolster or several folded blankets behind you under your hips, torso, and head. Press your hips back to the blanket, and slowly recline backwards so that your body is lying down and your knees are bent with a full stretch in your quadriceps. Allow your arms to rest at your sides, or stretch them overhead. Rest here for 3-5 minutes or longer. To come out, roll to one side and press your body up to a seated position.
4. Reclining Butterfly
Another reclined position, reclining butterfly is a strong hip-opener that opens up the inner thighs and hips, and allows relaxation through the entire body.
On a yoga mat, sit with the bottoms of your feet touching and knees bent in butterfly position. Slowly lower your back to the ground and come to a fully reclined position, feet still touching. Get comfortable here, careful not to overstretch your hips or back. Rest for 3-5 minutes or longer.
5. Corpse Pose
The ultimate relaxation pose, corpse pose (savasana), is well-known for capping off many a yoga class, but don’t let that limit this pose to the end of your practice. This simple pose can be utilized anytime you need a moment of peace, and quickly resets your mind and body.
On a yoga mat, come to a fully reclined position, feet hip width apart and relaxed, and arms relaxed at your sides with upward facing palms. Allow your eyes to close, and your mind to relax. Remain here for 5 minutes or longer.