There’s never a wrong time to throw a restorative practice into the mix. Whether you’ve had an extra hectic week, need some time to chill, or are looking for a recovery practice to supplement your other training, restorative yoga will give you the support you need. Literally. This practice is all about simple postures and the use of props: think lots of bolsters, pillows, and blankets. The next time you feel like you need to take a step back, for whatever reason, try out this sequence, or even one or two poses, and revel in the ease you’ll feel once you’re done.
These poses can be done individually or as a full sequence – it's totally up to you, what you feel like and how much time you have available. If you're new to restorative yoga, hold each pose for 2-5 minutes; for intermediate yogis, hold each pose for 5-10 minutes. The more you practice, and get used to being still and focusing on your breath, the longer you can hold the positions. Listen to your body and breath, and trust the process.
Set yourself up for child’s pose, but place a pillow or bolster (or two) lengthways between your legs. Lay forward so that your belly and a cheek rests on the bolster.
Place a bolster lengthways behind you, a few inches from your seat. Recline back, resting your back and head on the bolster. Place the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall open. Place additional pillows or bolsters under your knees for support.
Find a bare spot on a wall. Sit as close to it as you can, lean back and swing your legs up the wall, lying your back down on the ground. Your bum should be as close to the wall as possible. Place a pillow, small bolster or block behind your knees for added support.
Come into pigeon then place a pillow or bolster under your open side (the side with the extended back leg). Rest yourself down onto the bolster (you may need to tuck your foot closer into your body more than you’re used to). Repeat on both sides.
Lie on one side in fetal position with an arm tucked under your head. Pull a bolster or pillow between your legs and/or up to your chest and rest here. Repeat on the other side.
Even though you just lay around for the last little while, it’s still important to come into savasana to completely let the body rest. This neutral laying position is the ultimate closer to any yoga practice.