Everyday Yoga: Simple Poses

Restorative yoga is an extremely gentle version of yoga that uses props to help us be as comfortable as possible in poses that are specifically designed to help us relax. When the body is truly relaxed, it can rejuvenate itself. That's why performing some restorative yoga poses when we're tired can be even more refreshing than a nap.

Treat yourself to at least one restorative pose once a day. If you're low on props, here are some simple restorative poses you can do with items that you already have.

Legs up the wall.
Find an empty spot of wall with a clear floor space in front of it. Sit down next to the wall so that your right hip touches the wall. Carefully roll onto your left side, keeping your right hip as close to the wall as possible. Then roll onto your back and bring both of your legs up the wall. You can bring your hands to your belly and feel it rise and fall as you breathe. Or you can bring your arms over your head for an additional shoulder opening. Close your eyes and stay here for 1 to 2 minutes.

Supported child's pose. Gather one to three firm pillows. Sit on the floor with your shins folded underneath and your pillows nearby. Widen your knees so they are about 12 inches apart, then place the pillows between your knees on the floor. Bend forward at your waist and rest your torso on the pillows. Make sure the pillows are high enough for you to be fully comfortable and relaxed. Turn your head to one side and breathe for up to 1 minute. Then turn your head to the other side and stay there for an equal amount of time.

Heart opener. Find a small blanket—a throw from your couch or a thin cotton blanket from your bed. Carefully roll it up (like a jelly roll, so that it is longer than it is wide) into a tight little unit. Place it on the floor, then lie down on your back so that your shoulder blades are on the bolster and your head, seat and legs are on the floor. You can bring your hands to your belly, let them rest out to your sides or bring them over your head. Stay here for up to 2 minutes.

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