Restorative Yoga Poses To Relieve Stress

When was the last time you took a few quiet minutes for yourself to just sit and be still? In this current fast moving world of text, social media, television, games and visual stimulation, we mostly find it hard to allow our minds to disconnect and our bodies to fully relax.

Setting aside a few minutes a day for restorative poses can do wonders for the physical body, mind and soul. It offers the opportunity for relaxation, restoration and healing, relieving stress by calming and grounding. Restorative poses are also known to activate the relaxation response, balance the nervous system and optimize energy flow to the organs.

In normal restorative yoga practices or yin yoga classes, students are usually required to stay in one pose for 10 to 20 minutes, with a total of 5-7 poses in an entire class.

We have chosen 10 of our favourite restorative yoga poses to help relieve stress which we will introduce a pose at a time to you each week as part of our #ShantihiRestorative series. We recommend that you stay at least 5 minutes in each pose to allow your body to fully absorb the benefits of each pose.

You may use as many props as you like such as bolsters, blocks, blankets or straps to help you get as comfortable as possible but these poses are equally beneficial with or without props.

So find a quiet spot in your house, draw the curtains, dim the lights, light some candles (or take it outdoors!) and prepare to sink into a peaceful bliss. 

Shantihi Restorative Pose 1

Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Sanskrit name : Supta Baddha Konasana

Shantihi Restorative Poses

Benefits : This pose gently opens the hips and the adductor muscles of the inner thighs. It eases many digestive and reproductive disorders because the pelvis benefits from a steady supply of blood. The pose also opens the chest and encourages steady breathing. This is a great pose to restore energy levels when you are feeling particularly stressed or run down.

Set up : From a seated position, bend your knees and draw your heels in. Bring the soles of your feet together, allow your knees to drop open on both sides. Slowly recline your back to the floor. Your hands can rest on either sides of your body. If you want a further shoulder stretch, you can place your hands overhead. Listen to your body as this extra stretch might be too much for some people.

Modifications / Variations : Lie on a bolster to raise your upper body off the floor or place a low pillow to raise the head. Place blocks under both knees for support if your hips are tight.

Caution : Avoid this pose if you are having a groin or hip injury or if you have just given birth. Lie on a bolster if you have lower back pain. 

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