5 Restorative Yoga Poses to Do Whenever You Feel Overwhelmed

Soniya
Feeling Overwhelmed? Try these five restorative yoga poses. (Image via Unsplash / Jose Mizrahi)
Feeling Overwhelmed? Try these five restorative yoga poses. (Image via Unsplash / Jose Mizrahi)

Restorative yoga poses can support you when you feel anxious and stressed, or begin to experience bouts of overwhelming. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, but those feelings don’t need to control you. Incorporating a little yoga into your day can help you to wind down & de-stress.

There are a variety of poses that boost self-awareness, mindfulness, and emotional regulation — with the intention to support you in understanding what's going on inside, outside, and everywhere in between. These five restorative poses can help bring you into a more peaceful place when you feel overwhelmed.


Five Restorative Yoga Poses To Relax & Ease Your Mind

Here are some of the restorative yoga poses to incorporate into your daily routine:

1) Reclined Butterfly

This is a classic restorative yoga posture. It’s an excellent way to open the hips, reduce tension in the belly, broaden through the chest, and relax the shoulders back and down.

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How to do it:

  • Lie down on your yoga mat with a cushion under your head.
  • Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees bend out to the sides, with cushions under your thighs for added support.
  • If this opening feels challenging, you can do this posture whilst lying on a yoga bolster or sitting on a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • If the pose is difficult for your knees, rest more blocks under your thighs.

2) Reclined Twist

This restorative yoga pose help massage the internal organs, easing digestion. They also relieve sciatica and restore equilibrium in the nervous system. Twists can be performed at the end of your practice to release tension in the spine.

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How to do it:

  • Start in a kneeling position, with your knees spread as wide apart as is comfortable.
  • Lower your buttocks toward your heels and reach forward until your forehead touches the floor.
  • Rest here for up to five minutes, with your arms by your sides or folded under your head.
  • Alternatively, place a bolster between your thighs and rest your torso on the bolster while stretching out your arms behind you.
  • Turn your head from side to side to relax the neck muscles.

3) Child's Pose

This restorative yoga pose is a gentle backbend that stretches the spine and relaxes the body. It’s a nice counterpose for backbends, as it inclines the head so the heart can rest instead of trying to force blood upward to the brain.

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How to do it:

  • Start in a kneeling position with your knees hip-width apart or wider.
  • Bring your buttocks toward your heels, and reach your arms forward so that your hands rest by your feet.
  • Rest here for up to five minutes.
  • For this you can try another variation: Place a bolster between your thighs, and rest your torso and head on the bolster; turn your head to one side to relax the neck.

4) Reclined Pigeon

This restorative yoga posture is a hip opener that helps to improve circulation throughout the lower body and soothes backbends and twists. It increases blood flow to the pelvis and surrounding organs, which helps reduce digestive discomfort.

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How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Bring one of your legs up towards your chest, crossing the ankle over the knee.
  • Bring your left knee toward your chest and interlace your fingers around your leg.
  • As you draw your knee toward you, keep your sacrum down and relax your head and shoulders on the floor.
  • Try this pose for 3-5 minutes and then switch sides.

5) Supported Fish Pose

This restorative yoga pose has many benefits. It is a gentle restorative, opening the front side of the body and allowing you to relax and renew. Most of us spend so much time bent over a keyboard that it can be refreshing to stretch out and let go.

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How to do it:

  • Lie down on a blanket with your buttocks close to the bottom of a bolster ramp.
  • Cross your left leg over your right, placing your thigh on the bolster.
  • Cross your right leg over your left thigh. Even out the weight in your hips.
  • Broaden your shoulders and rest your hands on your belly.
  • Stay here for up to 5 minutes and switch sides.
  • You can do this seated with blankets supporting your hips and knees.

6) Supported Bridge Pose

One benefit of this restorative yoga posture is that it can release tension in the shoulders and neck while also stretching the hip flexors. Another benefit is that it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to restore balance and relax the entire body.

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How to do it:

  • Lay on your back with a blanket or bolster crossing your mat under your sacrum.
  • Bend your knees and place some rolled-up blankets or a bolster under them as well.
  • Open your arms beside you and relax for 10 minutes.
  • Place a blanket under the lower part of your body and another one or a bolster under your back.

Takeaway

At the end of the day, yoga is a restorative practice. It’s a chance to take a break from all your stressors, no matter how big or small they are. By using props in restorative yoga and holding poses for longer periods of time, you give yourself the extra time you need to feel calm and refreshed.

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Edited by Soniya