7 Classic Restorative Yoga Poses You Can Practice at Home

Restorative yoga is a great way to heal and relax your mind. (Image via Pexels / Olia Danilevich)
Restorative yoga is a great way to heal and relax your mind. (Image via Pexels / Olia Danilevich)

Restorative yoga is a wonderful tool for balance, calm and relaxation. It helps you soothe your physical body and ease your emotions. Restorative yoga can be done anytime, anywhere (seriously), especially during the holidays.

Restorative yoga can help you heal, relax and regain your balance. The poses are designed to be gentle on your body and mind. At first glance, many of these poses may look like relaxation techniques. However, they have another purpose. They need to be practiced with care and awareness. Practice these restorative yoga poses regularly to feel their benefits.

Relaxing Restorative Yoga Poses to Practise at Home

Here's a look at seven relaxing restorative yoga poses to practise at home:

1) Seated Meditation

Even if you merely meditate for a short period of time at a time, meditation has amazing stress-relieving effects. Here's a meditation guide to help you unwind and relax your body and mind:


Here's how it's done:

  • Take a moment to check in with yourself; close your eyes, and observe how you are feeling right now.
  • Start to become aware of any potential tension-holding places.
  • Focus on your breathing. On your inhale, concentrate on your tense spots. Imagine letting go of all that has accumulated in these locations as you exhale.

2) Pigeon Pose

This position is a fabulous way to alleviate hip tension. Although the Pigeon Pose isn't always comfortable, the moment you experience the release, your perception of your body is dramatically altered. Additionally, hip openers might help in easing emotional stress.


How to execute the pose:

  • Bring your right knee parallel to the front of your mat and in line with your right hand.
  • Place the knee and top of your left foot on the ground while you extend your left leg back.
  • Place your forehead on your hands as you fold forward with your hips squared.
  • Spend two to five minutes in this position on each side.

3) Hamstring Stretch

This posture helps reduce stress in your lower back and upper legs, which can help with pain, sciatica, gastrointestinal issues and menstrual discomfort.


How to perform this pose:

  • Lay down on the floor to begin. Raise a leg into the air.
  • Make sure not to elevate your hips; press your thigh down, and flex the foot of the extended leg.
  • To lift your leg, press up through the heel; grab hold of your big toe, and draw your leg back.
  • Try using a strap if you have trouble reaching your toes.

4) Legs up the wall

Any way you look at it, legs-up-the-wall (viparita karani) is a rather restorative yoga position. The main prop is the wall, as it provides stability to keep your legs straight.

You might not have the opportunity to use all of the additional props or hold the position for a prolonged period of time during yoga class, but you are free to use them as much as you wish at home. This exercise is rather simple to put up and is especially refreshing for tired legs after a long day.


To start:

  • Lie on the floor with your tush up against a wall to perform this pose.
  • Your shoulders and head should be on the floor while you slide your legs up the wall.
  • Arms by your sides, breathel close your eyes, and relax for up to ten minutes (be careful not to fall asleep here).

5) Bridge Pose

Active backbend requires a lot of effort. Backbends that are passive can be calming. When you first attempt it, letting the body open slowly over a prolonged hold period is a fresh experience. You only need one block to construct a supported bridge.


To do the Bridge Pose:

  • With your block close at hand, position yourself for a bridge stance.
  • Slide the block under your sacrum by lifting your hips. Allow the block to support the weight of your lower body.
  • Set the block at its lowest height to begin. After some time, if that still feels comfortable, you might try cranking it up. Avoid the block's top location if you need a long hold period.

6) Paschimottanasana

You can get the best of both worlds by supporting oneself in a forward fold like Paschimottanasana. Come forward as far as you can with a flat back; fill the space between your torso and your legs with a mound of folded blankets (and blocks, if required).


To do this posture:

  • Sit in the staff position to start (dandasana). Have your props close by on the side you are facing.
  • Take a deep, long breath in. As you forward-bend over your legs, exhale.Where your back wants to round out, stop bending.
  • When your legs are high enough for you to rest your torso on them, place your blankets or blocks on them. At this point, it's fine to let your spine curve.

7) Savasana

The ideal restorative yoga posture is the Savasana. Your nerve system can be balanced and a calm mind can be developed through Savasana.


How to perform this posture:

  • Legs should be hip-width apart while you lay on your back.
  • With your hands facing up, relax your arms at your sides. Allow the shoulders to relax away from the ears.
  • Spend at least two minutes in complete relaxation while taking deep breaths.

Bottom Line

Restorative yoga is a great practice for many people. Whether you do it from a yoga, mindfulness or meditation objective, this gentle, calming style of yoga is more about letting go than forcing anything.

Relaxation and light stretching are the names of the game, so if that sounds like something your body could use, give restorative yoga a try.

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Edited by Bhargav