At Home Restorative Sequence
Our bodies need rest. Have you ever noticed when we are experiencing sickness, sadness and depression our bodies make us rest?
Our central nervous system has 2 parts. We have the sympathetic nervous system (fight & flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest). The practice of restorative yoga is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system so the body enters that state of rest and digest, and our blood pressure naturally lowers.
When we allow the body to be supported by props and the Earth beneath us, we surrender to our breath and let go of tension in the body through the supported postures. When we rest it allows us to sift through thoughts and we learn to become comfortable with our thoughts. We humans are thinking beings. We will naturally have thoughts.
When we learn how to feel our feelings and process our thoughts, emotions and regulate our nervous systems we are practicing self care. We learn what we need, what is in alignment for us and what we must work on letting go of. We give ourselves the space to go within and weed through what is going on so we can re-emerge feeling more balanced and aware.
Restorative Yoga Sequence
Here is a restorative sequence you can do at home. You will need your Long & Lean Bolster and two Blocks. You may also like supportive pillows or Mini Round Bolsters and a blanket for maximum comfort and relaxation, especially if you need to move the floor a little closer to you.
Hold the poses for 6-8 minutes, I like the app Insight Timer where you can set the length of your practice to a timer and where after say 8 minutes a chime will go off so you know to move to your next position. The timer on your phone also works great, or just listen to your body and when you feel ready move to the next pose.
If you like listening to music while you practice, my all time favourite is Devi Prayer by Craig Pruss & Ananda. You can find it on Spotify here.
1. Childs Pose
Lay over a bolster (or rolled up blanket) to make Child's Pose more restful. You can also add other props if your body needs them.
2. 30 Degree Angle Pose / Reclined Pose
Set your bolster over your blocks, as pictured below, and allow your spine to rest over the bolster. Additional blocks, pillows, or mini round bolsters also feel nice under the lower arms. Play around with what leg position feels the most restful for your body.
3. Supported Fish
Leave some space between your lower back and the Bolster before laying down. Find a position where you feel supported and can rest and your chest can open.
4. Twist 30 degree or on ground (as shown) open right and then the same on the left.
If it is a challenge to twist over the Bolster, as shown, set you blocks up like in the 30 Degree Angle Pose and sit with your hip against the bolster and then twist.
It's no wonder people say they come for the Savasana, it's my favourite pose too! You can use a bolster under your knees if there is any discomfort in the low back by having your legs fully extended. The more comfortable you can be here, the easier it will be for your body to relax and let go, allowing all of the benefits of your practice in.