A Simple At-Home Restorative Sequence
Start your practice with a series of Cat and Cow. This warms up the back, preparing it for more rigorous movements such as Down Dog. Follow with Child Pose to stretch out the inner thighs and groin, but also to concentrate on breathing.
From here, take a Half Sun Salutation, followed by one or more full sets of Surya Namaskar. Follow this with a variation that includes Chair Pose with a twist added: once in Chair Pose, bring your hands to your heart and inhale. Exhale, twisting to one side. Hold for a few breaths before returning to Chair and practicing the same maneuver on the other side. Once finished, move into Standing Forward Bend and complete your vinyasa.
Now come to Sukhasana, or Easy Seated Position. Sit up straight as you inhale, and then bend forward as you exhale. Hold the fold for a few breaths before coming up. Reverse the cross of your legs and perform the same movements on the other side. If your knees are high, you have the option to support each one with a block or to raise the rear end up on a bolster.
From Sukhasana, move into Dandasana, or Staff Pose, and then into Baddha Konasana, or Cobbler Pose. Begin by bring your body to the shape of the letter L, with your legs extended and your back straight. Bend your legs and then allow the knees to fall open. Your legs are making either a triangle or diamond shape. Inhale, and then bend forward on an exhale. Come to a comfortable level of stretch, and then hold for a few breaths.
From here, move into Janu Sirsasana by opening the legs wide and bending the right knee. Bring the right foot to the inner left thigh. Turn your body so that you are facing over your straight leg, and cross your arms over it. Inhale as your straighten your back, and exhale as you bend forward from the hip. You do not have to touch your forehead to your leg in this position; even a small bend forward will stretch out and relax the leg. Hold for a few breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Now straighten both legs in front of you to begin moving into Pascimottanasana. Inhale as you straighten your back, and exhale as you bend forward from the hips. Two modifications are very helpful here. You can use a strap to hold the feet as you bend forward, which will stretch the legs. You can bend your knees as you bend forward, which will stretch the low back. Again, you do not need to bend forward very far. Hold your perfect stretch and breathe.
Finally, set up for Savasana. You might like a bolster under your knees or low back. You might want a folded blanket under your neck. You might like to be covered, or perhaps the weight of a block or bolster on your stomach might feel good. Get into position and relax. Measure your time here in breaths; you should stay long enough to feel the stress leave your body.
You Should Also Read:
Relax with Restorative Yoga
Chair Pose Vinyasa
Starting a Home Practice
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