Five Do-Anywhere Restorative Yoga Poses

Relax, breathe, and recover with these five gentle postures.

In today’s fitness culture, being in good shape is often associated with working as hard as possible, sweating buckets, and being sore the next day. As such, many yoga classes serve the modern student by focusing on the external—what the pose looks like, and how physically challenging it is.

Before adding any physical movement to the yoga practice, however, ancient yogis focused on philosophic teachings, stillness, the control of breathand bandhas, or internal locks. In this restorative yoga sequence, you’ll channel that energy.

You’ll use props to deepen your practice, and breath to relax. After setting up the pose, set your focus on maintaining stillness and focusing inward. You will need a yoga block (or firm couch pillow) and a thick blanket (or bolster pillow).

Supported Bridge Pose

Lie on your back and bring your heels under your knees. Lift your hips and slide the block or folded couch pillow under your sacrum (the flat, triangular bone at the base of the spine). Rest your hips down and extend your arms by your sides, palms facing down. Make sure your neck is long and upper back is relaxed. To get deeper, boost the block up one or two levels. Breathe deeply.

Reclined Bound Angle 

Come into butterfly pose, and pull the blanket or bolster under your knees. Lay back and place your right hand on your belly, left hand on your heart. Stay for 10 breaths.

Legs Up the Wall 

Sit as close to a wall as possible, bringing your side body in contact with the wall. Swing your legs up, then lift your hips to slide the block underneath. Like in supported bridge pose, the block should make contact with the sacrum. Rest your arms by your sides, palms facing up. Breathe deeply.

Half Pigeon

Start by coming into downward-facing dog. Bring your right knee to your right wrist. Relax your back leg on the mat and untuck your toes. To support your hips and keep them square, slide the block under your right glute muscle. Set your pillow or blanket beneath you, from your belly to the top edge of your mat. Lay down and take 10 breaths, then switch sides.

Corpse with Blanket
Sit tall and extend your legs in front of you. Similar to reclined bound angle pose, the pillow or blanket should come under the knees. Lay back, close your eyes, and let your arms rest by your sides, with palms facing up. Breathe deeply.