Use These 4 Restorative Yoga Poses for Immediate Stress Relief

Jenny Campbell
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When we are at ease in body and mind, we feel open, expansive, and grounded. We are able to show up for ourselves, others, and our work fully, and we are our best selves.

However, when we experience stress, we tend to feel scattered, uncomfortable, and unsettled. The physical manifestation of stress might express as inconsistent and short breaths, tightness in the body, and tension in the face.

Stress is a mindset that we adopt (either consciously or unconsciously) in response to a given situation. More often than not, stress is an unsupportive addition to our daily lives.

Restorative Yoga is an antidote to the harm caused by stress, offering an opportunity to step back and reset the mind and body. A restorative practice offers a reprieve from stress that allows us to reframe our approach toward external stressors.
 

Restorative Yoga is an antidote to the harm caused by stress.

 
It can feel counterintuitive to take a time-out from our day when we feel pressed for time or burdened by an approaching event or deadline. Perhaps the very reason we feel stressed is because we feel short on time.

However, there can be value in taking a few minutes to change the channel in our minds and slow the pace of our inner dialogue. By taking the time to reassess, we might recognize the stress we carry to be unnecessary, and we can address the role of stress as an obstacle to our end goals.
 
 

Use These 4 Restorative Yoga Poses as Your Go-To Yoga for Stress Relief:

The Restorative Yoga poses below offer a holistic approach to stress relief. Restorative Yoga can imbue our lives with a fresh perspective, introspection, and a broader understanding of our response – a stark contrast to the narrow-minded thought pattern imprinted by stress.

Taking a moment to pause and break the cycle of tension can do wonders for your day, offering ease in the body, mind, and breath. The next time you need to recenter, give one or all of the poses below a try.
 

 
 
Props You Will Need: 4 blocks, 2 blankets, 1 bolster, optional eye pillow.
 
If you do not have the yoga props listed, please feel free to supplement with items found around your home. Firm pillows and/or a couch cushion can be a great substitute for the yoga props used in the poses listed below.
 

1. Restorative Twist

This Restorative Twist is a wonderful way to quiet the mind and gather grounding energy. Support under your belly offers a soothing effect, which alleviates feelings of worry and strain.

Restorative-Twist

Let’s try it:

  • Place two blocks on your mat, the first block on its lowest height and the second block on the second height
  • Lay your bolster over the two blocks so you create a slope with the bottom edge of the bolster touching the floor
  • Snuggle your right hip at the base of the bolster with your knees bent to the left and your hands framing your props
  • Keep your navel as close to center as possible and lie down so the front of your body is supported by the bolster
  • Tuck your arms underneath the bolster and between the blocks
  • Your head can turn toward or away from your knees. Choose whichever option feels best for you neck
  • Enjoy each side for up to five minutes

 

2. Supine Bound Angle Pose

Ease the symptoms of stress as you soften back into the nourishing, luxurious support of your blankets, blocks, and bolster. Release physical tension by allowing your shoulders, back, and hips to release in this expansive and grounding restorative posture.

Supine-Bound-Angle-Pose

Let’s try it:

  • Just as in the last pose, set up your bolster and blocks to create an incline. For this pose, raise the blocks one height each so the first block is on the second height and the second block is on its highest height
  • Place a low-folded blanket at the top of your bolster
  • Lie down so that your back is supported by the bolster and your head is supported by the blanket
  • Bring the soles of your feet together and your knees apart
  • Place blocks under your thighs to support this opening. Your blocks can be on any height setting that feels supportive for you
  • Place a blanket over your belly to add a grounding quality to the pose
  • Rest in this pose for five to 15 minutes

 

3. Legs Up Pose

Consider this powerful pose the antidote to stress and anxiety. Often referred to as a cure-all pose among yogis, just a few minutes spent in this physical posture can foster a sense of harmony.

Legs-up-the-wall-pose

Let’s try it:

  • Lie down on your yoga mat
  • Lift your hips and slide a block on its lowest setting underneath your sacrum, lengthwise
  • Lift one leg up at a time so your legs are stretched up toward the sky
  • Your knees can be a bit bent if this is a big stretch for your hamstrings
  • Enjoy this pose for up to five minutes

 

 
 

4. Savasana

Allow your body and mind the opportunity to absorb the healing benefits of your practice. Think of this pose as a time of intentional yielding, exploring the parts of the body where you can release tension and cultivate physical softening. Savasana really is the ultimate yoga for stress relief posture.

savasana

Let’s try it:

  • Place a blanket on a low fold at the top of your mat
  • Lie down so your head is supported by the blanket
  • Slide a bolster underneath your knees
  • Place a blanket over your belly
  • Optional: Place an eye pillow over your eyes
  • Make sure that you are warm enough. Cover up with extra layers and socks if you feel chilly. The body tends to cool as it rests
  • Rest here for as long as you like

 
 

Relax and Enjoy Your Restorative Yoga for Stress Relief!

By creating some ease on our mat, we gain the clarity needed to return to our ideas, goals, and to-do lists with a collected mindset – one that offers us the gift of being calm and grounded in the face of external stressors.

The next time you need a few moments of stress relief, nourish the mind and body with these Restorative Yoga for stress relief postures.

Craving more stress relief? These 4 Brain Hacks Will Help You Manage and Relieve Stress Now

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Jenny Campbell

Jenny Campbell is a New York-based yoga teacher, modern dancer and founder of Urban Om NYC. She strongly believes in the power of yoga and meditation as a means to find balance and ease in a busy world. She loves restorative yoga and can often be found with her legs up the wall.

urbanomnyc.com

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