Restorative yoga is no different from the normal yoga; it helps to unwind, relax, and de-stress the mind and the body.
However, this yogic approach uses props to support your body in order to put minimum pressure or stress to perform the poses. Pillows, blankets, chairs, walls, towels, etc. can be used as a prop to support the body while performing the poses. The poses are also held for a longer duration than normal yoga postures.
With today’s stress-building lifestyle, hormone imbalance is a common condition in many individuals. Stress affects the body so deeply that cortisol levels (the hormone that plays a role in the body’s response to stress) increase dramatically, causing hormonal imbalance.
Restorative yoga can help restore the hormonal balance. It can be practiced by everyone, even the elderly and the physically challenged.
So, here are a few restorative yoga poses that you can try in the comfort of your home using props to support your body.
1. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
- Roll a blanket into a tight roll.
- Lie on your back with your feet together placing the rolled blanket at the base of your spine.
- Let your hands remain relaxed alongside your body.
- Rest your head on the ground.
- Lift your chest and let the tip of your head touch the ground.
- Allow your shoulders to stretch slightly touching the ground.
- Tilt your chin up, stretching your neck.
- Breathe deeply and hold the position as long as you are comfortable.
- This pose is not advised for those suffering from blood pressure issues.
- Those with a migraine or sleeping disturbances like insomnia should not practice the pose.
- Those with severe lower back or neck injuries should not try the pose.
2. Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
- Place a folded blanket on the ground about 3 inches away from a wall.
- Sit on the blanket and place your bottom as close as possible to the wall.
- Lift your legs straight against the wall and position the back on the blanket in such a way it is at the center and ensure you are comfortable in the position.
- Place your arms by your side and tilt your head slightly backward.
- Begin deep breathing in this position.
- Since this is an inversion pose, it is not advised to perform the pose during menstruation.
- Those with severe neck or back conditions should not practice this pose without the supervision of a certified trainer.
3. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
- Lie on the ground on your belly.
- Place a blanket under your elbows to increase the height and to make it a comfortable position.
- Keep your legs close together, with your feet and heels slightly touching each other.
- Stretch your hands in front of you, palms facing the ground.
- Take a deep breath in, lifting your head, chest, and abdomen but keeping your navel on the ground.
- Make sure your spine is curved, pulling your torso back with the support of your hands.
- Exhaling, gently bring your head, chest, and abdomen back to the ground.
- Avoid this pose if you are pregnant.
- This pose is also not advised for those who have serious wrist and rib conditions.
- Avoid this pose if you recently had an abdominal surgery.
4. Seated Forward Bend Pose (Pashcimottanasana)
This pose is good to relax and stretch stiff back muscles. It also stretches the shoulders, spine, and hamstrings. It calms the mind and relieves stress, too. It also soothes headaches and reduces fatigue.
- Sit down on the ground and place a rolled blanket under your knees.
- Let the back of your knees rest on the blanket.
- Fold forward over your legs, stretching your arms out in front of you.
- Rest your forehead on your knees.
- Avoid the pose if you have asthma or diarrhea.
- Those with serious back injuries should perform this pose only under the guidance of a certified yoga trainer.
5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
This is a position of rest and relaxation and is usually performed toward the end of the yoga session. It is one of the most effective yoga poses to relax and reduce stress.
- Lie on your back and place a folded blanket under your knees.
- Place your hands beside your body with your palms open facing up.
- Place your legs apart from each other.
- Loosen all the muscles in your body and relax and take deep breaths.
- There are no precautions in particular. However, if you have any back-related condition, make sure you consult the doctor before performing this pose.
So, every time you feel like you have had a long day at work or your problems are rising, give yoga a chance to heal your mind and body. Use these poses to fight stress and, in turn, balance your hormones.