Restorative Yoga Poses for Stress Relief


hi I’m Caren Baginski and today’s
restorative yoga practice is for stress relief and part of that means not
stressing out about the props that you do or do not have in order to practice I’m going to share with you four
restorative yoga poses for stress relief that you can do with minimal props this
whole practice only takes 20 minutes and dare I say it it’s better than sitting
on your couch and binge watching Netflix after a stressful day this practice will
leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated here’s what you’ll need
gather up a yoga bolster or a cushion and two blankets willow and I will meet
you back on your mat let’s begin in legs up the wall so you will need an open
wall space for you to put your legs up against remove your bolster or your
cushion and simply set that to the side for now find your two blankets and the
first blanket will be for underneath your sacrum your low back area
underneath your hips you’ll open that out and put that up close against the
wall space just as an added cushion then second blanket will be for your head I
recommend a lower fold but you may want to experiment because you’ll want your
chin to be lower than your forehead to promote that deep relaxation response in
the body so what I like to do is have my blanket come out from the wall in a line
with the other blanket and then I’ll fold the back end over a little bit more
so that the back of my head will be a little bit higher and more supported
than the blanket underneath the tops of the shoulders in order to come into this
you’ll simply come up against the wall with your back and sit pretty close to
the wall so that when you swing your legs up you have a greater chance of
being close to the wall when you land however if you experience any tension in
your hamstrings then you’ll want to be closer or rather farther away from the
wall with your hips and you can always take
the bolster behind your legs in between your legs and the wall as a buffer so
I’ll show you that as well reach the arm that’s closest inward toward the
blankets straight forward and then tuck and roll swing your legs up the wall
once you start to arrive you can readjust as necessary so finding either
your legs very close to the wall or again if there’s tension in the
hamstrings walking yourself back and here’s where you can use your cushion
you’ll take that behind the legs maybe upright like this that’s some extra
support so that’s an option for you if your legs don’t quite make it yet all
the way close to the wall once you’ve found that just right space for you
today bring the blanket underneath your head closer to you so that it touches
the bottom tips of your shoulder blades as well as the back of the skull and you
can sense and feel the chin a little bit lower than the forehead next arrange
your arms in a V by your sides with your palms face up and completely relax into
your legs make any final adjustments here for example if you need a bit more
cushion underneath your pelvis or underneath your head and finally when
you’re settled in if it’s comfortable close your eyes we’ll drop into this position with the
breath so begin to just notice your breath moving in and out through the
nostrils and now participate in your breath with
about 10% more effort so that you can have a sense of breathing in more deeply
and breathing out smoothly bring a four-four count to the breath
counting into four on your next inhale and counting out to four on your exhale you now lengthen your exhale to a count of 6
or even 8 inhale for 4 exhale to 6 or 8 you failure abdomen and your chest
completely relax with your exhale allowing the breath to become even
smoother and softer like waves washing through your torso you now relax after your next exhalation and
release all effort in your breath allow the breath to become natural again you trace any sensation that you might feel
all the way into the soles of the feet and out to the fingertips becoming more
aware of the body’s response to stillness to transition out of legs up the wall
begin to wiggle your toes gradually allow there to be more
movement in your ankles in your hands you
slowly bend your knees and walk your feet down the wall until
you get closer with your knees toward your chest and just rest for a moment
here you might like to hug around the knees and take the feet off the wall the
knees could be apart or together stay present to any sensation you might feel
in the legs is there a tingling a brightness a lightness on your next
exhalation simply drop your knees to one side whichever is easiest for you to
come out reach that arm overhead and rest for a moment on the floor then inhale and use your hands gently to
press yourself upright going slow letting those transitions be just as
juicy as the posture and once you find your way back to your mat let’s take the
blankets to the side for now and extend the legs long in front of you coming
down to have a seat your hands behind you create some space in between your
heels and then just let the legs wash back and forth like with little mini
windshield wipers until they feel fully present and alive again the next
position that we’ll move into is a supported seated forward bend
so grab one of your blankets and on a decent thick fold you’ll place that
underneath the back of your hips underneath the back tips of the pelvis
so that you feel like you’re spilling forward and there’s a sense of already
bending forward because of that slight elevation you can make that higher if
that’s necessary for you so that that curve in your low back is not pushed all
the way back and down but rather lengthening up and forward then find
your second blanket and let’s roll it up on the long end into just a little mini
roll and place that underneath the knees this offers just a little extra padding
so that we don’t lock the knees out when we bend forward you can adjust that to
whatever height feels most comfortable for you as well maybe if the hamstrings
feel a little tight here you can roll it even more and then finally grab your
cushion and place that on top of your legs the final posture is bending
forward and resting your head so if this isn’t effortless for you and you need a
little bit more height then yeah go ahead and grab some other blankets or
other things have in your house to build that height
up to you if you like the feeling of the bolster against your belly you can rock
down from this space if you want to find a little bit more length in your low
back then you can lower and have the bolster further away whatever you do let
your arms be nice and soft and rooted you might snug them underneath the
bolster underneath your legs or just rest them by your sides and then finally
forehead touches down make any other adjustments once you come into the final
position for our hold because you want to make sure that you are completely
comfortable so if this feels like a huge stretch the body is not likely to fall
into its deepest relaxation state because it’s still feeling something
happening to it so build yourself up however you need and then find your
final position and rest will stay here for some time together feel the weight
of the day the burdens the obligations the tasks anything that you need to
manage control or do feel all of that emptying with your exhale emptying out
of the body sending it into Mother Earth you if effortlessness in every part of your
body begin the slow process of transitioning out of this pose use your hands to make contact with the
floor and an inhale to lift up through the
back of your heart until your head rises above your hips take a moment to breathe
in here integrating all these sensations back into the body breathing out
softening the shoulders then remove whatever you have on top of your legs
set that to the side and take out the blanket from underneath your knees and
allow that to go to the side as well scoot forward a bit off of the blanket
you were seated on and we’ll transition this blanket into the blanket for our
head as we come into supported bridge pose so again I like to fold my blanket
long and then just the back edge i tuck forward a bit so the back of the head is
here the tops of the shoulders are on the lower fold of the blanket and grab
your cushion and place that just in front of your hips width wise across
your mat then sit on that cushion and it’s from this space that we will lower
down to the floor so as you lower readjust the blanket underneath your
head as you need readjust the bolster underneath the hip
so that you feel really rooted across the low back the hip space you might
even if you notice any low back pain here you might pull that bolster up a
little bit closer to you so that the glutes hang off of the edge of the
bolster and then rearrange the feet so that it feels pretty effortless for the
legs to be held up here they’re neither moving out nor in they’re just routed
straight down through the soles of the feet with minimal effort arms reach to a
V by your sides palms face up explore that sensation of the chin being lower
than the forehead here so if you need to readjust through the blanket at all do
that now this is a gentle backbend an opening across the chest you might feel
a sense of energy or invigoration as we hold this position closing the eyes if
that’s comfortable so welcome in the opposite feeling of the forward bend a forward bend being more calming now than
this position but there’s still a sense of calm here very different from the
stressful frantic energy that we often feel around us and within us
notice how you can still be energetic at a slower pace let your bones get heavier so if there’s
any gripping happening in your thighs or your hip creases release that now release any tension in your jaw you
could open and close a few times until you’re completely relaxed through your
whole body feel yourself supported and held by the earth rest here in silence for some time natural easy breath you spend one more breath here as a means of
transitioning marking that transition between the stillness and the movement
feeling now just this moment in between action and doing nothing gently bring your knees closer toward
your chest lifting your feet you might choose to hug them in here or just place
your hands to the tops of your knees and we’ll move the knees in slight circles
tracing a little circle one way for three times and then the other way feel
the shoulder blades get heavier against the ground as the knees come toward you
your low back lengthens and I’ll simply plant the feet back down to the floor
push into the feet gently lift up so that you can slide your cushion downward
toward those feet and set your hips back down to the floor then keep going with
that cushion because we’re transitioning into basic relaxation pose or shavasana
so the cushion arrives underneath your knees you still have the blanket here
for your head the arms will come back face up arms at a V and if you’d like to
keep warm you can use your second blanket place that over your whole body
now or for some extra grounding place the other blanket on top of your abdomen feel the gentle heaviness of this
blanket encourage your body to completely relax feeling your whole body on the floor
close your eyes once more let’s take a deep breath in
fill it up without any strain and a deep breath out either through the mouth or
the nostrils feeling a sense of complete letting go then release all effort in the breath and let go even more be held by the earth and experience yourself in deep
relaxation and peace knowing that there’s nothing you need to
do to achieve this rest in silence I’ll bring you out when
it’s time you call yourself back
from rest by listening to any sounds that you hear in the room and any sounds you hear beyond this room from there invite the sensation of
movement into your fingers your palms your wrists then elbows shoulders and
stretch your arms overhead as you get long through your fingers extend long
through your legs curling your toes then flexing your feet take a few generous
breaths into the belly truly stretching and awakening and then relax and let all
that effort go and the limbs bend your knees in and roll onto a side removing any props
on top of you are letting them come with you resting on your side for a moment
survey your whole body in your inner awareness
see what’s changed since you began then press up gently and rise to a seat go nice and slow to keep
sense of relaxation here with you and if you need to sit up on something like a
bolster feel free to do that make your way with your hands together
at the center of your chest and dip your chin downward perhaps
eyes still closed or gazing at the fingertips thank you for your presence I
honor your light namaste as you finish up this practice tag me on
instagram at karen Baginski so I can see your practice space and what props you
chose to use if you enjoyed these restorative yoga poses for stress relief
it means a lot if you give it a thumbs up subscribe for more yoga practices
with me and I’ll see you in the next one

8 thoughts on “Restorative Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

  1. 🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️😊🙏🏻

  2. ♥️ Loved it! Nice and relaxing voice, very good instructions 🙏🏽 I Practiced this in bed after a meditation. I’m ready for a new day, before I felt too much stress and didn’t want to go out of bed. Namaste

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