Relax with Restorative Yoga

Relaxing 20-minute Restorative Yoga practice. With Javier Wilensky

Restorative Yoga

1. Balasana Child's Pose With Block

We're going to start in child's pose. Sit with your legs folded beneath you. Your toes are touching and your knees are apart. Extend your arms forward in front of you and let your forehead rest on the floor. If you need to you can put a block under your forehead. Breathe deeply. With each exhalation create more space in your body. Allow the brain to become passive. Bring a sense of quiet to your mind.

Restorative Yoga

2. Balasana Child's Pose With Side Stretch

Remaining in child's pose turn your torso to the right. Align your spine and your sternum with your right thigh and reach your hands to the right so they are off the mat. This pose stretches your side body. Stay here for five deep full breaths before returning to the middle and then changing sides to do the same thing on the left side. Again stay here for five breaths.

Restorative Yoga

3. Padangusthasana With Block

For the next pose stand with your feet hip-width apart. Fold forward at the waist and rest your head on a block on the floor in front of you. Your flexibility will determine whether you have the block on the highest setting, the medium setting, or the low setting. Relax your neck and let the crown of your head rest on the block. Make sure your neck is long by bringing your shoulders away from your ears. Stay here for three breaths.

Restorative Yoga

4. Seated Cross Legged Forward Fold Version 1 (Prep for Padmasana)

We carry a lot of tension in our hips. Releasing that tension helps relax the rest of the body. With that in mind, let’s prepare for doing Padmasana by doing Seated Cross Legged Forward Fold. Sit with your legs crossed and your feet under your knees. With your feet beneath your knees, fold forward letting your forehead rest on a block. You can use the block on whichever level you need. You can also choose to not use a block and rest the forehead on the floor if your flexibility allows. It is important that your forehead is resting on something though. Extend with your arms out in front of you. Allow your torso to be long. Notice what is happening in your hips. Stay here for five breaths.

Restorative Yoga

5. Seated Cross Legged Forward Stretch Version 2

Sitting in a similar position to the previous pose. Now put one foot on top of your knee. Your legs should be folded in front of you with one foot on top of the opposite knee and the other foot beneath the opposite knee. If possible, fold forward, extending your arms out in front of you and rest your forehead on the block. Stay here for five breaths and then switch your legs placing the opposite foot on top and the opposite foot on the bottom. Stay here for 5 breaths.

Restorative Yoga
Restorative Yoga

6. Restorative Pigeon Pose With Bolster & Block

The last two stretches prepared us for Pigeon Pose. Place your bolster on your mat. Rest your hips on the bolster. Your right leg is in front of you with the thigh externally rotated and the shin parallel to the front of your mat. You can place a block under your front knee. Your left leg is straight out behind you. Turn your abdomen towards the right thigh and fold over your front leg. Place a block in front of you to rest your forehead on. If you want to you can move the block and put your forehead on the ground. You can also experiment with doing this pose without the bolster. Your goal is to find how you experience the most rest and relaxation in the pose. Stay for 5 breaths and then repeat on the other side.

7.Paschimottanasana Forward Fold (Restorative) (not pictured)

Sit on your bolster with your feet straight out in front of you. Your legs can be slightly wider than your hips. Fold forward and rest your forehead on the block in front of you. Reach your arms out and grab your shins, ankles, toes or wherever you can comfortably reach. Stay here for 5 breaths.

8.Savasana (not pictured)

Now remove the bolster out from under you and lay back on the floor to close your practice in Savasana. Your arms are relaxed at your sides and your feet relaxed and turned out slightly. Let your muscles soften. Relax your whole body and breathe normally. Stay in this pose for as long as you like to close your practice.

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