Feeling Tired? Try This Short Restorative Yoga Sequence

This past week I haven’t really practiced much yoga. Although not terribly sick, I have had a cold that has drained my energy. Some days it is obvious that the best choice is to do very little with your body and just rest. However, if you are up to it, restorative poses, such as Child’s Pose, Reclining Big Toe Pose and Legs up the Wall can be quite helpful.

The intention of restorative yoga is to recover vitality by working the body in a very gentle manner. Restorative yoga often makes use of props to provide support for your body while in the postures.

Below, is a short restorative sequence that you can try. Before starting out, gather a couple of props. You will need a bolster or folded blanket and a yoga strap or scarf. Position your yoga mat with the short side touching a wall. The sequence should take you about 8 to 10 minutes. Hold each pose for five breaths or up to two minutes (even longer if you have the time).

1. Supported Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Start with Child’s Pose. Try a supported version by placing a bolster underneath the front of your body. Feel your chest sinking into the bolster and relax deeply into this opening posture.

Supported Child's Pose - Balasana

balasana-web

2. Reclining Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

In this version, place your bottom foot on the wall to anchor the pose. Use a strap or scarf a round the upper foot. This helps to maintain alignment of your spine and shoulders and to open your chest. Because our intention in this practice is restorative, using a strap makes the pose less intense.

Reclining Big Toes Pose

supta-padangusthasana-web

3. Wide Angle Fold at the Wall (Upavishta Konasana)

Practicing forward folds at the wall can help build flexibility while keeping your spine in a neutral alignment.

Wide Angle Pose at the Wall

upavistha-konasana-web

4. Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)

Legs up the Wall is a gentle posture where you receive the full effects of an inverted pose with the deep rest of a relaxation pose.  I really enjoy using a bolster underneath my lower back although it is a bit of a challenge getting it into position… You can do this pose with or without the bolster; it is wonderfully healing both ways. Experiment a bit to find the right distance from the wall. You shouldn’t feel any pull or strain in your lower back.

Legs Up the Wall

viparita-karani-web

5. Savasana

Finish with a few of minutes of Savasana to integrate the benefits of all the previous poses.

Savasana - Coprse Pose

savasana-web

Below find a reminder of this sequence that I created for you to print out and take to your mat when you  practice.

Print Out Your Own Yoga Sequences

You don’t have to rely on me for your drawings. You can easily create and print out your own sequences. I use these simple yoga pose drawings. You can read all about it and pick up your copy here.

What about you? Do you have a favorite yoga pose for when you are not feeling your best?

Restorative Yoga Mini Sequence* (Click on the image to print image only)

4 thoughts on “Feeling Tired? Try This Short Restorative Yoga Sequence”

  1. You might like these video clips of Paul Grilley’s, if you haven’t already seen them:

    http://www.lulubandhas.com/portal/luluvu/ojai-yoga-crib-2007-online-yoga-video-clips-paul-grilley-fold-forward-and-bend-backwards

    I have only recently developed an appreciation for Restorative and Yin yogas for all of their offerings and benefits, physically, emotionally and mentally.

    At this point in my life, I want to look good–sure. But I also want to move good, to get around with ease, to sit for a spell and still be able to function without lower back pain.

    This is the gift of Yin and Restorative yogas…to me.

    Great little sequence you have here…especially the supported childs…yummy 🙂

    1. Charlotte Bradley

      I also only began to enjoy the more restorative styles recently. Last year I tried a Yin class and was completely hooked. In some ways it was more challenging for me than the power and flow classes I was used to. Completely different mindset. So I became a bit obsessed with Yin and that was my thing for a while. Now I am back to a bit more of a balance between Yin and Yang styles.

      I love Paul Grilley and haven’t seen those particular videos so thank you – cool!

  2. Hi!

    Thanks for twittering up with me (is there a more appropriate phrase for that?).

    I really like this sequence; would you want to guest blog it on my site? It could either be written, or just linked to as the sequence of the day.

    Kick me in the shins if this is too forward; internet communication makes me sound like a bull sometimes.

    Great, great blog. Esp. the bit on Pigeon pose 🙂 Also, I’m a big cyclist, so the yoga/biking thing is great.

    Cheers and peace,

    Emma

    1. Charlotte Bradley

      Emma, thank you so much for your kind words.

      I would be honored to have this blogged your site, thanks for asking me! Grab what you want from here and let me know if you need anything. Post it however suits your blog.

      I found your site a few days ago – I think someone else twittered you up 😉 I love all the sequences (you are obviously very creative…), it is really inspiring to see what other people are doing.

      Ahhh yes, Pigeon … – totally addicted!

      Warmly,
      Charlotte

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