Restorative yoga is a deeply relaxing style of practice that targets the nervous system rather than muscles or soft tissues. It utilizes very long holds of extremely comfortable positions. And there’s nothing quite like a really good restorative yoga sequence for deep relaxation.
While restorative practices often require a lot of props, this restorative yoga sequence is great for use on the go or if you simply don’t have a lot of props at home or in your studio. All that you need is a simple blanket or towel to roll up and use as your support system throughout the practice.
So grab a blanket or a towel and get ready to melt into deep, blissful relaxation.
This extremely simple posture creates the most subtle opening in your hips to help alleviate any pressure on your lower back. But its real magic lies in its ability to let you soften into a state of total release.
Create a long, rolled cylindrical shape with your blanket or towel and place it lengthwise so that it’s parallel to the long edge of your mat
Come onto all fours above the blanket roll and, slowly and mindfully, release the weight of your torso over the blanket
Stretch your legs back behind your and stack your hands on top of each other underneath your blanket to create the slightest bit of elevation (or a mini “pillow”) underneath your head
Rest your left cheek onto the blanket just above your hands
Turn your right toes toward the right side of your mat to create a subtle external rotation in your right thigh
Softly bend your right knee and slide it up toward your right elbow
Melt the weight of your torso, head, and pelvis onto your blanket
Soften your gaze or close your eyes and let your body release into the shape
Hold for about 10 minutes before slowly releasing and switching sides
2. Supported Fish
No restorative yoga sequence is complete without this very subtle backbend. This gentle shape carefully lifts your heart center to create the most delicate opening so that you can soften and relax your chest and your metaphoric heart space.
Keep the same blanket roll and position that you had in the previous shape
Come to sit in front of your blanket roll with the back of your pelvis touching the end of the roll
Slowly and mindfully, release the weight of your torso back over the blanket roll behind you
Double up the roll underneath your head and neck for some extra cushioning as a pillow
Stretch your legs forward toward the bottom of your mat and let your legs relax completely
Soften your arms into any comfortable position. They can rest by your sides, reach out into a T shape toward the outer edges of your mat, or reach up above your head. Find a position that feels comfortable and sustainable
Unfocus your gaze or close your eyes completely and allow your body weight to surrender into the prop beneath you
Hold for about 10 to 15 minutes before slowly releasing out
3. Supported Supine Twist
Just like other yoga sequences, a restorative yoga sequence can be well-rounded to finish with a relaxing supine twist. Only in restorative, you get to use a little extra support for even more comfort.
Take your cylindrical blanket roll and fold it in half. Place it just off the left side of your mat
Come to lie down on your back and bend your knees to plant your feet on the floor
Option to cross your right leg over your left as if you’re sitting cross-legged in a chair. Option to double wrap your foot around your calf
Slowly release the weight of both your legs over toward the left side of your mat and rest them over your blanket
Option to position your arms however you’d like as you soften the weight of both of your shoulders toward the floor
Turn your head in any direction that feels comfortable for your neck
Option to close your eyes as you soften into the twist
Hold for about eight to 12 minutes before slowly releasing and switching sides
Looking for More Guided Restorative Yoga Sequences?
Practice real self-care with Restorative Yoga for Self-Care. This five-class program is filled with gentle restorative yoga practices to calm your mind and soothe your body. Each yoga class is carefully designed to help you relieve stress, unwind, and soften tension in your body and mind so that you can walk away feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and completely cared for.