“Happiness is the highest form of health.”
– Dalai Lama
Restorative yoga poses are meant to calm the central nervous system (CNS) down and allow the mind and the body to relax into each pose for extended periods of time. Be mindful of entering into each pose and slowly transitioning into a restful savasana / child’s pose or a restorative side lying position with a pillow supporting your neck to allow your nervous system to adjust to the physical changes from each pose. Most importantly listen to your body and if for some reason you aren’t comfortable in a specific pose gently move into a different pose that works best for you and your body.
- inversion poses bring the head below the heart and the lower extremities above it shifting our perception in space
- lowered blood pressure
- lowered heart rate
- improved circulation throughout the body
- release of endorphin hormones from the brain
- deep relaxation and calmness from within stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) from the autonomic nervous system (ANS)
Cyndi Dale is the author of The Subtle Body An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy has written a synthesized definition of chakras from a scientific point of view stating “chakras are energy transformers, capable of shifting energy from higher to lower vibration and vice versa. As such, chakras interact with the flow of subtle energies through specific energy channels to affect the body at the cellular level as reflected by hormonal and physiological levels in the physical body.” Nearly every cultural chakra system considers the chakras a vital part of an enlightenment or spiritualization process.
|In the top of the head
Image source 
Image source 
- do not perform poses or movements that cause pain or discomfort
- pregnant beyond the first trimester
- glaucoma or other eye disorders
- currently taking any blood pressure medications
- history of stroke or heart disease
- spinal problems
- chronic neck pain
- excessive weight
- head injuries
- inner ear issues
- hiatus hernias
- feeling faint or dizzy
- osteoporosis / osteopenia *
*modification can be a safe option for some but talk with teacher before trying. Note forward flexion of the spine is always contraindicated.
Restorative Yoga Poses
Ask yourself what your health wellness goals are then start with learning one new pose each day to get started towards rebalancing your nervous system. Here are seven key suggested restorative yoga poses for you to explore. Roll out your mat and find the props you need to get started today. Note we have a blog post for each yoga pose below explaining in more detail the purpose and setup. Click on the hyperlink for each restorative pose for direct link to post.
- Viparita Karani [vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee] / Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose
- Balasana [bahl-AHS-anna] / Child’s Pose
- Supported Setu Bandha [SET-too-BAHN-dah] / Supported Bridge Pose
- Modified Spinal Twist
- Supta Matsyendrasana [SOOP-TAH MOTS-YEN-DRAHS-ANAH] / Supine Spinal Twist
- Modified Forward Fold
- Savasana [shah-VAHS-anna] / Corpse Pose
- towel or yoga blanket folded to support your neck
- 1-2 yoga blocks (e.g. cork, foam or wooden)
- yoga bolster or 3 or 4 yoga blankets folded and stacked ontop of eachother (note the thickness of each blanket)
- yoga mat (optional)
- chair (optional)
These are just a few restorative yoga poses to keep you moving. We have additional blog post specific to pilates, pre/post natal, bone building for osteoporosis/osteopenia, mindful meditation, restorative yoga therapy, partner and endurance training. We believe in treating the whole person with a holistic approach and blend our knowledge and training of movement, nutrition, massage therapy and traditional chinese medicine.
We love teaching mindful movement and are here to support you in your journey. We offer customized online remote training from anywhere in the world. Contact us today to get started and learn to move with less pain and greater ease. We look forward to partnering with you and answering your movement questions and/or concerns.
Assumption of the Risk: By attempting any of the exercises, you do so at your own risk. We make no representations, guarantees or warranties that the information or exercises on this blog are appropriate for you or will result in improvements of your medical condition or function.
Not medical advice or physical therapy. This content is intended to provide information and instructions on general exercises that may help increase strength, mobility, and function for specific areas of the body. It is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining a medical diagnosis or medical or physical therapy advice from a qualified licensed provider. You should seek medical advice from a qualified physician or physical therapist before trying any of the exercises or self-treatment suggestions on this blog, particularly if your pain is from a traumatic injury or event.
- DALE, C., 2009. The Subtle Body An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc.
- LONG, R., 2020. Anatomy of Arm Balances and Inversions. Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publisher.
- LONG, R., 2010a. Anatomy for Backbends and Twists. Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publisher.
- LONG, R., 2010b. Anatomy for Hip Openers and Forward Bends. Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publisher.
- LONG, R., 2010c. Anatomy for Vinyasa Flow and Standing Poses . Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publications.