What is a restorative pose in yoga?

Restorative poses focus on “restoring” and relaxing the body. Rest provides the body with a method to renew and heal. In a restorative yoga class, the postures are held much longer, and props are used to help support the body and mind into full relaxation. In restorative classes, the breath is used in tandem to access this deeper sense of calm.

These types of postures trigger the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS is responsible for balancing the body and bringing its response system back into equilibrium. This helps to lower heart rate and blood pressure; it helps to stimulate the immune system and keep the endocrine system operating optimally. When this system gets out of balance, or when the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) or stress response system gets overstimulated, the PNS helps to alleviate the effects of SNS and bring your body back into balance. Forms of relaxation, such as yoga and meditation, that help to stimulate the PNS are generally beneficial for overall body health.

Classic restorative poses include:

  • Balasana (child’s pose)
  • Viparita Karani (legs-up-the-wall pose)
  • Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle pose)
  • Savasana (corpse pose)
  • Supta Padangusthasana (reclining big toe pose)

Some good restorative yoga poses include the Balasana aka the child’s pose , the Savasana or corpse pose and the Viparita Karani or legs up the wall pose. Restorative yoga poses are designed to improve blood flow and lymphatic flow and help bring the body back into balance and relax and restore the body to a place of balance and rest. If you want to explore more about restorative yoga find a yoga studio near you that specializes in restorative yoga.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.