Our evening sessions at Tranquillite Retreats are more restorative and meditative. For some this is more difficult and actually could be seen as advanced yoga. Why? Well standing on your hands or going into extreme yoga poses could be easy if you’re the energetic, assertive full speed ahead kind of person, however on the other hand sitting still and quietening the mind can feel incredibly difficult even impossible.
Have you ever tried just being, slowly down and stilling the constant barrage of thoughts? It’s not easy being non-productive.
As I write this it’s Autumn and after a hectic Summer the change in season feels cooler and welcoming. Change though like the winds of autumn can stir up anxiety, we want to slow down and know that we should but with so much to do and a society that sees over work and exhaustion as some kind of merit, we find ourselves resisting creating more inner turmoil.
This is where restorative yoga and meditation can really help. Holding the poses longer and with the support of a yoga bolster and blanket to keep you warm, you’re given an opportunity to stretch physically releasing the days tensions, but in a very nurturing and supportive way. Then using the breath to focus on or a mantra can then help to calm the nervous system and quieten the mind.
Enjoy these 5 restorative yoga poses, using a bolster or pillows. I’ve also included the mantra So Hum. Mantra means protection of the mind, which you’re protecting from wandering. Take a few rounds out loud then chant silently mirroring the sound to each part of the breath. i.e So – on the inhale and hum – on the exhale.
Listen to the recording to hear what this sounds like:
1. Supta bada konasana – bolster under knees great for opening the hips and inner thighs. Also good for digestion as it relaxes the tummy.
2. Upavista Konasana – bolster to support torso or head. Block under hips if needed. Good for releasing inner thighs, hamstrings and spine.
3. Kapotasana or Pigeon pose – bolster to lie on. Block under bent leg hip if needed. Releases hip flexors and glutes.
4. Supported twist – bolster to lie tummy and chest on. Blanket under knees if required. Great for digestions and stretches the back.
5. Supported Bridge – bolster under hips. Releases chest, shoulders, neck, thighs and hip flexors.