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Restorative Yoga – Overview

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This Asana Digest covers: Restorative poses such as Corpse Pose, Legs up the Wall, Child’s Pose, Downward Facing Hero Pose, Reclined Bound Angle Pose, Crocodile Pose, Restorative Backbend, Restorative Setu Bandhasana, Restorative Forward Bend and Constructive Rest

Sanskrit & Naming

  • Savasana

“sava” = corpse

Corpse Pose

  • Viparita Karani

“viparita” = inverted or reversed

“karani” = doing or making

Inverted Action

Also known as: Legs Up the Wall

  • Balasana

“bala” = child

Child’s Pose

  • Adho Mukha Virasana

“adho” = down

“mukha” = face

“vira” = hero

Downward Facing Hero Pose

Also known as: Wide Legged Child’s Pose and Utthita Balasana (Extended Child’s Pose)

  • Supta Baddha Konasana

“supta” = reclining or sleeping

“baddha” = bound

“kona” = angle

Reclined Bound Angle Pose

  • Makarasana

“makara” = a mythological sea creature

“The vehicle of Varuna, the god of the ocean… denizen of the deep, the makara is the vehicle for the ruling energy of the second chakra.” (Sandra Anderson)

Known as Crocodile Pose

Heart of Poses

  • Restorative

Purpose / Intention

  • The focus of Restorative Yoga can be described as alert relaxation.
  • Another description is to support an increasing ability to experience “Beingness,” or a quality of awareness not related to “doing” or external circumstances.
  • While “yin” in nature, Restoratives are different from Yin Yoga (which is designed to stress ligaments, fascia and bones).
  • Restoratives are not intended to stretch or strengthen, but rather to release ever-deeper layers of tension.

More Specifically

  • Restorative postures are often considered to be these supported postures:

Supported Inversions: Legs Up the Wall, Legs on a Chair

Mountain Brook / Supported Backbend Variation

Supported Bridge Pose

Other Supported Backbend Variations such as a propped chest opener and variations of Fish Pose

Supported Basic Relaxation / Supported Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Supported Child’s Pose

Supported Reclined Bound Angle

Supported Reclined Hero

Supported Reclining Twist

Supported Seated Wide Angle

Supported Seated Forward Bend

Supported Side Lying Stretch

Much More in this Digest

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See Also

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