Restorative Yoga was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, a universally recognized expert on yoga. He is the author of the classic book, “Light on Yoga,” and was recently named one of the 100 most influential people of our time by TIME magazine. He created Restorative Yoga by adapting classic yoga postures using “props” to help support the body and maintain the correct position without straining. The goal of Restorative Yoga is to make the benefits of yoga postures available to people who are incapacitated in some way.
Restorative Yoga is particularly helpful when you feel rundown, burned out, stressed or just tired. It’s a powerful tool that supports the healing process during and after an illness or injury. During these times, energy must be conserved for the body to heal. These supported poses along with sleep and rest are very important to the healing process. I have found Restorative Yoga to be both healing and revitalizing. It gives you the effects of the poses without exerting any energy.
Here is a pose I find extremely restful and rejuvenating.
Illustration and text by Lindsey and Bobby Clennell
Reclining Belt Pose
1. A yoga bolster or large, thick sofa cushion.
2. Three pillows, (or rolled blankets) one to support your head, the other two to support your thighs
3. A belt (or two joined together) long enough to reach around your waist and feet, while in the position.
To do the pose:
Support your head so that it is not tilting back. When going into the pose, allow the lower back to relax over the bolster. Any stiffness usually fades after a minute or two. Do not resist the pose – completely release into the position. Occasionally, extend the length of your exhalation and allow yourself to be more supported by the bolster. Stay in the pose for five to ten minutes, relaxed with your eyes closed. Then come up, undo the belt and stretch out your legs.