Restorative yoga is about using many different kinds of props to support the body enough to allow for complete relaxation. Using the props in a combination of ways allows for the muscles to relax while still getting the stretch.
You can do one or a few poses that can be held for approximately 5- 20 minutes per pose. You can use the poses for a combination of things from an achy back, relaxation, meditation, etc. Arrange your props according to the needs of your body. Adjust the props as you wish. You can use as many props as you want. You’re the only one who can decide how many props to use and where to place them. Restorative yoga, after all, is about achieving relaxation comfortably.
Restorative Yoga Sequence
Start to lay back, making sure that your back rests comfortably on the pillows. You can use blocks to support your upper legs. Make sure that your butt rests on the area in between the two pillows (see video). Once you feel really comfy, it’s time to try other yoga poses. One important tip form Suzi Geiger, our guest yogi, is to “use as many props as you can get your hands on.”
From that position, put your arms on your side, elbows slightly bent. Adjust the blocks in a way that fully supports your legs. Also, it’s important that you have a standby pillow which you can use to lay your arms on. Check the comfort of your body parts, most importantly, your back. Hold the position for 20-30 minutes.
Rearrange the pillows. Again, make sure that your butt lies on the area where the two pillows meet. Lay down straight. Adjust yourself so your neck is supported by the upper pillow, with your head hanging slightly backward (4:56). If it’s too much for your head, you can lower yourself down a bit. Remember- restorative yoga should not cause you pain.
For back pain, Suzi recommends twisting in a restorative way. To do this, you have to rearrange the props again. Find the area where the two pillows meet on top of the boulder. Do as you see in this image or in the video (5:55).
Then turn your head, making sure you do not feel any discomfort. Repeat the steps for the other side.
Time for the child’s pose. Suzi shows us how we can achieve this yoga pose in a way that won’t cause pain or discomfort. (8:30)
Suzi reminds that when arranging the props, you need not do it exactly the way she does, because it might not suit your body. It is important to use the props according to what your body needs.
For the final pose in this restorative yoga sequence, Suzi demonstrates legs up the wall. (10:15)
You can hold each pose for about five minutes.
About the Author
Suzi Geiger lives and works in New York City and has been teaching yoga for 15 years. She has been studying continuously since she started teaching. She is completely immersed in learning about anatomy and functional movement and had her restorative certification from Judith Hanson Lasater, and studied with Ellen Satonstall. She is now in her 4th year at The Breathing Project for Embodied Anatomy & Kinesiology. She loves using a combination of different techniques and modalities for living in a pain free and happy body!
Follow us on Follow to stay up to date with all our blog posts!