There are days when the last thing I want my yoga practice to be is dynamic and invigorating. In fact, I’ve had lots of days like that lately. It’s January, it’s gloomy, and I have a stinking cold. Woe is me. At times like these, all I want to do is crawl into a hole and hibernate until someone wakes me up to tell me spring is here.
So, instead of flowing through several sun salutations, I want to linger for longer in more restful, nurturing postures. Restorative poses are exactly that. They are designed for maximum comfort and have an immediate calming effect, leaving you feeling relaxed and restored. Because you are supported by props such as blankets and bolsters, you can completely let go and let any tensions melt away.
One of my go-to restoratives is Viparita Karani, or “Legs up the wall”. Give it a go next time you’re exhausted from rushing around all day or cranky from sitting at a desk, or just generally feeling low and depleted. Slide a cushion underneath your bottom, maybe cover yourself up with a blanket. Close your eyes, draw your attention inward, and let your breath flow deeply and evenly. Stay there for at least five minutes, if you can. The longer, the better. Remember, often there’s more to be gained from slowing down and doing less!