Restorative yoga

Published on 10/09/2019

Is restorative yoga the solution during heat waves?

Did you know that there are refreshing yoga postures? Since summer is in full swing and temperatures soar around 30 degrees, one may not feel like initiating a very active yoga practice (or yang) that could rise their body temperature. Thus, restorative yoga, which constitutes a soft and passive practice in which postures are held for several minutes, is ideal during hot summer days.

Here are three postures you can perform with a bolster, a block, or an eye pillow. If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult a health care professional.

Posture 1:Bound Angle Pose (baddha konasana)

Posture Type: Backbone stretching

Key physiological aspects:  The bolster placed at an angle along the backbone allows for backbone stretching and torso opening, hip joint abduction and flexion for greater mobility.

Contraindication: Knee, hip, or lower back pain, inguinal hernia.

Tips: In order to increase the refreshing effect of this posture, why not combine it with sitatli pranayama: inhale through the mouth, place the tongue in a ‘‘U shape’’ and exhale through the nose.

Posture 2: Legs up the wall (viparita karani)

Posture Type: Lower limb reversal

Key physiological aspects: Back-of-leg stretching, amplified here by the bolster weight on the feet, spine stretching and venous return facilitation.

Contraindication: high blood pressure and heart condition.

Tips: It is not always easy to perform the leg-up-the-wall posture. Here a quick hint: lie down on your side and stick the buttocks as close to the wall as possible, then move your legs up the wall. In order to place the bolster on your feet, bend both legs towards you or, better still, ask for help! For greater back cushioning, add a small blanket folded in 4 under your hips and/or your head.

Posture 3:Corpse pose (savasana) + reversal

Posture type: Relaxation & reversal

Key physiological aspects: The bolster placed at an angle under the legs creates a slight inversion that stimulates the venous return.

Contraindication: high blood pressure and heart condition.

Tips: In case of lower back discomfort, you can flip the bolster so it becomes perpendicular to the longer side of the mat, and then place it under the knees. Such variation is closer to the traditional Savasana posture and is more relaxing.

Write by: