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If you yearn for yoga

man unrolling a yoga mat

When most people think of yoga, they picture lithe, bendy men and women contorting themselves into seemingly impossible positions. So, it may come as a surprise that in restorative yoga, you might never even get off of the floor. 

In restorative sequences, you perform gentle poses for long periods of time, often employing props to make the moves more comfortable. 

You’ll quickly find that something doesn’t need to be intense to have a serious impact—for proof, just try holding the “legs up the wall” pose for five minutes and notice how your lower limbs feel before and after. 

Sage Rountree, author of The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery, says that it’s especially important for hard-chargers who get after it during their “on” days to ramp down the intensity during these sessions of recovery exercises. 

“A few long-held, mellow, low-to-the-ground poses complement your workout with a work-in: paying attention to your body and breath, inducing the relaxation response, and jump-starting your recovery,” says Rountree. 

Try her five-move floor-based routine, which makes use of blocks and bolsters. (Household pillows can work in a pinch.) Here’s an overview of what it looks like:

  1. Squirmy Cat-Cow Pose
  2. Supported Child’s Pose
  3. Supported Fish Pose with Cobbler Legs
  4. Supported Bridge Pose
  5. Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
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