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A 5-Minute Restorative Yoga Sequence to Help You Relax

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A 5-Minute Restorative Yoga Sequence to Help You Relax

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Sinking into a restorative yoga sequence is like slipping into a warm bath at the end of a long day—pure bliss and total relaxation. This is where the magic happens, allowing both your body and brain to let go after bearing the brunt of your daily stresses (or even just a hard workout).

You can practice restorative yoga poses whenever you feel like your body needs a gentle stretch, says Paige Willis, RYT-200, certified yoga instructor and founder of Undone, a pop-up yoga experience.

“I typically practice restorative yoga after a hard workout or at nighttime. That’s when it feels most supportive for me. The longer, more gentle stretches and meditation help me ground and calm down,” she says.

When your breath and movement sync up, it creates a deep sense of harmony between the body and mind, allowing for a more mindful practice that enhances both physical and mental well-being.

Willis is the host for our April 2024 Movement of the Month Club, focusing on yoga. This week 4 yoga flow—designed and demonstrated by Willis, below—is about bringing harmony to your body, blending gentle stretches with deep breaths to release tension and build strength in the most soothing way possible.

Join the Movement

If you’re following along with our Movement of the Month Club, you’ll do one pose each day, Monday through Saturday. Then on Sunday, you’ll do the full 5-minute routine.

Do each pose for 50 seconds (25 seconds on each side, where necessary) before moving on to the next one, for a total of 5 minutes. If you’re feeling especially tight or if you have more time, feel free to do each move for as long as feels good.

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Turn your focus inward with child’s pose. Though it seems simple, its benefits are many: opening your hips, lengthening your spine, and activating your body’s relaxation response.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. On an exhale, lower your hips back toward your heels, bringing your forehead to rest on the mat.
  3. Keep your knees together or spread them slightly apart, depending on your comfort level.
  4. Extend your arms forward in front of you, reaching actively through your fingertips.
  5. Allow your chest to sink toward the ground as you lengthen through your spine.

2. Bridge Flow (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This pose works your back, glutes, and hamstrings, while stretching your chest and creating a feeling of fluidity and strengthening your mind-body connection.

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your feet hip-width apart and parallel to each other, heels drawn in toward your sitting bones.
  2. Place your arms at your sides with palms facing down.
  3. Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor. As you inhale, lift your hips up toward the ceiling, squeezing your glutes and thighs.
  4. As you lift your hips, raise both arms straight above your head toward the floor.
  5. Lower your back to the floor vertebra by vertebra, lower your arms back down to your sides at the same time.
  6. Repeat.

3. Supine Windshield Wipers

Provide relief to your hips and lower back with supine windshield wipers. The move gently stretches your hips through internal and external rotation.

  1. Begin by lying on your back on a comfortable surface, such as a yoga mat.
  2. Extend your arms out to the sides slightly lower than shoulder height, palms facing up or down, whichever is more comfortable
  3. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the mat, hip-width apart, keeping your knees pointed toward the ceiling.
  4. On an exhale, lower both knees toward the right side of your body, allowing them to come as close to the ground as feels comfortable.
  5. Keep your upper body and shoulders grounded on the mat, maintaining contact between your shoulder blades and the floor.
  6. Inhale as you return your knees to the center, bringing them back to the starting position.
  7. Exhale as you lower both knees toward the left side of your body, feeling a gentle stretch through your hips and lower back.

4. Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Build on the feel-good spinal movements of windshield wipers with a supine twist. It stretches the back, core, and hips, relieving tension in the back via the twisting motion.

  1. Lie on your back and extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, palms facing up or down.
  2. Bend your right knee and drop it across your body, twisting to the left side as far as is comfortable.
  3. Press your palms or the backs of your hands into the floor to help stabilize you as you gaze back to the right.
  4. Twist back to the center and repeat on the other side.

5. Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)

In this pose, you’ll look exactly like a happy baby! And your hips and lower back will be happy, too, as this pose helps decompress the spine as you pull your knees toward your armpits.

  1. Lie on your back, bending your knees and drawing them toward your chest.
  2. On an exhale, separate your knees wider than your torso.
  3. Reach your arms through the inside of your knees and hold onto the outsides of your feet or ankles.
  4. Flex your feet and draw your knees toward your armpits, bringing them closer to your torso.
  5. Draw your bellybutton to your spine to keep your lower back on the mat.

6. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse pose is a deeply restorative and rejuvenating pose that allows you to surrender and let go. If your mind wanders during this pose, gently bring your focus back to the present moment.

  1. Lie on your back on your yoga mat. Extend your legs out long on the mat, allowing your feet to fall open naturally.
  2. Place your arms alongside your body, palms facing up and fingers curled naturally.
  3. Close your eyes gently and allow your entire body to relax.
  4. Let go of any tension in your muscles, starting from your feet and working your way up to your head.
  5. Bring your awareness to your breath, observing the natural rhythm of your inhales and exhales.
  6. Remain here for as long as you’d like.
  7. When you’re ready to transition out of savasana, begin to deepen your breath and gently wiggle your fingers and toes to bring movement back to your body.



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