Typically the final resting posture is the most relaxing part of a yoga session. In Savasana or corpse pose, yoga students learn to focus on their breath and completely release any effort of body and mind. The reward is a sense of peace and equanimity that can lead to a reduction in stress and an easing of ailments caused by anxiety or tension.
There are many yoga pose variations that can elicit a Savasana-like awareness and promote relaxation. For this post, I will give you the techniques for the restorative pose called Supta Baddha Konasana or Supported Bound Angle Pose. Similar to the seated bound angle pose, this posture opens the hips and grounds the pelvis. An added bonus is that when you recline in this position, you specifically release the abdominal area and balance the digestive system. Its sloping direction is wonderful for easing nausea, cramping or occasional abdominal discomfort.
You will need a yoga bolster, block, and a couple of blankets. If you don’t have a bolster, then you can use a sofa cushion or stack two blankets one on top of the other. Place a block underneath the top of the bolster or blanket stack to elevate it. Sit with your back to the bolster, soles of the feet together. Lie back supporting your entire spine on the bolster/blankets. If your hips or knees need extra support, use additional blocks, blankets or folded towels under your thighs. You can even wrap your feet with a towel to keep them warm and secure. Remain in this posture for 5-10 minutes.
For those of you who have incorporated restorative poses into your yoga practice, you know how soothing they can be. Sustaining a posture supported by props allows the body to melt into present moment awareness. If you haven’t experienced the restorative aspect of yoga, give it a try.
Photo credit: Yoga Journal