Skip to main content

Restorative and pranayama to develop your foundations

Using the support of bolsters in different ways to regenerate energy and open up the body.

Contents

Introduction

This class focuses on restorative poses and a short session of pranayama in the Iyengar method. It is intended for students that have completed a beginners course at a certified Iyengar yoga studio. Pixie Lillas guides students with 3-9 months experience through a series of simple chest opening poses. The class allows you to build on the work that you would have already done in a beginners course.

We start out in Supta Swastikasana, reclining over a bolster with the arms outstretched and a blanket under the head. We add some blankets under the legs to help to release but not overstrain the groin muscles. We follow on with simple cross-legs forwards over a bolster and blanket for support under the arms, head and buttocks.

We move to some arm extensions and poses from standing Tadasana. Urdhva Hastasana (arms over the head), Garudasana (arms crossed in front of the chest) and hands in Namaskar or holding the elbows behind the back. The sequence moves to Adho Mukha Svanasana (dogpose) with the a bolster for head support followed by Virasana forwards continuing with the head support.

We then move to some longer, still poses using some bolsters for support. Cross bolsters, T-Shapes Bolsters and Viparita Karani with legs up the wall are all held for a longer period of time to allow your body to relax into the pose for some more passive, restorative actions.

We finish with a combination of short pranayama breathing with blankets under the back and head for support, which leads straight into Savasana to finish the sequence.

View sequence

Supta Swastikasana
Simple Cross Legs Lying Back
Cross your legs and lie back over support or straight onto your mat.
Simple Cross Legs Forward
Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your sit-bones pointing down as you stretch your arms forward to capacity, lengthening your spine.
Tadasana
Mountain Pose
Stand up tall and straight, place your feet close together, with your heels and big toes touching. Imagine as if you are standing with your back against the wall. Extend your whole body from the heels up through the crown of your head.
Urdhva Baddanguliyasana
Upward Salute with Interlocked Fingers
Stretch your arms in front of you and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms inside out and lift your arms up overhead, making sure to keep your shoulders open. Change the interlock of your fingers and repeat.
Garudasana
Eagle Pose
Sit your hips back into Utkatasana (Chair Pose). Cross one leg over the other and balance. Then, cross your arms at the elbows so that both your pinkies are pointing forwards. Then try to lift your hands to capacity while keeping your shoulders level and chest open.
Paschima Namaskar
Reverse Prayer Pose
Stand in Tadasana and spread your arms outward. Then bring your hands behind your back, join your palms together, and walk them up to capacity. If you lack wrist mobility, you can also simply grab hold of your elbows.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body while lifting your hips up as high off the ground as possible. If necessary, bend your knees a little but stay strong in the legs.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your head on the floor or on a block.
Supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Supported Bridge Pose
Lie down over support placed under the whole of your body from the thoracic spine down to your knees. The shoulders swoop down to touch the floor. Spread your arms outward or slightly at your side. Activate your feet and press them into the wall.
Supta Swastikasana
Simple Cross Legs Lying Back
Cross your legs and lie back over support or straight onto your mat.
Simple Cross Legs Forward
Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your sit-bones pointing down as you stretch your arms forward to capacity, lengthening your spine.
Viparita Karani
Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
Bring your hips up to the wall and lift your legs up. You can use a bolster or other form of support under your hips and lumbar spine to incorporate a mild backbend into the pose.
Supta Swastikasana
Simple Cross Legs Lying Back
Cross your legs and lie back over support or straight onto your mat.
Savasana
Corpse Pose
Lie down on the floor. Spread your arms and legs slightly at your side. Relax and concentrate on your breath.