This sequence is a little different from a straight restorative class, as I have started the session with some shoulder and upper back opening poses (Baddanguliyasana, Garudasana and Paschima Namaskar, plus two extra actions to open the upper back area). This early part of the session also has a few hip and groin poses to bring some life and space to that area (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1 and 2, and Eka Pada Rajakopatasana).
The aim here is to bring some clear focus to the body and to certain joints which both release stiffness and also prepare for later seated pranayama.
After the initial introductory poses, we will move into three restorative postures which are practised here to create space in chest and abdominal area, and to quieten the mind: cross-bolsters, Setu Bandha over a bolster and blanket, and Viparita Karani.
Prepare now for Savasana lying over a three folded blanket. Here we can begin to observe and deepen the breath (Ujjayi 2-4) which brings our focus further inwards.
Sitting Ujjayi follows and we finish this session with Pratiloma Pranayama, alternate nostril digital pranayama for inhalation, hand down for exhalation.
Finish with Savasana to experience the quietness and nerve soothing sensation that pranayama can bring.
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You are welcome to download the PDF of the sequence and print and distribute it freely. You may have to wait up to 30 seconds for the PDF to generate. Please credit the teacher who created it. All illustrations from Dona Holleman’s ‘Yoga Darśana’, RIMYI Institute texts and Yoga Vastu illustrators for original asana drawings.