In this article, you will learn a variety of kneeling or face-down Prone RESTORATIVE Yoga Poses & Asanas. Prone poses feature the student either lying on their stomach, flat on the mat, kneeling with the support of hands or forearms, or entirely supported with the aid of yoga props.

Reprogram the Body

Restorative Yoga rewires our muscle memory by allowing us to work deep into the fascia where we store past trauma, negative emotions, and hold onto the past. Through the practice of restorative yoga poses, we are able to release blocked energy in the body that is creating discomfort and disease. Restorative Yoga helps us to break up and release these negative energy patterns so we can be pain free.

Emotional Release

Restorative Yoga Poses are held for 4 – 5 minutes, working deep into the muscle fascia where we harbor our energetic blockages. During a restorative yoga session, different negative emotions that have been buried in our connective tissue are finally able to come up to the surface. Fear comes up, anger, self-righteousness, frustration, anxiety and all the other negative emotions holding us back in life. From a place of peace, we are able to release these blockages.


Prone Restorative Yoga Asanas


Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Adho Mukha Mandukasana

Downward Facing Frog Pose

Pose Type: Hip Opener

Description: To enter the pose, start in table top pose on your yoga mat. Mindfully begin to take the knees out to either side of the mat until they are as wide as is comfortable. Bring the ankles in line behind the knees with the feet turned outward. Lower the forearms to the mat, with the palms down. Bring awareness into the hip and groin area and slowly release the hips further down to the ground. Allow your forehead to rest on the mat, keeping the chin slightly tucked. If the floor is too far away, place a blanket or yoga bolster under your chest and head to rest upon, allowing you to relax and sink deeper into the pose. Yogis with sensitive joints may choose to modify this asana by placing a folded blanket under the knees and elbows to provide additional padding and relieve pressure. 

Benefits: Downward Facing Frog Pose is a powerful hip opener and inner groin stretch, with a wide range of health benefits. It is particularly beneficial for runners and other athletes who may be prone to tightness in the hips and groin. This pose helps to release the chest and shoulders. Acting as a gentle backbend, the action of this pose counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting. Also known to aid in the overall digestive process.


Reverse Corpse Pose Adho Mukha Savasana Front Corpse Pose Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Adho Mukha Savasana (Advasana)

Reverse Corpse Pose

Pose Type: Inversion

Description: Start by lying face-down on the mat. The important part of this pose is to get into a comfortable position, so don’t be afraid to use props like bolsters and pillows under the pelvis and chest to lift up off the floor slightly and decrease points that may be bothered lying face down. The head can be turned to either side, or if the chest is lifted, it can stay in a neutral position. The arms lay comfortably beside the body while the back and lower body muscles soften. This pose can be practiced in place of or in addition to savasana as a place of rest.

Benefits: This pose relieves pressure on the discs in the spine and can bring space into the lumbar spine when the chest is supported by pillows or bolsters. If practiced with the head in a neutral position, this pose can help alleviate a stiff or tense neck muscles. By lying face-down while breathing, it forces air into the back parts of the lungs therefore increasing their capacity.



Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Anjaneyasana (variation)

Low Lunge Forward Fold

Pose Type:  Forward Bend

Description:  Start off in a low lunge with the right foot forward and the left leg back. The right knee is bent in a 90-degree angle directly above the ankle and the left knee is resting on the earth with the top of the left foot pressed firmly into the earth. The hips are squared and pressed forward. The inner thighs scissor toward each other. The pelvis is tucked under to protect the low back. The ribcage is lifted. The arms are on either side of the front foot for balance. Now lean your upper body forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the right calf muscle and achilles tendon. Your knee will now come forward of the right ankle slightly. Drop the head to enjoy a deeper stretch and dually benefit from the gentle decompression to the cervical spine.

Benefits:  Creates flexibility and strength. Promotes stability in the front and back of the torso. Tones the lower body. Deeply stretches the hip flexors, psoas, quads & calves.


Half-Frog-Yoga Pose Ardha Bhekasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Ardha Bhekasana

Half Toad Pose

Pose Type: Back Bend / Hip Opener

Description:  Start out by lying down on the belly, with the forearms parallel to one another, underneath the shoulders. Take note that your fingers are pointing straight away from the body. If you want a deeper stretch, you can rest on the palm of your hands on the mat, verses the forearms. Press your forearms or palms into the mat and lift your torso and head. This should create a mild back bend. Keep your pelvis and legs pinned to the ground as you lift. Bend the left knee, bringing the left heel inward towards the left buttock. Reach the left hand back and place the palm down on the top of the left foot. Fingers point in the same direction as the toes, elbow pointing toward the wall behind you. The foot is pressed close to the buttock and, if possible, even toward the floor. The knees, hips and shoulders remain aligned.

Benefits:  Half Toad Pose stimulates the abdominal organs, strengthens the back, opens the chest, and throat chakra. This pose primarily stretches the ankles, thighs, abs, groin and deep hip flexors. Ardha Bhekasana is especially beneficial for runners, dancers or hikers as regular practice decreases the risk of knee injuries. It also improves digestion, blood flow and posture, and has even been known to reduce flat feet. This is one of many poses traditionally considered to destroy and prevent disease.


half bow pose ardha dhanurasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Ardha Dhanurasana

Half Bow Pose

Pose Type:  Back Bend

Description:  From a kneeling position, extend one arm forward and the opposite leg towards the back, keep the neck in line with the spine. Bend the top knee and bring the extended hand backwards to catch the foot or toes. Start to lift the knee and chest higher to create an arch.

Benefits:  Stretches the back muscles and the front body. Stimulates the abdominal organs and lungs. Improves balance.


Half Splits Half Monkey Pose Ardha Hanumanasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Ardha Hanumanasana

Half Splits / Half Monkey Pose

Pose Type: Hip Opener

Description: Begin in a low lunge on the left side, with the left knee forward and bent at a 90 degree angle. From this position, the right knee releases down to the ground. Now, walk the hands back until they are even with the hips. Next, shift the hips back as you straighten your left leg. Ensure your left toes pointing to the sky. The upper body then folds forward over the left thigh. Keep your arms to the side of your body for stability. While maintaining a flat spine, you can drop the head to enjoy a stretch for the back of the neck. Those with limited flexibility may rest their hands on their hips or on blocks placed on either side of the front leg.

Benefits: Half Splits pose is particularly beneficial for runners as it improves flexibility in the back of the legs, particularly in the hamstrings, and opens the hips. The pose is believed to relieve sciatica pain, improve overall balance, encourage spinal alignment and stretches the lower back. Ardha Hanumansana stimulates the abdominal organs, while reducing stress and fatigue.


Ardha Mandukasana Half Frog Pose Prone Restorative Yoga Pose

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Ardha Mandukasana

Half Frog Pose

Pose Type:  Back Bend / Hip Opener

Description: Lie face down on the stomach, bringing your arms forward in front of the body and rest your head on your hands or forearms. Now bring your right knee up to the level of the hips. For those of you who need extra support in this pose, place a yoga bolster or pillow underneath the upper body to lay upon. This will take a bit of pressure off of the low back and allow you to relax deeper into the pose.

Benefits: Ardha Mandukasana is known for its deep stretching and opening benefits for the body. It is considered beneficial when recovering from illnesses, such as the flu, because it improves whole body circulation by opening and stretching into the hips. On a holistic level, it is said to be good for releasing emotional stress which accumulates in the hips, particularly during times of worry or fear. However, it is advised that Half Frog Pose be taken gently because the intensity of the hip opening releasing trapped emotions can leave one feeling vulnerable. On an energetic level, this pose is said to help spark creativity and allow access to your innate potential, cultivating an attitude of playfulness and curiosity in the face of difficulty.


Half Pyramid Pose Ardha Parsvottanasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Ardha Parsvottanasana

Half Pyramid Pose

Pose Type:  Forward Bend

Description: The legs are firmly grounded into the mat, with the legs separated into a wide “V,” the feet pointing in the same direction, and the torso facing the mat. The torso is then lowered toward the front leg by hinging at the hips with the back straight. The hands reach down beside the leg for stability & balance.
Yoga props that may be used in this asana include a folded blanket under the knees and a yoga block under the hands.

Benefits: Improves digestion. Stretches the legs. Lengthens the back of the body. Calms the mind. Strengthens the nervous system.


wide child's pose with side stretch Balasana variation Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Balasana (variation)

Wide Child’s Pose with Side Stretch

Pose Type:  Forward Bend

Description: From Wide Child’s (Balasana), the forehead rolls to one side and then the other. You may reach both arms off to the left & right side to modify this pose and increase the stretch in the side body.

Benefits:  Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles. Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue. Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported. With the modified side stretch, it elongates the side body & opens the lungs.


Childs-Yoga-Pose Balasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Balasana

Child’s Pose

Pose Type:  Forward Bend

Description:  From a kneeling position, the toes and knees are together with most of the weight of the body resting on the heels of the feet. The arms are extended back resting alongside the legs. The forehead rests softly onto the earth. The gaze is down and inward.

Benefits: Can reduce headaches. May relieve stress, tension and fatigue. Reduces mild back and neck pain. Stretches the hips, quads, and ankles.


wide leg child's pose Balasana variation Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Balasana (variation)

Wide Leg Child’s Pose

Pose Type:  Forward Bend

Description: From Extended Child’s (Utthita Balasana), the knees are open wide and the big toes are touching with most of the weight of the body on the heels of the feet. The forehead rests softly onto the earth. The arms extend to the front with the fingers spread wide. The gaze is down and inward.

Benefits:  Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles. Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue. Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.


frog cobra pose bheka bhujangasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses
Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Bheka Bhujangasana

Frog Cobra Pose

Pose Type: Back Bend

Description: To practice Frog Cobra Pose, begin in a wide legged Child’s pose. Then pull the feet together with the soles of both feet touching and the knees dropped to either side- as if in butterfly pose, but inverted. Push up with the palms and straighten the arms, arching the back and gazing forward. If this pose is too intense with the arms extended, feel free to drop down onto the forearms, ensuring the elbows are directly underneath the shoulders. In either variation, the eyes close and the dristi is brought inward.

Benefits: Bheka Bhujangasana gently opens the throat and chest, promoting respiration. Stretches the inner thigh, hips, and low back. Well known as a deep opener for the groin, hip flexors and psoas. Mildly compresses the lower back, lengthens and stimulates the spine. Strengthens the abdominal muscles, arms and shoulders. Known to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.


Toad Pose Bhekasana Variation of Frog Pose Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Bhekasana (advanced variation)

Toad Pose

Pose Type: Back Bend

Description: Lie down on the belly, bring the heels to the buttocks and grab the feet. In this pose, the knees are separated. The thighs remain on the ground and the hands press down on the feet. For a restorative posture, you may allow the head to drop, utilizing yoga props such as bolsters, blocks or pillows under the shoulders and forehead. This will decrease the intensity of the back bend but allow for deeper relaxation.

Benefits: Bhekasana promotes focus, productivity and inner acceptance. This pose provides slight compression for the lumbar spine, while stretching the hip flexors and psoas.


Cow-Yoga-Pose Bitilasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Bitilasana

Cow Pose

Pose Type:  Back Bend

Description: From Table Top Pose, the ribcage is lifted with a gentle sway in the low back. The tailbone lifts up into dog tilt. The eyes are soft and the gaze is to the sky.

Benefits:  Removes fatigue. Relaxes the mind and help alleviate stress. Improves breathing and the circulation of blood to the brain. Rejuvenates the entire body. May relieve mild back pain.


Bharmanasana Table Top Pose

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Bharmanasana

Table Top Pose

Pose Type:  Neutral Position

Description:  In this pose, the yogi places the knees on the mat hip-width apart and vertical to the hips. The toes touch the ground with the feet directly behind the knees. The palms are placed directly under the shoulders. The gaze is fixed on the space between the palms.

Benefits:  Table Top Pose is often used as a transitional posture when moving between seated poses and inversions. This pose is a relaxing posture that relieves tension in the spine. In this pose, the chest is not under as much pressure, so the lungs can expand freely for a deeper and more fulfilling pranayama practice. The health benefits of table pose include strengthening the wrists, arms and shoulders. In addition, it stretches the spine while toning the back muscles. The mental health benefits of Bharmanasana help to energize the mind, treat mild depression, promote feelings of calmness and the yogi’s sense of balance in life.


Table Top Pose w/ Arm Extension Bharmanasana (variation)

Bharmanasana (variation)

Table Top Pose w/ Arm Extension

Pose Type:  Twist

Description:  From Table Top Pose, root down into the left hand and reach the right hand straight into the sky. Extend and revolve your rib cage upwards and try to stack your right shoulder in line over your left shoulder. Take the gaze towards the top hand. You can flow in this pose by swooping the right arm underneath your torso, behind the left armpit, extending beyond the left side body (ensuring that your right palm is facing the ceiling). Allow the right side of your temple rest on the mat. On the next inhale, reverse this motion by sweeping the right arm up toward the sky, revolving to open up the chest. On the next exhale, swoop the right arm under the body, repeating this movement on the in and out breath, at your own pace.

Benefits:  This pose helps open the heart and chest, while also improving balance and spinal flexibility.


Eka Bhuja Swastikasana I, One-Armed Shoulder Opener
One-Arm Shoulder Opener

Eka Bhuja Swastikasana I

One-Arm Shoulder Opener

Pose Type:  Chest / Shoulder Opener

Description: Lie on your stomach and bring your arms to a T, palms face down. Bend your left knee and roll onto your right side, placing your left foot behind your right leg for balance. Press your left palm into the ground to act as a kickstand in front of you. Allow your neck to completely release and the side of your head to relax to the ground. If it doesn’t quite reach, you can use a low pillow or blanket. To start, relax your legs and keep the hips propped one on top of the other. Control the stretch in the right shoulder by using the left palm to roll yourself more completely onto the right shoulder. Take a half bind by bringing the left hand behind the low back area.

Benefits:  This pose focuses on opening up any areas of impingement in the shoulders, allowing for freedom of movement in the shoulder girdle. Known to be very beneficial for those who have scoliosis. By practicing this pose every day, you will maintain shoulder mobility and no longer slump forward in your posture. In addition, the chest opening benefits of this pose help to balance the Heart Chakra.

eka pada rajakpotasana Downward-Facing-Pigeon-Yoga-Pose Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Eka Pada Rajakpotasana

Sleeping Pigeon / Half Pigeon Pose

Pose Type:  Forward Bend

Description:  Start in Pigeon Pose and slowly down on onto the forearms. If accessible, allow the forehead to rest on the floor with your arms outstretched overhead, palms facing down.

Benefits:  Increases flexibility. Unlocks the SI joint and decompresses the lumbar spine. Excellent stretch for the inner hamstrings, glutes and low back muscles.


Superior Pose Jyestikasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Jyestikasana

Superior Pose

Pose Type: Core

Description: It is performed lying supine on the belly with the hands interlaced behind the head while the forehead and elbows rest on the ground. The intention during superior pose is to relax the entire body. Pose can be modified by placing a folded blanket under the forehead. The hands can also be placed under the forehead, palms up. Great alternative to corpse or crocodile pose.

Benefits: Soothing asana for both body and mind. Promotes rest and relaxation. Relieves stiffness in the upper back and neck. Soothes low back pain. Supports the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Superior pose is considered to be beneficial for the nervous system because the supported nature of the pose encourages the muscles of the entire body to relax.


crocodile pose makarasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Makarasana

Crocodile Pose

Pose Type: Back Bend

Description: To enter this pose, begin by lying face down on a yoga mat. Lengthen the legs and part the heels a couple feet apart, toes pointing outward. Slowly raise the head up and cross the arms underneath so that the forehead can rest gently on the wrists. Close the eyes and relax the entire body.

Benefits: Practicing diaphragmatic breathing while in crocodile pose will increase its positive effects. Relieves stress and anxiety. Relaxes both mind and body. Helps clear congestion. Promotes restful sleep. Releases lower back tension. Regulates high blood pressure.


Wide Frog Pose Mandukasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Mandukasana

Frog Pose

Pose Type: Hip Opener

Description: To enter the pose, begin in a tabletop position on the mat. Place a blanket or folded yoga mat under the knees to help provide cushion. Mindfully allow the knees to move out to the sides of the mat or wider, keeping the ankles and feet in-line with the knees. The forearms drop to the floor with the palms flat. Now, shift the hips slightly backward. Keep the neck neutral or allow the head to hand, creating a gentle stretch to the back of the neck. Close your eyes and focus your attention on breathing into the hips and low back.

Benefits: Mandukasana refers to one of several yoga asanas that resemble a frog. The term comes from the Sanskrit word manduka meaning “frog.” This asana is an intense hip-opener, stretching the inner thighs and groin, chest and shoulders. Mandukasana helps to relieve anxiety, stress and mild depression. Traditionally, mandukasana is believed to open the Svadisthana Sacral Chakra. Activating this chakra promotes focus, productivity and inner acceptance.


Cat Yoga Pose Marjaryasana

Marjaryasana

Cat Pose

Pose Type:  Inversion

Description: From Table Top position, shift some weight to the palms. The wrists, elbows and shoulders are in one line. The abdomen is pulled in and up with the spine arched in a strong Cobra spine. The crown of the head is towards the earth and the neck is relaxed. The gaze is between the arms towards the belly.

Benefits:  Relaxes the mind and help alleviate stress. May relieve mild back pain. Stretches the spine and neck. Energizes the body.

Flapping Fish Pose Matsya Kridasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Matsya Kridasana

Flapping Fish Pose

Pose Type: Hip Opener

Description: In this pose, the yogi lies on the stomach with the head turned to the left, the right cheek resting on the hands folded beneath. The left knee is brought under the body to the rib cage and held for as long as desired then repeated with the right leg.

Benefits: Relaxing and soothing posture for the body and mind. It provides a gentle, asymmetrical supported stretch for the muscles. Reduces insomnia. Stimulates the abdominal region and peristalsis. Relieves constipation and digestive issues. Stretches the side of the waist, which is believed to reduce fat. Relaxes the lower back. Eases sciatica and restless leg syndrome.


Revolved Low Cobra Yoga Pose Parivrtta Ardha Bhujangasana

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Parivrtta Ardha Bhujasana

Revolved Low Cobra Pose

Pose Type: Back Bend / Twist

Description: Begin by lying face down with your legs extended behind you, hip-width apart and the tops of your feet rested. Spread your fingers wide and place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers pointing toward the top of the mat. Hug your elbows into the sides of your body. Press down through the tops of your feet and lift your head and chest off the floor. Keep your lower ribs on the floor. Draw your shoulders back and your heart forward keeping your head neutral as a natural extension of your spine and your shoulders rolled down and away from your ears. Begin to pushing up through the hands, slowly lifting your chest up while pressing the tops of your thighs down firmly into the floor. At this point, evaluate the sensation in your low back. If you feeling a pinching sensation, it is an indication that you need to back off the intensity of the stretch by coming down onto your forearms. If your flexibility allows, you can straighten your arms all the way while maintaining the connection of the front of your pelvis and legs with the floor. Whether you are resting on your forearms or pushing through the hands, bring your left hand or left elbow to the middle of your torso, centerline in front of your body. Now rotate to the right, placing the right hand on the back of the right thigh. Stack pillows or yoga bolsters under your chest if you feel that additional support is needed to relax into this pose.

Benefits: Revolved Low Cobra increases the flexibility of the spine. Stretches the chest and abdominals while strengthening the spine and shoulders. This stretch has been known to relieve mild back pain. The twisting action of this pose stimulates the internal organs and may improve digestion. The chest opening properties of this pose help to increase lung capacity with frequent use, while proven to be very therapeutic for those who suffer from asthma. On an emotional level, this pose can relieve stress, anxiety and chronic fatigue.


Revolved Pigeon Pose Parivrtta Kapotasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Parivrtta Kapotasana

Revolved Pigeon Pose

Pose Type: Twist

Description: Revolved pigeon pose is entered into from the classical pigeon pose. Start by coming into a low lunge on the right side, while keeping the left knee resting on the mat. Make sure the hips are parallel and squared to the earth. Go ahead and bend into the right knee to create a 45-degree angle and bring the outer right shin bone down to meet the earth. The right foot rests as close to the groin as possible. The left leg is extended back with the knee and the back foot squared, parallel and pressed firmly into the earth. Glance back to ensure the left leg is in alignment with the left hip and make adjustments if need be. The rib cage should be lifted, so the heart is open. The left hand or the left forearm is placed toward the center of the mat in front of the right shin. To complete this pose, go ahead and twist to the right, opening up the chest and heart. Allow the right arm to wrap around the back and take hold of the waist or hip, or take a bind by clasping the right foot or big toe.

Benefits: Provides the hip opening effects of the classical pigeon pose, while adding in the benefits of a twist. It moves the stretch from the posterior part of the gluteus maximus into the lateral portion, and it specifically stretches the area where the glutes and the tensor fasciae latae both insert into the iliotibial band, an area which is tight for many yogis. Releases tension in the back. Stretches the hip flexors. Opens the front of the body.


threading the needle pose parsva balasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Parsva Balasana

Threading the Needle Pose

Pose Type:  Twist

Description: Begin in a prone position, kneeling on the yoga mat. For extra support, place a folded blanket under the knees. To enter the pose, start out in a table top position with knees under hips and hands under the shoulders. Next, the right arm is “threaded” under the body, extending out at shoulder height on the left side of the body, with the palm facing the ceiling. Rotate the upper body until your right shoulder & the right side of your head touches the ground. Keep your left palm planted on the floor under the left shoulder. Another option is to reach your left arm out above your body for balance and support. Advanced Yogi’s can also choose to take a half bind, by tucking the left arm behind the low back. Close your eyes and breathe into the twist.

Benefits:  Parsva balasana is the perfect posture for anyone experiencing chronic stress and tension, particularly for those who hold tension in their upper body, neck and shoulder. It is thought that the twist through the spine helps to “wring out” negative energy, releasing both physical and mental tension, and preparing it for fresh nourishment. This is a good posture for learning how to balance effort and ease because the inhale lengthens the spine, while the exhale relaxes the body and deepens the twist. Threading the Needle Pose is also a good posture for balancing the Muladhara Root Chakra. When balanced, it can help the yogi feel more grounded and connected to the earth.

side bow pose parsva dhanurasana

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Parsva Dhanurasana

Side Bow Pose

Pose Type:  Back Bend

Description:  Begin by lying flat on your stomach with your chin resting center and your hands resting at your sides. Bend your knees. Reach back with your hands and catch your outer ankles. As you lift your heels up toward the sky, draw your thighs up, and press your ankles into your hands. Lift your chest off the ground all at the same time. Keep your grip and chest expansion as you roll to one side.

Benefits:  Stretches the entire front of the body, opens the shoulders and chest (pectoral major/minor). At the same time, strengthens the back muscles.


Sphinx-Yoga-Pose Salamba Bhuangasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Salamba Bhujangasana

Sphinx Pose

Pose Type:  Back Bend

Description:  From a prone position with the pelvic bowl is firmly contracted interiorly towards the centerline of the body while the pubis is tucked under. The legs are extended back and the tops of the feet are flat. The palms are flat and the elbows are on the mat, stacked right below the shoulders. On an inhalation, lift the sternum and extend the neck away from shoulders with the elbows, palms and pelvic bone firmly attached to the mat.

Benefits:  Strengthens the spine. Stretches the chest, the lungs, the shoulders and the abdomen. Stimulates the abdominal organs. Opens the heart and the lungs.


rabbit yoga pose Hare Pose Moon Pose Sasangasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Sasangasana

Rabbit / Hare / Moon Pose

Pose Type:  Forward Bend

Description: To start out, let’s begin in Child’s Pose, kneeling on the mat. Go ahead and place a yoga bolster or pillow in between thighs and calves for support. Bow forward, resting the torso onto the fronts of the thighs and the forehead onto the earth. If it’s hard for your forehead to reach the floor, use a yoga block or folded blanket to bring the floor closer to you. Next, walk the hands up to meet the forehead, shifting some weight to the crown of the head. Find the maximum comfortable neck stretch and then reach back and grip the base of the feet (using a yoga strap if necessary). To increase the stretch and come into the full expression of the pose, gradually lift or elevate your hips. Be sure to keep your forehead as close as possible to your knees and the topmost part of your skull (crown of the head) on the earth. If bringing your arms back to clasp the feet is just too difficult, you can support the upper body on the forearms. This will take some intensity out of the pose and provide balance.

Benefits:  Practicing Sasangasana can relieve stress and irritation. It calms the mind, alleviates fatigue, and may reduce mild depression. Helps to cure sinus problems, colds and chronic tonsillitis. Strengthens and firms the abdomen, while stretching the back muscles. Gently removes tension from the upper back and neck, improving overall posture. This pose also stimulates the thyroid & thymus gland and entire endocrine system. It is recommended to perform this pose for long periods of time in order to fully benefit from it. This posture opens the heart chakra by rounding and lengthening the spine. Sasangasana also increases the flow of prana to the brain and improves blood flow through the ajna (crown) chakra.


Lizard-Yoga-Pose Uttana Pristhasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Uttana Pristhasana

Lizard Pose

Pose Type:  Hip Opener

Description:  Begin in Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Draw it forward into a lunge position, placing your right foot on the floor on the outside of your right hand. You may remain resting on the palms or come down to forearms. Let the head hang, keeping your neck relaxed or gently lift your head to gaze forward.

Benefits: Opens the hips. May relieve stress, fatigue and anxiety. Stretches the quads, hamstrings, hips, and inner thighs.


Extended-Puppy-Yoga-Pose Uttana Shishosana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Uttana Shishosana

Extended Puppy Pose

Pose Type:  Back Bend

Description:  Start out in an all-fours table top position, with the hands underneath the shoulders and the knees under the hips. Now walk the hands out until the arms are extended straight and there is no longer any bend in the elbows. The hips are squared to the earth, and the knees remain directly in alignment with the hips. Slightly tuck the chin so the forehead and chest rest on the earth. The extended arms press downward into the mat for a deeper stretch. The hips remain at a 90 degree angle to the knees, gently pulling back towards the heels, elongating the spine. The shins and the top of the feet are flat down on the mat. A blanket can be used under the forehead and chest to relax the neck if needed. In addition, if you have sensitive knee joints a blanket or bolster can be placed under the knees for support. Be aware that this pose does create a slight curve in the lower back.

Benefits:  Extended Puppy Pose helps to realign the spine and is a good preparation for deeper back bends. This pose can relieve stress and anxiety. It opens the chest and shoulders, stretches the lats, abs, and entire spine.


Utthana Skandhaḥasana Criss-Cross Shoulder Stretch

Utthana Skandhaḥasana

Criss-Cross Shoulder Stretch

Pose Type: Inversion (without props)

Description: Lie on your stomach and place a bolster or a rolled towel under your lower ribs. Criss-cross your arms at the elbows and by taking your right arm over your left. Reach the arms away from each other with your palms facing up. Now curl your toes under and shift your shoulders about one to two inches towards the wall in front of you, as this intensifies the stretch. Now release the top of your feet back down to the mat. Make sure you have a big enough towel roll or bolster to take the weight off your shoulders so you can relax here. If this is too intense, add another towel or yoga bolster under the chest. This pose can be done with or without yoga props. Try entering the pose without support under the torso. Within a few moments, you will know whether or not your body needs support.

Benefits: Stretches the deltoids, triceps, teres minor, upper trapezius, rhomboids and entire shoulder girdle. Opens the back of the lungs and stretches all of the upper back muscles connecting to the thoracic spine.


extended child's pose utthita balasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Utthita Balasana

Extended Child’s Pose

Pose Type:  Forward Bend

Description:  From a kneeling position, the toes and knees are together with most of the weight of the body resting on the heels of the feet. The arms are by the side body and the fingers are relaxed. The forehead rest softly onto the earth. The gaze is down and inward.

Benefits:  Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles. Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue. Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.


Extended Table Top Sunbird Pose Utthita Cakravakasana Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Prone Restorative Yoga Poses

Utthita Cakravakasana

Extended Table Top / Sunbird Pose

Pose Type: Balance

Description: Begin in table top pose on the hands and knees with the back parallel to the ground. One leg is lifted and extended straight back while the opposite arm reaches forward. Alternating back & forth between opposite sides is an excellent way to arm up the spine at the beginning of a restorative practice. If the posture puts too much strain on the knees, a blanket can be placed under them, but yogis with knee injuries should skip this pose.

Benefits: Improves physical balance, memory and focus. Relieves fatigue, stress and tension.


Examples of Prone Restorative Yoga Poses with Support:

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Micah Lyn is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner HHP, Intuitive Healer and E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Teacher registered with Yoga Alliance and KRI. She offers a variety of private yoga classes in Sedona AZ, yoga therapy and intuitive healing services at Pachamama Yoga ✨ Sedona Healing Center. Visit the YTT Programs & Workshops page to see upcoming Online & Hands-on Intensive Yoga Teacher Training, Virtual Online Yoga Workshops & Transformational Yoga Retreats featured worldwide.

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