Restorative Yoga Flow Sequence (steps included)

By Melanie Kiss

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga or Yin yoga is a style of yoga that involves holding poses for longer periods of time. The essence behind the practice is to dive into the body, both physically and emotionally. This type of class tends to be difficult for many. It can bring about feelings of discomfort from holding poses for a lengthy time. It also challenges the mind by giving it fewer tasks to focus on.

Restorative Yoga Flow Sequence

Sit in a comfortable position with your legs crossed or on a block in hero’s pose.

Breathing exercise (5-10 minutes)

Relax the shoulders and the facial muscles. Sit with a straight spine.

Focus on the breath, inhaling and exhaling slowly and evenly.

Practice breath retention in the form of: 4 counts inhale, 4 counts hold (retention), 4 counts exhale, and 4 counts hold (retention). Breath retention, Kumbhaka, activates vital energy and this promotes physical and mental vitality. When you hold your breath at the end of your inhale and at the end of your exhale, be sure to use this pause as a place of rest.

A gentle warm-up consists of head circles, shoulder circles, Cat/Cow, child’s pose, downward dog, and walking the dog (bending one knee and then, the other knee).

After 5-10 minutes of warming up the body, begin with Sun Salutation A, nice and slow. Make sure that each inhale or exhale flows with one movement.

Restorative Yoga Sequence 1 & 2

Mountain pose

Right foot up → Tree pose → Standing half lotus → Forward fold in standing half lotus → Standing half lotus → Right foot back to Warrior 1 → Warrior 2 → Triangle pose → Warrior 2 → Warrior 1 → Warrior 3 → Bring right knee into chest, stand and hold

Mountain pose

Left foot up → Tree pose → Standing half lotus → Forward fold in standing half lotus → Standing half lotus → Right foot back to Warrior 1 → Warrior 2 → Triangle pose → Warrior 2 → Warrior 1 → Warrior 3 → Bring left knee into chest, stand and hold

Restorative Yoga Sequence 3

Mountain pose

Upward salute → Forward fold → Flat back → Chaturanga → Upward dog → Downward dog
Right leg up into 3-legged downward dog → Right knee in towards right wrist → Pigeon pose Hold for 3-4 mins → Sit on right bum cheek and swing left leg around to the front for Head-to-knee forward bend
Hold for 3-4 mins

Restorative Yoga Sequence 4 & 5

Cross legs, roll over knees into plank → Chaturanga → Upward dog → Downward dog. Hold for 2 mins. May use block underneath forehead. Left leg up into 3-legged downward dog → Left knee in towards the left wrist → Pigeon pose. Hold for 3-4 mins → Sit on left bum cheek and swing right leg around to the front for Head-to-knee forward bend. Hold for 3-4 mins

Cross legs, roll over knees into plank → Chaturanga → Upward dog → Downward dog
Step feet into hands and sit down → bridge pose with a block underneath the hips
Hold for 3-4 mins → Remove block lie down on back → Right knee to chest, Left leg straight on the floor -Hold for 2 mins → Right knee to the right side, hip opener
Hold for 2 mins → Right knee to left side, spinal twist. Hold for 2 mins

Restorative Yoga Sequence 6 & 7

Step feet into hands and sit down → bridge pose without a block. Hold for 1 min.
Lie down on back → Left knee to chest, Right leg straight on the floor. Hold for 2 mins → Left knee to the right side, hip opener. Hold for 2 mins → Left knee to Right side, spinal twist. Hold for 2 mins.
Roll back and forth a few times, then roll to seated position
Reclining bound angle pose with blocks, one block lengthwise under your shoulder blade and one slightly higher beneath the base of your skull, not your neck. Hold 3-4 mins

Sit up slowly and windshield your knees, one then the other
Grab your toes with your index and middle finger of each hand, open your legs to wide angle seated forward bend B, up on your sit bones. Hold for 1 min → Slowly bring legs down to wide angle seated forward bend A, on the floor. Hold for 2 mins
Gently cross legs, roll over knees into plank → Chaturanga → Upward dog → Downward dog
Place both knees to the floor → Hero pose, on elbows OR reclined. Hold for 3 mins
Slowly come up to a seated position
Corpse pose
Meditation session

Namaste!

Learn more about restorative yoga when you book one of our retreats at the Yoga Loft.