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Pose Duration
Uttanasana Variation: Rag Doll 5 or more deep breaths
Baddha Konasana: Cobbler’s Pose 5 or more deep breaths
Parivrtta Sukhasana: Easy Seated Twist 5 or more deep breaths on each side
Viparita Karani: Legs-Up-the-Wall 5 or more deep breaths
Balasana: Child’s Pose 5 or more deep breaths on each side
Supta Matsyendrasana: Supine Bent-Knee Twist 5 or more deep breaths on each side
Savasana: Corpse Pose 5 or more minutes

Perform the moves consecutively to create a gentle active recovery or postworkout flow.

a woman holds a forward fold

Uttanasana Variation: Rag Doll

This pose helps release tension in the most common problem areas: hamstrings, back, shoulders, neck — and more.

Hold for 5 or more deep breaths, allowing your body to relax deeper with each exhalation.

Full Instructions
  • Stand up straight with your shoulders over your hips, palms facing forward.
  • With a soft bend in your knees, hinge from your hips and pelvis to fold forward, bringing your torso toward your legs.
  • Cross your forearms to hold the opposite elbows.
  • Allow your head to hang heavy and upper body to give in to gravity.
  • With each exhalation of your breath, relax deeper.

a woman sits in cobblers pose

Baddha Konasana: Cobbler’s Pose

Opens up the hips and glutes to decrease tension and increase blood flow while also taking pressure off the lower back and knees.

Hold for 5 or more deep breaths.

Full Instructions
  • From sitting, bend both knees in toward your chest, then drop your knees out to the sides.
  • Press the bottoms of your feet together and bring your heels in toward your pelvis at a comfortable distance.
  • Place your hands on your ankles, and with each exhalation, relax your knees closer to the floor, if possible.
  • If your hips are extremely tight and you need additional support, place blocks or bolsters under your legs.

a woman holds seated twist

Parivrtta Sukhasana: Easy Seated Twist

Rotating the spine in a different axis than it normally rests in helps counteract the impact of hours of sitting. 

Hold for 5 or more deep breaths. Change your cross-legged position and repeat on the other side.

Full Instructions
  • Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, keeping your upper body tall while lifting your core up and out of the pelvis.
  • Place your left hand on your right thigh.
  • Reach your right arm forward with palm up. Inhale and rotate to the right, moving from your midback. Keep the arm parallel to your shoulder.
  • On the exhale, drop your shoulder blade and tuck your left lower ribs to rotate further; place your hand just outside the hip.
  • Release the pose, and change your cross-legged position so your other leg is in front; repeat on the other side.

a woman lies on the floor with her legs up a wall

Viparita Karani: Legs-Up-the-Wall

Changing your relationship with gravity helps decrease fluid buildup in the legs, relieves pressure in the hips and pelvis, and increases circulation.

Hold for 5 or more deep breaths, focusing on the release of tension and weight in your legs.

Full Instructions
  • Sit with your right shoulder and right hip about 3 inches away from a wall.
  • Lower your right shoulder toward the floor while pivoting and swinging your legs up the wall so both legs are straight, supported by the wall, and both your shoulders and head are on the ground.
  • If you need more support, place a pillow under your head or a bolster next to the wall and under your hips.

a woman holds childs pose

Balasana: Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose opens up the shoulders and back while the reaching portion opens up the side body.

Hold for 5 or more deep breaths on each side.

Full Instructions
  • From all fours, with toes together and knees slightly apart, lower your hips toward your heels and drop your forehead toward the floor.
  • Reach your arms forward in line with your shoulders. If you experience pain, back off your reach until you are comfortable.
  • Walk both hands 8 to 12 inches to the right while keeping your hips back toward the heels and your head centered.
  • Move the hands back to the center and hold for five or more deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

a woman lies on her back in a gentle yoga twist

Supta Matsyendrasana: Supine Bent-Knee Twist

The twisting motion of this pose wrings out any remaining tension in the chest or the glutes.

Hold for 5 or more deep breaths on each side. Use your exhalations to relax deeper into the pose.

Full Instructions
  • Lying on your back, hug both knees to your chest, giving them a squeeze that stretches the lower back.
  • Keeping your left knee at your chest, extend your right leg back to the ground.
  • Place your right arm on the outside of your left thigh while extending your left arm out to the side, perpendicular to the body and in line with your left shoulder.
  • On an exhale, gently guide your left leg to the right, aiming to keep both shoulders on the floor. Depending on how tight you are, your left shoulder may lift — don’t force it down. Use your exhalations to relax deeper into the pose.
  • Look toward the ceiling or over your left hand, and hold for five or more deep breaths. Return to center, then repeat on the opposite side.

a woman lies in savasana

Savasana: Corpse Pose

While Savasana looks simple and like a pose you could easily skip, it’s an important aspect of a restorative practice, promoting mindfulness, body awareness, and recovery. Ease into sleep or further meditation by closing your practice with this pose.

Rest in this pose for 5 minutes or more. If you have trouble releasing the chatter in your mind, focus on counting 20 long, slow, deep breaths in reverse order, from 20 to one.

Full Instructions
  • Lie face-up with your legs extended, arms slightly out at your sides with palms up.
  • With your weight distributed evenly, tune in to the subtle sensations of your breathing as you give in to gravity, relaxing your body toward the floor.
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