You know those days when you feel so exhausted that you don’t want to get out of bed, let alone do your yoga practice?
When our energy is low and our motivation is fleeting, skipping our practice is highly tempting.
But do you know what is the best thing to do on those days we feel like we are on 1% battery?
Now hear me out; I’m not about to suggest you go for a run or hit the gym. Instead of pushing yourself to exercise vigorously, try something more restorative, like a few supine yoga poses on your bed!
- 1 A Super Gentle 20-Minute Supine Yoga Sequence
- 2 Final Thoughts On Supine Yoga Poses
A Super Gentle 20-Minute Supine Yoga Sequence
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to your yoga mat. You can do this short, relaxing supine yoga pose sequence directly from your bed.
Bridge pose is a relaxing yet energizing reclined back bend, perfect for cultivating energy. It strengthens the back, glutes, and thighs while stretching the torso, chest, and shoulders. It is also particularly good for relieving tension or fatigue and improving spinal mobility.
- With your knees bent, walk your feet towards your buttocks, then press your feet into the ground to lift your hips.
- Clasp your hands behind your back and pull your shoulder blades towards each other.
- Press your forearms into the floor and lift the hips slightly higher. Engage your thighs, so the knees don’t splay out.
- Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then slowly roll your spine down.
Reclined Pigeon/ Figure 4
This reclined version of the pigeon pose stretches the outer hip flexors and glutes, helping to improve the range of motion in the hip region. It also gives a nice stretch to the lower back and can be emotionally cleansing, as it is believed our emotions are stored in our hips.
- With bent knees, lift your right foot and open the knee to the side, placing the ankle over the left knee.
- Gently press to the right knee away from you. If you already feel a good stretch, stay here with your left foot on the ground.
- Alternatively, to go deeper, grab the back of the left thigh and lift the foot, drawing the thigh towards you.
- Keep your back on the ground and hold for 10 breaths before repeating on the other side.
Supine Spinal Twist Pose
The supine twist yoga pose (also called reclined spinal twist) is included in almost every yoga practice and is usually placed at the end right before savasana. It realigns the spine and hydrates the spinal disks, helps relieve lower back pain or tension, relaxes the shoulders, and stretches the chest and torso.
Twists have many benefits; for example, they apply pressure to the abdominal organs, which can help improve the digestive system’s functioning. Hence, a supine spinal twist is perfect for doing after dinner.
On an energetic level, supine twists are calming for the mind, restoring equilibrium in the nervous system. Thus, they help prepare you for a restful, undisturbed sleep, so you will wake up tomorrow with more energy.
There are three variations of the supine spinal twist:
In the classic supine spinal twist, one leg is bent while the bottom leg remains straight.
- Bend the right knee, hugging it in towards you.
- Keeping your left hand on the knee, open your right arm to the side (in line with the shoulder). Slowly drop your bent knee to the left side, allowing the weight of the hand to add gentle pressure without pushing with force.
- Ensure your right shoulder stays on the ground. For an added neck stretch, turn to look at your right arm.
- Stay here for 10 breaths, then bend the previously extended leg, dropping the knee in the opposite direction.
Belly Twist Pose
In this variation, both legs bent are bent. It gives a gentler stretch than the classic supine spinal twist but also allows you to target where you want to feel it in your back. For example, by bringing your knees up higher, you will get a deeper stretch in the mid and upper back, while if you bring the knees lower, you’ll get a more even stretch along the spine.
- Bend both knees and drop them to the right side.
- Open both arms out to shoulder height and press into the shoulder blades, keeping the shoulders flat.
- Turn to gaze to the left side and hold for 10 breaths.
- Lift your knees and drop them to the left side, turning your gaze to the right hand.
Eagle legs Supine Twist
This variation involves binding the legs in the eagle pose position. This adds a stretch to the outer hips and glutes, along with the spinal twist.
- Bend both knees and wrap your left leg over your right, crossing at the thighs. Option to tuck your left toes behind your right ankle.
- Drop both knees to the right and hold for 5 to 10 breaths with extended arms.
- Lift the knees, release the legs, and bind the opposite way, bringing the right leg across the left. Drop the knees to the left side.
Knees To Chest Pose
This easy supine yoga pose feels delicious and comforting, releasing tension in the low back and relaxing the spine.
Apanasana is the perfect counterpose for bridge pose and supine spinal twist and serves as one of the preparatory poses for deeper spinal stretches like plow pose. Plus, as it adds gentle pressure to the abdominal muscles, it stimulates the digestive system too.
Bend your knees and hug them to your chest while keeping your back and shoulders on the ground. Gently rock side to side to massage the spine and lower back muscles.
For a deeper stretch, lift your head, bringing your forehead to your knees for a few seconds, then release.
The reclined butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana) gives a lovely stretch to the groin, inner thighs, and hip flexors and is a fantastic supine yoga pose for tight hips.
Bring the soles of your feet together and open your knees out to the side, allowing them to drop down. For extra comfort, place a pillow or folded blanket under each knee.
Relax your back and bring one hand to your heart and the other to your belly as you breathe deeper. Or, to add an additional stretch to the side body and arms, reach your arms overhead and clasp opposite elbows.
Legs Up The Wall
This super restorative reclined yoga posture is an antidote for long days on your feet or intense workouts. It improves overall blood circulation and brings fresh blood to the hips, abdominal organs, and brain, replenishing your physical and mental energy.
If possible, do this pose by a wall, shuffling your hips up to it. Extend the legs and rest them against the wall in a 90-degree position. If you don’t have a wall nearby, place a pillow under your sitting bones and raise your legs straight to 90 degrees. Stay here for at least a few minutes.
The plow pose gives a deep stretch to the back body while compressing the torso, chest, and throat. It can help release neck, shoulder, and back tension and reduce headaches and fatigue.
Bend your knees and place your hands flat on the ground. Press into your hands to lift your hips and bring your legs over your head. Keep the legs straight and support your lower back with your hands as you hold for around 5 deep breaths.
Fish pose serves as the perfect counterpose to plow, opening the chest, torso, and throat while creating a gentle backbend. In addition, it stimulates the internal organs, the thymus gland, and the lungs.
With your legs on the ground, bend your elbows and come onto your forearms to lift your head and back. Next, move your hands under your buttocks (palms facing down) and lift your chest. Then, if it feels ok in your neck, you can drop your head back, resting the crown on the ground or a pillow.
Happy Baby Pose
Happy Baby is a gentle hip-opening reclined posture that is awesome for tight hips and stiff backs. It stretches the inner thighs, hips, and groin, realigns the spine, and gently stretches the hamstrings.
Hug your knees to your chest, then grab the outside of both feet or ankles. Open the legs, keeping the knees bent, and turn the soles of the feet to the ceiling as you draw the knees down.
Final Resting Pose (Savasana)
Even if you do a short and gentle supine yoga sequence, you should still spend at least a few minutes in Savasana. This final resting asana profoundly relaxes the mind and body by calming the central nervous system. This also supports the healthy functioning of the digestive and immune systems.
When laying in Savasana, ensure your entire body is relaxed and all muscles disengaged. Allows your feet to drop out to the side and rest your arms by your side. Place a pillow under your head and/or knees to make it more comfortable.
Final Thoughts On Supine Yoga Poses
Supine yoga poses are the most restorative and relaxing asanas, perfect when you don’t feel like doing a strong or challenging practice. Moreover, as they relax the mind and improve blood circulation, they will leave you feeling refreshed and re-energized, ready to take on the rest of the day!