How to Perform Yoga Rest Postures
When practicing Yoga, the two best indicators of the need to rest are your breath and energy level. Monitor yourself throughout the session. If your breath is loud and uneven, rest. If you feel a little tired after a posture, rest.
No formula can prescribe how long you need to rest. Simply rest as needed until you’re ready for the next posture. Don’t cheat yourself out of well-deserved rest periods between the postures and at the end of a session.
Stay in any rest posture for 6 to 12 breaths or as long as it takes to feel rested, which may depend on how much time you have and where you are in the sequence of the routine. Yoga should never feel like you’re in a hurry.
Easy posture: Sukhasana
The word sukha means “easy” or “pleasant” and indeed this posture is as its name suggests. You can keep your eyes open or closed in this posture.
Mountain posture: Tadasana
The Sanskrit word tada (pronounced tah-dah) actually means “palm tree”; hence, this exercise is also called the palm tree posture.
Stand tall but relaxed with your feet at hip width.
Your arms are at your sides with your palms turned toward the sides of the legs.
Visualize a vertical line connecting the hole in your ear, your shoulder joint, and the sides of your hip, knee, and ankle.
Look straight ahead with your eyes open or closed.
Child’s posture: Balasana
The Sanskrit word bala (pronounced bah-lah) means “child.” This classic version of child’s posture is a very nurturing pose.
Start on your hands and knees.
Place your knees about hip width, hands just below your shoulders.
Keep your elbows straight but not locked.
As you exhale, sit back on your heels; rest your torso on your thighs and your forehead on the floor.
Lay your arms on the floor beside your torso with your palms up.
Close your eyes and breathe easily.
Child’s posture with arms in front
This variation of child’s posture gives you more stretch in your upper back. Follow the steps for the child’s posture but extend your arms forward at Step 4, spreading your palms on the floor.
Knees-to-chest posture: Apanasana
The Sanskrit word apana (pronounced ah-pah-nah) refers to the downward-going life force or exhalation.
Lie on your back and bend your knees in toward your chest.
Hold your shins just below the knees.
If you have any knee problems, hold the backs of your thighs instead.