Reclining In Yoga: Everything You Need To Know

Reclining in yoga is a popular and beneficial practice that involves lying down in a comfortable position while engaging in various yoga poses and stretches. 

This particular type of yoga is especially useful for those who may have mobility issues, are recovering from an injury, or simply want to relax and unwind after a long day. 

Reclining In Yoga Everything You Need To Know

Reclining yoga can also offer a range of physical and mental benefits that can help you feel more centered, energized, and balanced.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of reclining yoga, some of the most popular poses used in this practice, and tips for getting the most out of your reclining yoga routine. 

With this in mind, we are going to be looking at reclining in more detail, including some of the most common poses and how to perform them. Let’s get started. 

What Is Reclining In Yoga?

Reclining in yoga generally refers to a pose or posture where the practitioner lies down on their back in a relaxed position. As mentioned, this type of pose is often used in the practice of yoga as a way to release tension, calm the mind, and promote relaxation.

Reclining yoga poses can range from gentle stretches to more challenging postures that require strength and flexibility. These poses are also often used at the end of a yoga class as a way to cool down and allow the body to fully relax and integrate the benefits of the practice. 

Reclining poses can be practiced on their own with relative ease as a way to reduce stress and promote overall health and well-being.

The Benefits Of Reclining In Yoga

Reclining in yoga can offer several benefits to the practitioner. Here are some of the potential benefits.

Reduces Stress

Reclining yoga poses can help to reduce stress as they promote relaxation thanks to  releasing the tension in the muscles that occurs when you perform them. This also promotes calming of the mind, which will in turn aid with stress reduction. 

Improves Circulation

Certain reclining yoga poses can help to improve circulation by stimulating blood flow to the lower extremities.

Promotes Flexibility

Reclining yoga poses can help to improve flexibility by stretching the muscles and increasing the range of motion in the joints.

Relieves Back Pain

Reclining poses can help to relieve tension in the lower back and alleviate back pain.

Helps with Digestion

Certain reclining yoga poses can help to stimulate digestion and relieve constipation.

Improves Sleep

Reclining yoga poses can help to calm the mind and promote relaxation, which can lead to improved sleep.

Overall, reclining in yoga can be a great way to release tension, reduce stress, and promote relaxation and overall health and well-being.

The Most Common Reclining Yoga Poses

There are a wide range of reclining poses, but we are going to be focusing on some of the most common ones that are practiced regularly in yoga. 

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

This is a classic relaxation pose where the practitioner lies flat on their back with arms and legs extended, palms facing up. This pose is often used at the end of a yoga practice as a way to integrate the benefits of the practice and promote relaxation.

The goal of Savasana is to fully relax the body and mind, allowing the benefits of the yoga practice to integrate and settle in. During this pose, the breath is allowed to become natural and effortless, and the mind is encouraged to let go of thoughts and distractions.

Savasana is often considered one of the most important and challenging poses in yoga, as it requires the practitioner to completely surrender and let go of control. It can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and promoting overall relaxation and well-being.

To practice Savasana, find a quiet and comfortable space where you can lie down with enough room to fully extend your body. Close your eyes and allow your breath to become slow and natural.

Bring your awareness to different parts of your body, starting from the toes and moving up towards the head, consciously relaxing each part as you go. Remain in this pose for several minutes, allowing yourself to fully let go and relax.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

In this pose, the practitioner lies on their back with the soles of their feet touching and knees bent, opening the hips and stretching the inner thighs.

To practice this pose, begin by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet touching each other. Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as comfortable, and allow your knees to fall outwards to the sides, opening your hips. If you have trouble keeping your knees on the ground, you can use blankets or blocks under each knee for support.

Next, slowly lie back on the floor, keeping your arms relaxed by your sides with your palms facing up. Allow your legs to fully relax and sink towards the ground, focusing on deepening the stretch in your hips and inner thighs.

Remain in this pose for several minutes, focusing on slow and steady breathing. You can also place a bolster or pillow under your upper back and head for added comfort and support.

Reclining Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

This is a reclining yoga posture that helps to stretch the spine and release tension in the back, hips, and neck.

Begin by lying on your back with your arms extended out to the sides in a T-shape, palms facing down. Bend your right knee and bring it towards your chest, hugging it with your left hand.

Use your right hand to guide your right knee across your body towards the left side, twisting your spine. Keep your right shoulder and arm grounded on the floor, and allow your gaze to follow your right hand.

If you have tight hips, you can place a blanket or pillow under your right knee for support. You can also hold the pose for several breaths before switching sides.

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

This next pose helps to stretch the hamstrings, calves, and hips and is performed by starting on your back with your legs extended in front of you. 

Bend your right knee and bring your right foot towards your chest. Take hold of your big toe with your right hand, or use a strap around the arch of your foot if you cannot reach it.

Extend your right leg up towards the ceiling, keeping it as straight as possible. Keep your left leg extended on the ground, and try to relax your shoulders and neck.

Hold the pose for several breaths, focusing on relaxing your hamstrings and deepening the stretch in your leg. You can also move your foot slightly to the side, towards your ear, or straighten your leg further to deepen the stretch.

After several breaths, release your foot and switch sides, repeating the pose with your left leg.

Final Thoughts

Reclining yoga poses offer a range of benefits for the mind and body. From promoting relaxation and reducing stress to improving flexibility and relieving tension in the back, hips, and legs, these poses can be a valuable addition to any yoga practice.

Remember to approach these poses mindfully and with awareness of your body’s needs and limitations. 

With consistent practice and attention, reclining yoga poses can help you to cultivate a greater sense of peace, balance, and well-being in your daily life!

Laura Simmons
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