Benefits and Uses of Restorative Yoga

Reclined bound angle pose is a restorative version of the bound angle pose. The benefits of the pose include hip and chest opening, low back release, and relaxation. This pose will relieve pressure on the back body from the additional weight of your growing baby and breasts, and stimulate circulation in the legs and hips. The pose is excellent for pregnant women during all three trimesters with slight modifications after week 20 of the pregnancy. For women trying to conceive, this pose is a great way to create space both physically and mentally in order to prepare for conception.

Gather a few blankets, towels, and/or pillows and come to your mat. These props will be used to support your body in this relaxation pose. Roll up a thick towel or blanket and place it lengthwise along the mat. This will support your back during the pose and provide a nice opening sensation for your front body. Come to sit with your back about an inch away from the bottom of the rolled blanket (giving a bit of space to your lumbar spine or lower back).

Next, bend your knees in front of you so that your feet are on the mat about a foot in front of your seat. Let your feet touch and your knees unfold to the sides of the mat, the palms of your feet facing each other. Place a prop or two (try to make sure they are similar height and consistency) under each thigh, at about where the thigh meets the knee.

To come into the pose, slowly come to lie down on the blanket, letting it support the middle of your back along your spine. You can play with the height and placement of the props until you find the most comfortable position for you; also feel free to place a small pillow under your head for a slight elevation. Let your arms come by your sides with your palms face up. Relax and enjoy. Stay in the pose for five minutes or as long as feels right for you.

  • Breath: Let your breath be natural and easy. Feel free to use any calming mantra that may help you to relax. Taking a few initial deep breaths may help you melt into a state of relaxation. 
  • Modifications: Listen to your body’s internal instinct in order to tell you if something feels uncomfortable and needs to be modified. Feel free to remove any of the props or adjust them if they are not right for you today. After around week 20 of your pregnancy, it is recommended that you not lie flat on your back for a long period of time because of the increased uterine weight and compression on the vena cava (which carries blood back to your heart). This pressure can sometimes cause breathlessness or dizziness in pregnant women, generally later on in pregnancy. Increase the elevation of your back and head after week 20 by placing several pillows or bolsters under your back so that you are on an incline.
  • Release: When it feels right (or after about five minutes), slowly roll off of the blanket behind your back and onto your right or left side for a brief moment in the fetal position. Use your arm strength to push you back up to seated letting your head be the last thing to come up. Take a few moments to feel the effects of the pose.