The Restorative Workout

By Karla Walsh, NASM-CPT, AFAA |

The Workout

  1. Hold each pose for at least five deep breaths. Switch sides and repeat, when applicable.

What You’ll Need

  1. Pillow (optional)

Avoid any upside-down poses like Rag Doll if you suffer from glaucoma or high blood pressure. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise programs if you have these or similar conditions.




  1. If you need more support, place a pillow under your head or a bolster next to the wall and under your hips.

Cobbler’s Pose


  1. If your hips are extremely tight and you need additional support, place blocks or bolsters under your legs.

Rag Doll



  1. Hold for five or more deep breaths.

Easy Seated Twist


  1. Release the pose, and change your cross-legged position so your other leg is in front; repeat on the other side.

Child’s Pose


  1. Move the hands back to the center and hold for five or more deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Supine Bent-Knee Twist

There’s a reason this is often the last pose before final relaxation in many yoga classes. The twisting motion wrings out any remaining tension in the body, whether in the chest or the glutes. This is an excellent pose to do before bedtime.

  1. 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.


While Savasana looks simple and like a pose you could easily skip, it’s the most 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.

  1. Rest in this pose for five 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.

Photography by Chad Holder

Workout designed by 

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