6 Supine Yoga Poses For All Practice Levels

There are times in your life when your yoga practice will want or need to be done completely on your back. It could be because of an injury, a bad day, or just a basic want and preference—whatever is going on, there are plenty of options to get the most out of your practice in a supine position.

Use these supine poses to spice up your practice, or make it an entire session centered around lying on your back.

Twist Reclined

This delicious twist will help to release the back and spine muscles and stimulate the digestive system. To get the most out of this shape, try it with a bolster or straightening the bottom leg. Slide a folded blanket or cushion under your shoulders if you have tight shoulders. This will give you full support in the upper body.

Bridge Pose

This inversion, with or without a pelvic block, is great for improving circulation. This inversion also strengthens the shoulders and gives a deep stretch to the neck.

Begin by placing your arms at your sides and then holding the mat’s edges; pull them inwards to go deeper. Then, move your shoulder blades together so that you can press your hands deep into your mat. Try grabbing your heels using your hands to create a bound version. Raise one leg at a time.

Fish Pose

Open your chest to improve your immune system, and release any emotions buried deep in your heart. You can use your forearms as pillows in the back bend or lay on two blocks arranged in a T shape. One block is placed under your middle spine, and the other one is under your head.

Add core work to your workout by lifting your legs six inches above the floor. Alternatively, you can relax your lower back by doing a Butterfly Pose and placing your knees on blocks.

Butterfly in Reclined Position

This pose is also known as Supta Baddha Konasana. It’s a great alternative to The Fish Pose. You will still get the same amazing benefits for your upper back and chest.

Use a bolster to support your spine. Your hips should be on the floor. You can let your arms hang down either on each side or on your chest and belly. You can either have your legs straight or bent over the bolster. If you prefer, you can also do Butterfly, with a strap around both knees to support them.

Stay here for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the bolster if your lower back becomes tender.

Pigeons in a Reclined Position

If you’re hypermobile or pregnant, it is important to keep the top leg flexed when performing this external rotation. Open your hips with Pigeon Pose to get a supple and soft low back.

This pose is great for relieving low-back and sciatica pain. To add to the shape, press the bottom leg down into the Earth and lift the hips into the Bridge. Your arms can be by your sides or pushed into the Earth beneath you.

You may need a little more support to hold a longer yin or restorative pose. Slide a block under your sacrum, and then rest there. In the reclined position, you can also mimic Pigeon.

Start in the Reclined Pigeon position, then wrap your arms over the shinbone that crosses your chest. Use a strap or interlace your fingers to hug the leg, the sole of the flexed shoe resting against the upper arm. Close your eyes and stretch the other leg down the mat.

Happy Baby

You can take the benefits of the Reclined Pigeon a step further by rocking side to side while using Happy Baby. This will massage your spine and kidneys and compress your hips. You may find it difficult to relax your head, shoulders, and feet simultaneously if you are tight. Use a strap!

To stay in this position and avoid falling to one side, you can use bolsters on either side of your torso to hold you in place…or keep it simple by only doing one leg at a time!

Yoga can help you with any mid- and lower-body needs. The more you support your body with blocks, straps, and pillows, the longer you will be able to hold it. Use props to create a relaxed posture.

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