A 5-Minute Yoga Break

This entry was posted on Mar 2, 2021 by Charlotte Bell.

Are you working from home? These days, a whole lot of us are. And it looks like this will be reality for at least another several months. As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to telecommuting, depending on your preferences. Introverts may be just fine with this arrangement; extroverts, not so much. Still there are advantages we can all agree on. These include the ability to take a midday walk, to have a leisurely lunch, to enjoy lap time with your four-leggeds, and to take a 5-minute yoga break.

For example, say you’re feeling sluggish after sitting a while at the computer. A 5-minute yoga break might include standing poses, to get your energy moving again. Or maybe you’re feeling agitated, tense or stressed. In that case, a few minutes in a restorative yoga pose might help take the edge off.

Simplify Your 5-Minute Yoga Break

Restorative poses can require a lot of setting up. That’s because the point of restorative practice is to support the body completely, so you can be comfortable no matter how long you stay in a pose. But if you only have a few minutes to practice, complicated setups can take time away from being in the pose, which is, after all, the point.

Supta Baddhakonasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) is a restorative staple. It can help ground and quiet the nervous system, and can be helpful in calming digestive issues. The classic prop setup requires two Yoga Blocks, two Yoga Blankets and a slanted Standard Yoga Bolster. This pose is like a quiet oasis in a storm.

But if you’re looking for a 5-minute yoga break, a simpler setup can be just as relaxing. For a simple version of Supta Baddhakonasana, all you need is a Standard Yoga Bolster and a folded Yoga Blanket.

How to Set Up Supta Baddhakonasana

1. Place a bolster either lengthwise on a Yoga Mat, or on a soft surface like a rug or carpet.

2. Sit in front of your bolster with your glutes either an inch or two in front of the near end of the bolster, or barely touching it.

3. Place the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to relax out to the sides. If this position isn’t comfortable for either your knees or inner thighs, feel free to prop your knees up with a couple blocks or to place the soles of your feet on the floor, hips-width apart, with your knees in a vertical position.

4. Lie back on your bolster. Adjust your position, relative to the bolster, so that your back is comfortable. Then adjust the folded blanket so that it supports your head and neck. Make sure your head is not tilting back. Your forehead should be slightly higher than your chin.

5. Place your arms a comfortable angle from your body. Relax and enjoy.

6. When you’re ready to leave the pose, roll gently onto your side, off the bolster and onto the floor. Take a few breaths on your side before pushing yourself up to a sitting position.

About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.