The Power of Resting Yoga Poses: Nurturing Mind & Body

This entry was posted on Sep 8, 2023 by Scott Moore.
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In today’s fast-paced world, where stress and anxiety have become almost synonymous with daily life, finding moments of reprieve has become paramount for maintaining overall well-being. Enter resting yoga poses, a cornerstone of yoga practice that offers a sanctuary for both body and mind. In this article, we delve into the value of these poses and how they can provide a profound sense of rejuvenation and balance in our increasingly hectic lives.

Resting Yoga Poses: A Haven of Tranquility

Resting yoga poses, often referred to as “restorative” poses, are a subset of yoga postures designed to promote relaxation, healing, and renewal. Unlike the dynamic and strenuous poses that challenge our bodies, resting poses offer an opportunity to let go, release tension, and find stillness. These poses are often held for longer durations, anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes. Such poses held for this duration allow practitioners to sink deeper into their practice and experience a gentle yet profound stretch as well as rest and support the body and nervous system.

The Importance of Rest

In a society that glorifies busyness and productivity above almost everything else, the idea of rest is sometimes misunderstood or undervalued. Rest is not synonymous with idleness; rather, it’s a crucial component of maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Resting yoga poses provide a unique space for both the body and mind to reset and recharge. By engaging in these poses, practitioners can tap into their parasympathetic nervous system, triggering the body’s relaxation response and promoting a sense of calmness and tranquility.

Stress Reduction and Mindfulness

One of the primary benefits of resting yoga poses is their ability to alleviate stress. The gentle stretching and supported positions help release built-up tension in the muscles, reducing physical discomfort often associated with stress. Furthermore, as the body unwinds, the mind follows suit. Practicing mindfulness in these poses fosters a connection between the breath and the body, grounding practitioners in the present moment and allowing worries to melt away. This combination of physical release and mental focus creates a serene atmosphere that can help manage stress levels more effectively.

Enhanced Flexibility and Posture

While resting yoga poses may not demand the same level of physical exertion as dynamic poses, they still contribute to overall flexibility. The slow and sustained stretches gently elongate muscles and soft tissues, promoting suppleness without risking strain. Additionally, these poses aid in improving posture by gently aligning the spine and encouraging optimal positioning of the body. Over time, this can lead to increased body awareness and better posture in daily life.

Holistic Healing and Pain Management

Resting yoga poses have been praised for their potential to alleviate various physical discomforts. Whether dealing with minor aches or recovering from injuries, the passive nature of these poses allows the body to heal naturally. When practiced mindfully and under the guidance of a qualified instructor, resting poses can be a valuable addition to pain management strategies. By increasing blood flow, reducing muscle tension, and promoting relaxation, these poses contribute to the body’s innate healing mechanisms.

Emotional Balance and Self-Care

The nurturing nature of resting yoga poses extends beyond the physical realm. Emotional well-being is intricately connected to our physical state, and these poses offer an opportunity to address both aspects simultaneously. The mindful introspection facilitated by these poses can help practitioners identify and process emotions, fostering a sense of emotional balance. Engaging in regular self-care through these poses is an act of self-love, a moment to invest in one’s own well-being.

Creating Space for Stillness

In a world characterized by constant noise and distraction, resting yoga poses provide a sanctuary of stillness. They offer a rare chance to disconnect from the demands of daily life and reconnect with oneself. In a culture that often glorifies multitasking and achievement, dedicating time to restorative yoga poses is an assertion that stillness is valuable, and that taking care of one’s inner world is as important as outward accomplishments.

Goddess Pose “The Queen Bee” of Resting Poses

Restorative Goddess Pose

A restore practice does not need many poses; sometimes only one or two poses held for many minutes. One magical pose is Goddess Pose.  This pose allows for support for every part of the body and allows it to relax as you slowly turn off the nervous system. Remember, it may take several minutes to begin to unwind so be patient. 

To set up Goddess Pose, place a block under one end of a bolster. Place a blanket at the opposite end of the bolster as a rest for the sacrum. Sit on the blanket and lie back over the bolster. Place another bolster under the knees with a block under the furthest half to offer a lift for the knees. Place a small bolster or rolled up blanket under the ankles. Fold blankets and place them under the elbows and forearms. Finally, place an eye pillow over the eyes. This setup allows for a slight opening of the chest while supporting all the joints of the body. The eye pillow softens the senses and more easily allows a person to enter into a state of deep relaxation, the parasympathetic nervous response. 


Resting yoga poses are more than just passive postures; they are gateways to profound relaxation, healing, and self-discovery. By embracing the power of stillness and mindfulness, practitioners can reap the numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits that these poses offer. In a world that constantly demands our attention and energy, the value of resting yoga poses lies in their ability to provide a gentle haven where we can nourish our mind, body, and spirit. So, roll out your mat, settle into a comfortable position, and let the transformative magic of resting yoga poses unfold.

Scott’s Online Classes: Waking Up with the Yoga of Sleep
Scott’s Books: Practical Yoga Nidra, 5-Minute Manifesting Journal, 20 Yoga Nidra Scripts Vol. 1.

About Scott Moore
Scott Moore (E-RYT 500, YACEP, RYS) is an American-born international yoga and Yoga Nidra teacher, mentor, and author. He’s been a career yoga teacher since 2003 and has logged over 25,000 teaching and training hours. He is the founder of Waking Up with the Yoga of Sleep, a method of Yoga Nidra instruction and teacher training as well as the author of three books, Practical Yoga Nidra, 5-Minute Manifesting Journal, and 20 Yoga Nidra Scripts Vol. 1. Scott teaches trainings, classes, and retreats in the US, Europe, and Asia and is currently living in Southern France. When he’s not practicing or teaching yoga, he loves to play the sax and clarinet, trail run, and travel with his family.

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