Side-Lying Relaxation Pose is a variation of basic relaxation pose that may not feel as vulnerable. This pose can feel like home for those who sleep on their side. This position can help with fatigue, insomnia, and may lower high blood pressure. Side-lying pose will help bring down energy in the body. You may feel a slight stretch in the side body.
Consult your doctor before beginning any type of yoga practice. This pose does not have any cautions and can be enjoyed while pregnant.
In setting up this pose, you will want to have a combination of blankets and perhaps a bolster or pillow. Lower yourself towards your mat with your bottom arm either placed under your head or out beside you. You can start with either your right or left side and make sure to complete this pose on both sides. Your knees will be bent and you may place a folded blanket in between them for added comfort. Have a bolster, pillow, or folded blanket for your top arm to rest comfortably on. You may place a folded blanket between your arm and head if need or stack blankets to rest your head on if your arm is out to the side. If you feel any discomfort or tingling, come out of the pose and find another variation with more support. A bolster placed against your back may also feel comforting.
Once you are settled into the pose, soften your gaze or close your eyes and begin either your rhythmic breathing or just allow your breathing to occur naturally. You may stay as long as it’s comfortable in this pose. Average time may be 5-20 minutes on each side. To come out of the pose, do so slowly and with intention. Use your top arm to press your torso away from the mat and spend some time in a seated position preparing for the other side.
Watch Katie demonstrate how to set up this pose:
Forbes, B. (2011). Yoga for emotional balance: Simple practices to help relieve anxiety and depression. Boston: Shambhala.
Lasater, J. (1995). Relax and renew: Restful yoga for stressful times. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell Press.