Take a spring break! Teens benefit tremendously from the opportunity to slow down, rest, and rejuvenate.  In today’s hectic world, though, most teens (and adults for that matter!) are doing anything but resting and relaxing during spring break--or any time of year.  Integrating restorative poses into a teen yoga class can be a great way to help teens unwind, release stress, and connect to a sense of peace within themselves.

Here are three great restorative poses you can include in a spring break-themed teen yoga class:

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1. Restorative Bridge

Props Needed: One or two textbooks, or a yoga block

Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, parallel about hip width apart.  Your feet should be close to your hips.  Pressing into your feet, lift your hips and slide the books or block under your sacrum, the bony part of the lower back.*  Let your sacrum rest on the prop, so you are not exerting any effort to stay on the prop.  Your arms can rest by your sides.  Stay for 5-10 minutes. To come out, press into your feet again and slowly lift your hips.  Remove the prop and gently lower your back to the floor.  As a counter pose for the low back, you can hug your knees into your chest and rock side to side.

*If you notice any discomfort in your lower back during the pose, remove one book to lower the height, or remove the prop altogether and rest with your back on the floor.

2. Chair Leg Rest

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Props Needed: A chair

To begin, sit in front of a chair and gently lay down on your side and swing your legs up onto a chair, continuing to roll onto your back.  Make sure your calves are supported by the chair.  The legs and hips can relax outward.  Make any adjustments so that your body is completely comfortable and relaxed.  Your arms can be stretched out to the sides or you can rest them on your belly.  Take long, deep breaths, releasing any tension in the body as you exhale.  Stay for several minutes.  When you are ready to come out, you can gently hug your knees into your chest and roll onto your side for a few breaths before coming up to sit.

3. Restorative Twist

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Props Needed: Pillow, backpack, or bolster

One thing we don’t want to slow down is our digestion.  This pose gently compresses the abdominal organs, giving a gentle massage and boost to aid digestion.  To come into the pose, begin by sitting with your right hip against the pillow, backpack, or bolster. Inhaling, grow taller as you lengthen your spine.  As you exhale, slowly lower your chest down onto the prop and turn your head to the side.  Let your arms relax on either side of the bolster or pillow.  Take deep, slow breaths, allowing your body to relax completely on each exhalation.  After 5-7 minutes, you can slowly come back up to sit and repeat on the left side.

Enjoy these restful poses!

Erin Lila Singh

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