You Can Do This Entire 20-Minute Yoga Flow Lying Down

Gentle yoga practices are accessible for people with limited mobility because of age, illness or injury.
Image Credit: Delmaine Donson/E+/GettyImages

One of the biggest misconceptions about yoga is that being flexible and strong is a prerequisite for starting a practice. It is precisely this idea that makes yoga seem inaccessible and out of reach for so many people.

Advertisement

Here's the good news: You don't need to have a single downward dog, warrior pose or crow pose in your practice. To reap the many benefits of yoga, all you need is a body and some gentle movements you can do lying on the floor — or your bed.

Advertisement

Gentle yoga practices are meditative, restorative for your body and soothe your nervous system. They're also more accessible for people with limited mobility because of age, illness or injury.

Advertisement

So if you're looking for deep relaxation and restoration or an accessible practice that enables you to move your body just enough to melt the tension away, try this 20-minute flow you can do lying down.

​Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here ​— we’ve got something for everyone.

How to Do This Workout

Treat these yoga flow instructions like a recipe and read through the entire sequence before moving through it. This will help prepare you for where you're going.

Advertisement

Once you've begun the flow, find a slow and steady rhythm with your breath. Take your time moving from one pose to another — every transition is an opportunity to be mindful and pay attention to what's happening in your mind and body. Notice where you feel tension and see if you can let more and more of it go with every exhale.

This practice is designed to be gentle. There is no need to struggle or strain. No matter what the pose, try to settle in with ease, and in a way that feels supportive for your body.

Advertisement

Things You'll Need

  • A small blanket (recommended but not necessary)

  • Pillow or cushion (recommended but not necessary)

  • Scarf, strap or soft belt (recommended but not necessary)

1. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you and arms relaxed by your sides (with the option to place your hands on your belly).
  2. Take your time getting comfortable and notice any discomfort.
  3. Settle into stillness and close your eyes
  4. Take 10 deep, long breaths here.
  5. Hold this pose for 1 minute.

Tip

If your back is sensitive during corpse pose, bend your knees so the soles of your feet are on your mat and relax your knees toward each other.

2. Knees-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana)

Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you and arms relaxed by your sides.
  2. Bend both knees and bring them into your chest, then hold your shins or behind your knees or thighs.
  3. Rock a little side-to-side if that feels good and soothing for your low back.
  4. Let your head turn side to side as part of the movement to help release tension in your neck.
  5. Hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds.

3. Single-Leg Knee-to-Chest Pose (Eka Pada Apanasana)

Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you and arms relaxed by your sides.
  2. Bend your right knee and bring it into your chest, then hold your right shin or behind your right knee or thigh.
  3. Keep hold of your right knee and take 2 to 3 breaths.
  4. Straighten your right leg and extend it toward the ceiling, interlacing your fingers behind your right thigh.
  5. Flex and point your toes, circle your ankle clockwise and counterclockwise 5 times in each direction.
  6. Repeat for 1 minute.

Tip

If your back hurts when you extend your leg on the floor, keep your knee bent and the sole of your foot on the floor. Use a towel, belt, strap or scarf if you have trouble reaching behind your thigh without relaxing your shoulders to the floor.

4. Single-Leg Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Time 2 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you and arms relaxed by your sides.
  2. Bend your right knee and bring it into your chest.
  3. Drop your right knee over to the left side of your body, twisting your spine to the left as well.
  4. Keep your shoulders flat on the floor.
  5. Rest your left hand on your right knee (without trying to push your knee to the floor) or keep your arms by your sides — whatever feels comfortable.
  6. Turn your gaze away from your bent knee and up toward the ceiling.
  7. Take 10 breaths.
  8. Hold this pose for 2 minutes.

Tip

If your knee doesn’t touch the floor, use a pillow, a rolled or folded blanket or a yoga block to bring the floor up to your knee. You can also use a pillow under your head for extra support for your neck

5. Single-Leg Frog Pose (Supta Mandukasana)

Time 2 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie flat on your stomach with your legs extended straight out and your arms placed where comfortable. If you have breasts, it might be helpful to lift your chest onto a pillow to ease discomfort.
  2. Bend your right knee so that it’s as in line with your hip as is comfortable.
  3. You have the option to point your gaze in the same direction as your bent knee or turn it away.
  4. Take 5 breaths.
  5. Hold this pose for 2 minutes.

Repeat Exercises on Other Side

Mindfully use the strength of your hands to reverse the steps and roll back onto your back. Bring both knees to your chest and repeat the following poses:

  • Knees-to-chest pose
  • One-legged knee-to-chest pose
  • Single-leg supine twist
  • Single-leg frog pose

6. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) Flow (Part 1)

Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back with your arms resting by your sides, knees bent and feet flat on the ground hip-width apart. Your feet should be close enough to your hips that if you reach one hand at a time toward each heel, you can just touch it with your fingertips.
  2. Relax your arms alongside your body. Think of your shoulders being "glued" to the floor to help keep your spine neutral.
  3. Squeeze your glutes and core, and press your heels into the ground to drive your hips up toward the ceiling until you form a diagonal line from knees to hips to chest. Resist the urge to arch your lower back as you raise your hips. Focus on keeping your spine in a neutral position throughout.
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds with your glutes engaged.
  5. Slowly lower your hips back down to the ground and reset in the starting position for a second before lifting back up.
  6. Repeat for 1 minute.

Tip

If you have pain in your back and/or can’t lift your hips and back away from your mat, try rocking your pelvis back and forth with the rhythm of your breath. If you experience pain when rocking your pelvis, try pressing your feet into the floor and engaging the muscles from your pelvic floor to your low belly when you exhale.

7. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) Flow (Part 2)

Time 2 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back with your arms resting by your sides, knees bent and feet flat on the ground hip-width apart. Your feet should be close enough to your hips that if you reach one hand at a time toward each heel, you can just touch it with your fingertips.
  2. Relax your arms alongside your body. Think of your shoulders being "glued" to the floor to help keep your spine neutral.
  3. Squeeze your glutes and core, and press your heels into the ground to drive your hips up toward the ceiling until you form a diagonal line from knees to hips to chest. Resist the urge to arch your lower back as you raise your hips. Focus on keeping your spine in a neutral position throughout.
  4. At the same time you drive your hips up toward the ceiling, lift your arms up over your head so your biceps are by your ears.
  5. Hold this position for a few seconds with your glutes engaged.
  6. Slowly lower your hips and arms back down to the ground and reset in the starting position for a second before lifting back up.
  7. Repeat for 2 minutes.

Pause and Breathe for 30 Seconds

Once your bridge flow is complete, pause with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Take a few breaths to notice what you feel.

8. Supine Pigeon Pose (Supta Kapotasana)

Time 3 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet on the ground.
  2. Cross your left ankle over your right thigh; let your left foot hang off the side of your right leg if possible.
  3. If comfortable, bring your right knee and thigh in toward your chest, interlacing your hands behind your right thigh.
  4. Take 5 breaths, then switch sides.
  5. Repeat for 3 minutes.

Tip

You can use a towel, scarf, strap or soft belt to grasp behind your leg if your arms don’t reach naturally.

9. Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)

Time 1 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees up toward your armpits.
  2. Grab your feet or ankles with your hands and pull your knees closer to your armpits, keeping your shins perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Hold, rocking your body from side to side if you want, for 1 minute.

Tip

Avoid grabbing your feet if your low back curls away from the floor and you can't relax your head back. Find a hand placement that allows you to be stable and relaxed.

10. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Time 3 Min
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you and arms relaxed by your sides (with the option to place your hands on your belly).
  2. Take your time getting comfortable and notice any discomfort.
  3. Settle into stillness and close your eyes
  4. Take 10 deep, long breaths here. Hold this pose for as long as you'd like or as long as your time allows.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...