Try This Easy Pose for Back & Hip Relief

Is your back cranky? Are your legs tired? Just need a rest? Practice restorative makarasana!

In Sanskrit, the word makarasana means crocodile. As an avid animal lover, whenever I practice this post I imagine a lovely reptilian creature basking on a warm rock for hours on end. Hopefully this pose will make you feel equally relaxed. To practice, you’ll need 2 yoga blankets. You can also use 1-2 regular blankets, a small bolster, or 1-2 pillows.

makarasana-428x304Restorative crocodile pose can be practiced as an addition to your asana routine, or by itself almost anytime throughout the day (except right after eating). Additionally, just about anyone can perform this pose except those who are pregnant or had recent abdominal surgery. While makarasana can be highly beneficial for back pain, misalignment, and sciatica, do not remain in the pose if you experience any discomfort.

To Practice:

  1. If you’re using blankets, roll them up into a neat bolster. You can do this while sitting on your shins in vajrasana (thunderbolt pose).
  2. Lie down on belly with the bolster under the hip/pubic bone area. Make any adjustments to even out from side to side.
  3. Adjust your legs so they’re a comfortable hip-width apart (or slightly wider).
  4. Make a pillow for your head by stacking the forearms. Rest the forehead on the arms. If this is uncomfortable, you can turn the head to either side for equal amounts of time.
  5. Breath nice ujjayi breath for 3-10 minutes or longer.
  6. When you’re ready to release, gently press back to child’s pose and hold for a moment or two.


by Sophie Slater