What is restorative yoga?
Recently a friend of mine and her friend came to one of my restorative classes. She had hesitated for quite some time because she was unfamiliar with restorative yoga, or any yoga for that matter. I convinced her that she not only would be fine in the class, but also I thought she would really enjoy it.
I have so many people ask me, so what exactly is restorative yoga?
Restorative yoga concentrates on postures that are free from exertion and effort, which minimizes the potential for adding any additional stress to the body. The way the body is positioned (almost entirely on the floor) allows the body to stretch, lengthen and release tension. Props are almost always used (including blankets, bolsters, straps, and blocks) to assist and maintain the postures. The postures are held for a longer periods of time (from about five to fifteen minutes). Restorative yoga allows us to become relaxed and calms the mind and nervous system allowing for a peaceful, restful state.
Restorative yoga is great for just about anyone but in particular is helpful to people who are recovering from illness, have PTSD, suffer from depression or anxiety, are recovering from injury, or just have a high stress lifestyle.
I found early on in my own yoga practice that I always looked forward to the restorative class that I would attend. Although I do enjoy quicker paced and more challenging classes, it was nice to give myself permission to slow down with a restorative class. I also purchased some props so I could practice at home which is great since I can’t always get to a class. It has really changed my life for the better.
After class, my friend was surprised at how relaxed she was and now wants to make restorative part of her own wellness routine.
If you new to restorative yoga, check out this article from Yoga Journal: