Just the words “restorative yoga” instil a sense of relaxing calm. But what exactly is restorative yoga?
Restorative yoga is a style of yoga that safely takes practitioners to a deep state of relaxation and rest. It does this by encouraging the release of tension and muscle tightness through long-held postures where the body is supported with props such as bolsters, blankets, foam bricks, and straps.
The extra support from the props allows yogis — new and advanced — to carefully and gently get into an asana and comfortably hold it for an extended length of time. The idea is that the support will allow the student to focus on the body and the breath, and to go deeper and deeper into the posture.
Who is Restorative Yoga Good For?
Literally everyone. And we don’t say that lightly. But it is true. Everyone from first-day beginners to decades-long advanced students can benefit from this practice. Restorative yoga is great for young, old, injured, stiff, and flexible people.
Why Restorative Yoga is Good?
Because of the use of bolsters and foam bricks, anyone can access the version of the posture that is right for them.
Say, for example, the posture being taught is to sit with the legs split open on the ground, so they make a V-shape. Students are prompted to perhaps sit on a bolster or blanket so it’s easier to be stable, then to lean forward, they can put a stack of foam bricks and bolsters between their forehead and the ground so that there is something to lean into. Little by little, breath by breath, the more you will sink and relax. One day, your head might touch the ground. But that’s not the point!
Well… what is the point?
Great question. There are many benefits to both practicing and teaching restorative yoga.
Benefits to Both Practicing and Teaching Restorative Yoga
It puts you in touch with your body and allows you to safely find new limits. Sometimes in faster flowing classes, it can be hard to listen to the body and easy to push beyond what is healthy or helpful. In restorative classes, there is time to really slow down and see where the body is at, and then to see where it can safely go.
It is safe. You may have noticed the word safe already used a few times, but it’s an important point. Some people shy away from yoga because they consider themselves stiff or not a typical student, but restorative yoga sets that all straight. Because the person teaching restorative yoga will go slowly, there is time to check in to see if the students need any individual help.
It is restorative. The clue is in the name! Restorative yoga does exactly that — restores the body and mind to a healthy state. You can’t be stressed in a restorative class. It’s almost impossible. And the more you do it, the better the body’s resting state will become. Restorative yoga can lead to a stronger body, better sleep at night, increased states of relaxation, an improvement on injuries, aches and pains.
Whether you are just starting out as a student or teacher of restorative yoga, it’s a great style of yoga to either get familiar with or to add to the rotation of other yoga classes. Who doesn’t need an extra bit of restoration these days? Contact us today if you are looking for yoga teacher teaching program.