What Is Restorative Yoga?

Life is becoming more hectic than ever before, so it makes sense that we may want to slow it down.

What Is Restorative Yoga?

From constantly being on our cell phone, to having to work longer hours, our days can be stressful from the moment we wake up, until the moment we go to bed.

More people are taking up yoga in order to find time to relax and focus on the healing that it brings.

In particular, restorative yoga classes are growing in class size due to the amount of popularity it has gained.

While regular yoga is relaxing enough, restorative yoga takes it to a whole new level.

In fact, the focus is on much slower movements (sometimes holding a pose for 5 minutes) using key, thought out postures and props to help support the entire body.

A person is put into complete relaxation through breathing exercises also, to help them feel calm and ready for the day ahead. 

In this article we shall take a look at what restorative yoga actually is, and how it can benefit you.

What Actually Is Restorative Yoga?

Restorative yoga is a gentler form of yoga that uses poses (also known as asanas) for longer periods of time to create a meditative state for a person.

Often props such as blankets, bolsters and blocks are used also.

What Is Restorative Yoga?

This restful practice allows a person to fall into a deep state of relaxation due to the meditative focus of restorative yoga.

There is a big emphasis on pulling both the mind and body together, whilst using different props to support the weight of the body. 

Tension is said to be able to be released from a person’s body through the connection between the mind and body.

One of the main factors behind this type of yoga is concentrating on how you breathe during the yoga, and what you might feel and think.

While restorative yoga might seem a little too laidback for some, it compliments other yoga sessions that are seen as a lot more active.

Restorative yoga can also help those who need a moment of calm to remove any stress they might be feeling.

Why Use Props in Restorative Yoga?

During traditional yoga, you build up strength and balance, however, you do not hold them for long periods at a time.

When it comes to restorative yoga, there is a good chance you might just be holding a pose for 5 minutes.

Because of this, you will need props to give you support. Even so, a lot of the time the poses are adapted from yoga done while seated.

This means that you can put a few thick folded blankets on your legs and use them as support as you bend forward while sitting down on the floor.

It allows you to rest your torso for a longer period of time without straining your back or stomach muscles. 

Another familiar pose is the reclined goddess. During restorative yoga, a bolster is placed at the back of the pelvis to help support the spine.

The feet will also be bound gently together by something like a blanket which has been rolled up. 

During these movements, you will be put into a deep relaxed state which can help to clear the mind of stress and worry. 

What Are The Benefits Of Restorative Yoga?

What Is Restorative Yoga?

Yoga itself is a fantastic way to not only improve on physical traits such as balance, strength, flexibility and stability, but it can also be a great way to help with your well being and any mental health issues.

It has also been said to have positive effects for those who suffer with chronic pain and other disabilities. 

Restorative yoga is no different. Here are a few benefits to practicing it:

Can Improve Mood

Research says that yoga can help people to improve their mood.

Those dealing with depression, anxiety, stress and other mood affecting issues might be able to manage symptoms by practicing yoga

Restorative yoga may just be what you are looking for if the above rings true to you, as the relaxation and deep meditation might be beneficial to your overall mood. 

Can Help You To Sleep

Often stress and worrying thoughts can keep us awake at night, no matter how tired we are.

When you are able to relax, unsurprisingly, you are also able to drift off much faster.

Studies have shown that those who practice yoga have better sleep compared to those who do not, as it can help to increase the production of the hormone melatonin which is needed to have a restful sleep.

Increases Relaxation

Unsurprisingly, yoga can help to relax you compared to something like just stretching, with research showing that restorative yoga is beneficial to helping a person to feel relaxed.

This is because of breathing deep and focusing on both the mind and body.

Gentle Compared to Regular Yoga

If you struggle to take part in regular yoga, then restorative yoga is much more gentle on the body. The use of supporting props can help those who find balancing difficult, for example.

Also, the gentle movements and holding of poses for a lengthy time can really benefit those who want to take the class at a slower pace.

Final Thoughts

Restorative yoga is a gentle form of yoga which uses breathing exercises and the holding of poses for a longer time to put a person into a relaxed and meditative state.

With the use of props to help support the poses, the mind and body are connected to help you fall into a deeper state of relaxation.

This type of yoga is great for a person’s well being if they are suffering with stress or anxiety, or are looking for a way to relax after a hard day at work.

If you find this form of yoga far too slow as a daily practice, then you can take part in a faster paced yoga alongside it.

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Angela Frederik
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