5 min read

Restorative Yoga

Feeling stressed? If your body is aching then restorative yoga could be exactly what you are looking for. Helps you relax and can reduce pain!

woman doing restorative yoga pose laying on the floor with legs on chair

What Is Restorative Yoga?

Let’s define restorative yoga.

Compared to vinyasa or hatha yoga, restorative is quite a slow, relaxed, and passive yoga. It involves long-held poses and few at that. Throughout an hour’s class, for example, you may only do a few postures.

Restorative poses are focused on rest and relaxation. Most stretching classes that use restorative use it toward the end of the course. It can help relax participants after a tough class.

Still, you can practice the lying and seating yoga poses of the restorative tradition alone too.


Attending Restorative Yoga Classes

In this day and age, you no longer have to look for a studio where you would need to go, to attend a restorative yoga class. Due to Covid-19, the offerings online have increased tremendously over the last twelve to 18 months and you can now do your restorative yoga practice from the comforts of your own home. Attending a restorative class is as simple as a few clicks on your computer or your phone and off you go! You get to enjoy your own yoga practice, accompanied by some deep breathing, relaxation, with a focus on stillness, with a couple of gentle restorative poses. Who knows you might master the corpse pose or child's pose once you are done with your first session.

The yoga teacher, all certified, will go through a selection of different passive poses, focusing on the relaxation response in the body. The last thing you want to do, while doing restorative yoga, is to overexert yourself. You want to stick with restful poses, ensure that you work the entire body if possible. Pay attention to what the body is telling you, and take a deep rest if it is needed, and let the stillness slowly calm your body down, releasing the tension. Always make sure you keep the communication open between yourself and your yoga instructor so you receive the support needed.

The objectivity is to activate the body at a low energy level, while also relaxing the shoulder blades, lower back, legs, and other parts of your body.

Try to find a good balance in your life, giving yourself enough time throughout the weeks to focus on yourself, your mental health, your breath, and de stress. There will be periods of time where your motivation might be suffering, but it is imperative that you stick to your routine. That you do not allow an extended period to pass between attending a restorative yoga glass. As with any yoga practice, doing it on a regular basis will bring you the most benefits possible.


Benefits of Restorative Yoga

The main benefits of a restorative yoga flow are to learn to be still, to relax, and to release. It uses lying poses, sitting poses, and other easy yoga poses.

Whether you realize it or not, most of us spend the majority of our lives at some level of stress.

It may be school, work, family obligations, or health concerns. Whatever it is, we are always focused on our to-do lists. At the same time, we are held up with worries about the future and regrets about the past.

The restorative tradition aims to take us out of this bogged-down routine. Restorative practice can boost your energy, build your confidence, and reduce your worry.

These are the core restorative yoga benefits you can expect:


Restorative Yoga Benefits


Yoga Poses With Props

Yoga with props is not unheard-of in general. Still, restorative yoga teachers especially tend to use props nearly all the time. Props such as bolsters, blankets, and blocks are most-used. Sometimes, yoga straps and sandbags may be used as well.

The props simply help increase comfort and enhance relaxation. Restorative is meditative yoga. Without the props, sometimes it can be uncomfortable.

Furthermore, restorative yoga poses with props often help improve sleep. While it’s not to goal to fall asleep during a yoga class, sometimes it happens. And if it does, that’s okay. It probably just means you’re in rest and digest mode!


Don't Mix Yin Yoga With Restorative Yoga

Yin yoga is another type of yoga that focuses on relaxation, rejuvenation, and easy stretching and is easily mixed up with restorative yoga however, the two are different, even if they have things in common. 

Like restorative yoga, yin yoga classes offer many poses and sequences. They are all aimed at rest and calmness. It often does not include standing poses, and it’s great yoga for beginners.

Some say the goal of yin yoga is to be Goldilocks — not too soft or weak, not too hard or strong. Instead, just right.

Finally, yin yoga tends not to use as many props as the restorative style of yoga.


Restorative Yoga: Frequently Asked Questions 


What is the purpose of restorative yoga?

The purpose of a restorative yoga flow is to heal and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. It is gentle, relaxed, and slow. Therefore, it is very helpful in aiding us to be still and release pent-up stress and difficult emotions.


How often should you do restorative yoga?

Because of the relaxed nature of the restorative practice, this type of yoga can be done as often as you want to. Many practitioners use the restorative style of yoga every day for at least a few minutes. Others may turn to it once or twice a week or as they need its benefits.


Can you lose weight by doing restorative yoga?

No, not likely.

Many people want to know, “does yoga count as exercise.” And while it certainly can count as a form of physical activity, restorative is not a typical weight loss yoga. It tends not to burn many calories because of its slow and gentle qualities.

With that being said, the restorative style of yoga can certainly help foster a positive mindset when you are trying to lose weight and improve your fitness and health.


Is restorative yoga good for beginners?

Yes, restorative poses and sequences are great for beginners.

The best yoga poses for beginners are gentle and slow, and that’s exactly what you’ll find with a restorative. If you’re just starting out or are recovering from an injury, it’s perfect.


Does restorative-style yoga build muscles?

No, a restorative yoga flow is not meant to directly build muscle. Rather, it can help with cultivating stillness, rejuvenation, and concentration. Furthermore, it can help your muscles get to a state of relaxation that they may never normally achieve — even in sleep.


Where can I find restorative yoga near me?

Restorative is a yoga that is offered at most studios. However, comfort is a big part of this type of yoga, and restorative poses tend to require true relaxation and coziness. As such, practicing at home has definite advantages, and a digital gentle yoga class may be especially wise to take.


What are the benefits of restorative yoga?

Restorative yoga flow helps heal and rejuvenate both the mind and body. It can reduce stress and anxiety, help you get better sleep, and heal emotional and physical pain.

It’s an excellent healing yoga to practice if you are a beginner. It can also help if you are just recovering from an injury or illness or are looking for a way to unwind and release from stress.


What is Restorative Yoga?

Unlike many other types of yoga restorative yoga focuses on very few poses, which are held for longer periods. It is very slow and passive, focusing on your ability to move and help you recover from an injury. The focus is to relax the body, through these simple and passive poses. It is also important that you do use support if needed, to help take off some pressure or load on certain areas in your body and not trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which then results in pain.

Your body exists in the past and your mind exists in the future. In yoga, they come together in the present
― B.K.S Iyengar

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