Feeling stressed? Is your body aching then restorative yoga could be exactly what you are looking for. Helps you relax and can reduce pain!
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.
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:
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 a 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 the 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Restorative Yoga
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 style of 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 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.
Chat with an Anahana Wellness Advisor to discuss if Restorative Yoga is something for you. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
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
Written by Clint Johnson
Clint teaches Yoga, Pilates, breath, and mediation to students and teachers all over the world. Prior to joining the wellness world, CJ as his friends call him, started his career as a MBS derivative trader and portfolio manager on Wall St. Clint is the founder of Anahana, and holds an MBA from INSEAD.