Restorative Yoga is unlike any other form of yoga. In other classes you may be challenged by a physically demanding workout. In Restorative Yoga, the purpose is to take a step back and enter a deep state of rest; removing yourself from the external factors of your life and leaving you rejuvenated.
Our modern world is constantly moving. Things are quickly changing, demanding us to always be plugged in and attentive. The true value to Restorative Yoga is getting a chance to step back and focus on ourselves. By spending some time during your day with the specific purpose of relaxation you can help your body recover from the rest of your life while better situating yourself for the future.
While many other forms of yoga operate on a very active methodology, moving from pose to pose building strength and flexibility, Restorative Yoga is a much more passive practice. It is less about the specific performance of an individual’s abilities and more about getting your mind into a regenerative state.
Restorative Yoga Classes
When it comes to an actual Restorative Yoga class there are a few things you should know about, to come prepared and aware. Due to Restorative Yoga being run at such a different pace the class operates a little different from some other types of yoga.
The first major difference is the incorporation of props. These props are items such as bolsters, pillows, blankets, etc. The value they offer to the class is to help assist the participant in maintaining the poses utilized in Restorative Yoga. Poses are held for a longer period of time and mostly have the participant on the floor. This helps alleviate unnecessary straining.
As stated above, a big difference when it comes to Restorative Yoga is that poses are held for longer periods of time. On average, a pose can be held anywhere from 5-20 minutes. This means that a change in postures doesn’t happen often. The purpose of this is to get the participant into one position to relax. You may even find yourself falling asleep at some point. Don’t worry, this is part of the intended goal and completely natural.
In the classroom setting a supportive environment is created to help stimulate regeneration. Lights are dimmed with gentle music playing. This way the participant can find relaxation even easier.
Restorative Yoga is a very personal form of yoga. With little direction and a lot of time spent reflecting inwardly, you might be wondering what the purpose of a Restorative Yoga class is when it can be done from home. While many people have found ways to practice Restorative Yoga from home, a classroom setting offers a dedicated place for you to relax. Not everyone can create an isolated area in their own home and a place like our home can be full of reminders of the stresses we are trying to escape.
Benefits of Restorative Yoga
While practicing Restorative Yoga you are minimizing the sympathetic nervous system while maximizing the parasympathetic nervous system. By doing so you are minimizing the desire to react to a situation and enhancing your ability to rest. This is the greatest benefit of Restorative Yoga. By getting yourself into this state of rest for a substantial amount of time on a frequent basis you are helping your body recover and prepare it for life outside of the classroom.
Incorporating Restorative Yoga into your lifestyle allows you to “hit reset” on your daily habits. Things like improved sleep habits and a decreased anxiety are some of the greatest benefits people report having. It is reported that 55% of those who practice yoga find they are sleeping better and 85% saw a reduction in stress.
Due to the overwhelming nature of our modern world there isn’t a better time to incorporate Restorative Yoga into your life to combat the stresses of the world you face every day. In 2017 the American Psychological Association reported that 59% of Americans considered our modern world to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember; with factors such as politics, finances, work, and crime being some of their top reasonings for stress.
We all face stress in our lives but don’t really know how to counteract it. Restorative Yoga is a great place to start as it gives you a specific environment in which you can let go of the stresses of your life. Even if it is only a short period of time, you will be able to leave a Restorative Yoga class feeling better and start to incorporate that mindset into other parts of your life, whether it be getting to sleep easier or dealing with stressful situations at work or home.
Things to Consider Before Starting Restorative Yoga
There are a lot of great things about Restorative Yoga but there are also a few things you should consider before starting. Firstly it’s important to know that Restorative Yoga should not be considered your primary source of yoga. Restorative Yoga offers a great recovery but if you are looking to get into yoga for the athletic benefits as well as the health benefits this is not the best course. We recommend you look into some of our other courses such as Ashtanga if you are looking for a place to push the physical abilities of your body as well the mental strength of the mind.
Restorative Yoga offers a great supplementary practice to other activities in your life whether it be the place where you recover from another yoga course, different athletic endeavour, or just a break from your everyday tasks. Restorative Yoga should be considered the “reflective” half to the rest of your activities; the place where you can rest your mind and body after a hard day. It is a great way to counterbalance your life with dedicated time for recovery and is easily accessible for newcomers. Even if you are an expecting mother interested in yoga, it can be a great alternative to incorporate when practicing Prenatal Yoga.