We all know that stress is harmful, right? Everyone is aware that stress can reduce our body’s ability to perform at its peak. If we all know this, then what are we doing to counteract all of the stress that we put on ourselves? Well, implementing a restorative yoga class that practices meditation and breathing techniques is the perfect way to decrease stress levels and improve cognitive function! 

Why Do We Need to Restore and Meditate?

Daily influences like work, family obligations, school, and even technology can wear down our body’s natural immune defenses creating mental and physical health issues like depression, anxiety, and even pulled muscles. Because nearly one in five people live with a mental health illness in the U.S., it’s vital to find a way to alleviate the stress that our bodies and minds endure. 

Meditation has been used for centuries to align the physiological and psychological systems of the body along with creating a balance between them. Restore and meditate yoga classes do this by relaxing the mind and separating the focus from daily stressors to a calm center. Adding this kind of exercise to your routine can improve both your physical health and your mental health. 

What to Expect in a Restore and Meditate Yoga Class?

Restore yoga

If you’ve never taken a restore and meditate yoga class, you might be unsure of what it entails. Just know that a restore and meditate yoga class is for all age groups; everyone is welcome and encouraged to try this form of restorative exercise. All classes will be different, but here are a few popular practices you can find in a restorative yoga class

Light Stretching

Restore and meditate yoga is accessible for all age groups because it’s a lighter exercise than other more active and intense yoga classes. The postures done in this type of yoga are focused more on stretching the body and breathing in order to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. 

Extended Posing 

As mentioned above, the poses practiced in restore and meditate yoga involve a lot more stretching than Vinyasa classes. Stretching, in restore and meditate yoga, poses can last anywhere from 5-20 minutes, so positioning isn’t changed very often. 

Yoga Props

During a restore and meditate class, the instructor will often provide yoga props for you to use that can help with posing, stretching, and sleep. Some of these props include: eye pillows, regular pillows, yoga blocks, and a blanket. These props are also useful for holding poses for long periods of time. 

Sleep Practice 

Classes are usually dimmed and soft music is played in order to create a relaxing setting. Rest is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy mental state, so breathing and relaxation techniques are taught throughout the duration of the class. 

What Are The Best Poses for Meditation?

Meditation poses

Poses done during a yoga class offer several benefits based on their form. There are a few poses that increase relaxation and are done during a restoration yoga class, however each class is different based on the yoga instructor and the needs of the students. 

Child’s Pose (Balasana) 

Child’s pose is a popular foundational pose that stretches the back, hips, and ankles while drawing attention inward towards the body and is often used as a transitional pose. Child’s pose brings the face towards the body creating a centered being making it a great, relaxing part of restorative yoga. 

Supported Body Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Supported body bridge is an upward hip thrust pose that stretches the gluteus muscles and hips. Yoga props, like a yoga block, are typically placed underneath the lower back in order to maintain the pose. 

Reclined Twist (Supta Matsyendrasanda) 

The reclined twist yoga pose works by stretching the back and twisting the body while lying down. Reclined twists poses are great for digestive issues and muscle pains and are mixed with soft music and dim lighting, creating an ideal ambience for meditation. 

Supported Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The supported corpse pose is one of the most popular poses in restorative yoga classes. The pose starts with a student lying on their back with arms and legs out. Yoga props are often used with this pose, as well, including eye pillows, bolsters and pillows. Breathing techniques are taught during this time with a focus on clearing the mind and focusing on breath. 

Legs Up Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

The legs up wall pose is a great pose for all age groups because of its adaptability. It begins with having a person lay on their back and lift their legs into the air. For modification, a wall is often used as a rest. This pose offers a great stretch for the hamstrings. 

What Are The Benefits of Meditation Healing?

The benefits of meditation extend beyond relaxation. Studies have shown that meditation can act as a pain reliever and manage symptoms of conditions like depression, high-blood pressure, and sleep disorders. Together, yoga and meditation work to heal both the mind and body. Other benefits recorded from performing regular meditation are relief from:

  • IBS
  • Anxiety
  • Tension Headaches
  • Asthma

Is Yoga a Form of Meditation?

Yoga is absolutely a form of meditation. Meditation is used to relax and center the mind. Exactly how that appears will be different for everyone. Yoga is sometimes considered only as an exercise, but that’s not entirely true. Yes, the cardiovascular benefits along with increase in muscle strength is well noted, yet different types of yoga will offer various meditative benefits. 

Hatha Yoga forces the mind to focus on each pose as more time is usually spent trying to reach them. Vinyasa puts a higher emphasis on flow and breathing, calming the mind. It’s important to find a yoga class that offers a meditation technique that you are most comfortable with. 

Restore and Meditate at Yoga Now Chicago

At Yoga Now, we believe in the powerful effects of meditation and yoga. These help to aid in mental wellness, body strains, and everyday stresses. Our restorative yoga class helps to de-stress and bring clarity to your mind and body. 

Our experienced yoga instructors create supportive and guided classes using techniques that have been taught for multiple centuries. Contact us today to get started with your restorative journey!