March 31, 2021

Restorative Yoga

Restorative Yoga is a form of gentle yoga to help the body recover, relax and heal. This very popular complementary health practice is being taught in certain hospitals, hospices, and rehabilitation centers worldwide. However, increasingly restorative yoga teachers are being trained to provide sessions for the general public and it is a growing area of interest for many yoga teachers who already teach other styles of yoga. For new teachers, this style of yoga can sometimes be tricky to work with. This is due to the fact that this style of yoga does require you to focus on a particular aspect and bring your mind fully into the moment to allow the body to heal. The time frame of these poses and focusing on deep breathing can be challenging initially but will become easier and is part of the meditation methods of yoga.

Restorative yoga with a bolster. Group of young people in yoga studio, lying on bolster cushion, stretching and relaxing during restorative yoga. Healthy active lifestyle.

If you are in the process of learning about restorative yoga, here are four tips on how to get the most from your practice.

  1. The first thing is to make sure you know where to go to find a restorative yoga class in your area. There are websites that can help with this, or you can use an app on your smartphone. Make sure you have the right equipment with you as you go. A yoga mat is a necessity. You need to make sure you put it down and cushion the floor, which will aid in making your practice more comfortable.
  2. Next you need to make sure you know what you are looking for when choosing a restorative yoga class. This form of yoga does require you to focus on a particular area of the body. You will need to use certain techniques, postures and also certain words. These words are listed and described on the websites for this style of yoga, allowing for clarity on the instructor’s methods and levels for the class.
  3. There are many online resources that can help you to learn about this style of yoga and what to expect. In addition, there are guides that can help you to get you through the different stages of your practice. A great resource for this type of yoga is your local YMCA. You can also find a local resource to contact.
  4. The last tip that you will need to use is making sure you have the right attitude while undertaking your practice. You will need to make sure you don’t overstretch yourself. Think about it as you practice. Don’t push yourself to the point where you feel pain. Be sensitive and let yourself relax. This will help you to restore your body when you are in a stretch.

Restorative yoga is a wonderful form of bodywork, for everyone. There is much more to this practice that just taking away pain, which it does through toning the vagus nerve. The reason why so many people like this form of yoga is because it enables them to be relaxed and to be sensitive to their bodies. If you are wondering how to be successful with the various stages of your restorative practice, look no further. There is a wide variety of information available to help you. Make sure you do what feels right to you.

Young woman practices aerial inversion anti-gravity yoga with a hammock in a loft studio. Female gymnast performs physical exercises fly-yoga, pilates, restorative decompression flip.
  • It is also recommended that you take the time to choose the style or level of the restorative yoga that you will take. Each style has its own benefits. You can also do this on your own through mindfulness.
  • If you have had any previous injuries, it is important that you check with your doctor to see if this is right for you. The more you know about what is involved with this type of exercise, the more you will enjoy it.
  • If you can, it is helpful to try not to push to the edge of the stretch but to an area of comfort and back down, on each side. For a cat and cow stretch, move you body up and down a few times, peacefully and slowly. For the front pigeon pose, open your arms to comfort and relax the head, begin to unwind passively down into the mat or props.
  • It is also helpful to use a mirror and check your posture.
  • Make sure you pay attention to your breathing. You should notice that your breath becomes deeper as you move into a more difficult posture.
  • You can learn new postures with a video. You can find videos for on the internet, or you can buy a DVD. When in-person yoga isn’t possible videos can help.

Breathing is also an important component of the practice. This is very helpful, especially, for the ones who are practicing without a guide. The deeper your breath, the better the effect. The good thing is that you can learn your breathing by watching a video. So, instead of using a book on the subject, you can learn your breathing simply by watching a video when in-person instruction isn’t possible.

  • You may choose to avoid eating just prior to the class, though some poses can be safe to do after eating and aid digestion.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail me directly.

  • Remember you should check with your doctor before starting the practice.

There are several books about this subject, and you should do your research first to see if it is appropriate for you. You may want to check with your local library for resources, or online communities like facebook. Some of these poses are very easy to do.

  • You should ask yourself if you can do a particular posture. If you find that you cannot, you should stop until you have enough guidance and or props to do the pose with ease.

The benefit of restorative yoga is that it is about moving towards wellness, but not necessarily moving into any particular shape. You can always practice pose after pose, as these poses are done with gentle low impact effort. The strength of this yoga is in how long poses are held, from five to thirty minutes and beyond. Deep breathing while in these relaxed postures is all the work that is needed for the results to shine through. Expect better sleep, more focus, decreased depression and anxiety, and balance of hormones from Restorative yoga.

So why not take your time, and find your place doing Restorative yoga? Give restorative yoga a shot, and it just may change your life.

Young woman practicing yoga, stretching on mat, palms facing upward, relaxing after stressful situation in a restorative exercise, body and mind resting pose, indoor close up image, floor background

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