05 Sep What is Restorative Yoga?
If you’ve wondered what is Restorative Yoga, here are some details.
In a Nutshell
Restorative Yoga as a style is like a guided full relaxation through body, breath, and mind.
For the Body
Body, because you set yourself up on the ground, comfy with pillows and blankets, in a handful of positions of very, very gentle stretch and opening.
For the Breath
Breath, because with the physical positions you gradually release muscular tension around the chest, ribs, back, and belly to free up your body’s natural movement on your breath. Better breathing is less about depth and intensity and more about removing obstacles to taking and releasing the breath itself.
For the Mind
And mind, because at its simplest, it’s 60 minutes of intentional softening all to yourself. From a nervous system perspective, it’s 60 minutes of support for your parasympathetic, “rest and digest” nervous system.
Everything we do in class is designed to activate your physiological state of relaxed calm. That is, slow your heart and breathing rate down, lower your blood pressure, turn off muscular contraction, and get your digestion going smoothly. As the body and breath settle, the mind can follow, satisfied there is nothing to need protection from, at least for the space of class.
As a nervous, anxious human being, Restorative Yoga is my favorite.
Want to Practice?
I teach Restorative Yoga classes multiple times a week, and have Restorative/Yin Yoga mixed classes for free online, on demand.
By the way, Yin Yoga is similar to Restorative in that it is an almost completely passive practice (no muscle building). It differs in that the poses in Yin can and do feature more intense stretching. Yin Yoga can leave you achey. Restorative Yoga shouldn’t.