Restorative Yoga enables deep relaxation as you are holding poses for longer periods of time with the help of props to completely support you.
The main focus of Restorative Yoga is that by relaxing in poses, with the aid of props, without strain or pain, you can achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation.
Restorative yoga classes are very relaxing and slow paced. Props, like blocks, bolsters, blankets and straps are used so that you are supported in your pose comfortably. You will then hold the pose for an extended period of time. This practice is great to balance an active yoga schedule or to give yourself a break when you feel stressed or under the weather.
Our parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated when we relax into poses, which promotes a relaxation response and reduces stress in our bodies. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for slowing your heart rate and breath and increasing blood flow to your vital organs, among other things.
The mind focuses on the breath in order to cultivate focus and peace. Long holds help release tension from the body, aid in flexibility and accelerate natural healing processes.
Held for five minutes or more, restorative poses include light twists, seated forward folds and gentle backbends.
A Restorative practice can assist with reduced anxiety, improved sleep and boosting the immune system.
Two Questions we get asked about this practice:
Q: I am a beginner, do I need to know what to do?
A: NO. Come as you are for this practice. Your instructor will guide you into shapes and poses as well as how to use the props to best suit your body and practice.
Q: I have injuries, is this class ok for me to try?
A: Absolutely! With the complete support of the props underneath you, your body can fully release into the poses and feel at ease. Due to the slow and gentle nature of a Restorative Yoga class, it is an excellent option after injury recovery when you are just beginning to explore movement but don't want to push yourself too hard.
Curious? We will be offering a Restorative Yoga Extension Class in February. Stay tuned for details.