Countless studies have shown the connection between the effects of stress on our physical and mental health.  From this, we know that good total health can best be achieved by addressing both mind and body wellness. Yoga is one practice that can be very beneficial for physical and mental health.  There are many different styles of yoga practice, each with slightly different focuses and benefits.  Choosing which style of yoga to practice differs for each person, but most people can benefit from doing a variety of styles to get maximum benefits. One style of yoga that is ideal for people of all ages and activity levels is Restorative Yoga.

What Is Restorative Yoga Practice?

Restorative Yoga is an immensely relaxing and healing form of yoga.  It is drastically different from many other styles of yoga in that it is a largely passive practice and involves very few movements.  This practice is all about slowing down and relaxing the body through gentle, passive stretching.  The postures held are not intended to build strength or flexibility, but instead to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and bring about deep relaxation.  

Restorative Yoga is often confused with Yin Yoga. While these styles may look very similar as they are slower moving, utilize more props, and hold postures for extended periods, they are very different in their focus.  Yin Yoga focuses on opening and deep stretching the fascia and other connective tissues.  Props are used to intentionally put tension on muscles and joints in a way that allows for more opening of the connective tissues.  Restorative yoga utilizes props to ease the tension and take all strain from your body so you can rest and relax.  

What To Expect In A Restorative Yoga Class?

In a Restorative Yoga class, you will hold different poses for an extended period of time, anywhere from 5-20 minutes, using multiple props such as bolsters, blankets, straps, or blocks to fully support you in the postures. You may feel a gentle stretch in some postures, but the focus is on supporting the body fully and allowing the muscles to relax.  

During a Restorative Yoga class, the instructor will also bring in other tools to encourage deep relaxation. Your instructor will seek to create a relaxing environment utilizing things like dim lighting, soothing music, eye pillows, blankets, and/or essential oils to promote relaxation.  These classes will also usually incorporate different pranayama (breathing) practices and meditations to support rest and relaxation.  As you will not be building heat and moving much in these classes many students will wear socks and warmer clothes or layers for increased comfort.  

The Power of Relaxation – Benefits of Restorative Yoga

  • Increases relaxation
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Reduces pain
  • Improves your mood
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Calms your nervous system
  • Encourages the practice of routine meditation & promotes mindfulness
  • Improves overall well-being
  • It gives you focus

Starting February 27, 2022, we will be adding a Restorative Yoga small group on Sunday evenings at 7pm.  Reserve your spot now.


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