What is Restorative Yoga?
Restorative yoga is a gentle, peaceful form of yoga meant to cultivate a state of deep relaxation within the body. Where other types of yoga are active and involve active movement within the body, the aim of restorative yoga is to facilitate a sensation of calm and gentleness through passive poses. With the use of various props (blankets, bolsters, blocks, etc.), students come into poses that work best within their own body. It’s important that within this practice, no effort or work occurs. Restorative yoga is a place to allow your body to heal and find stillness.
This type of yoga is deeply spiritual as the long, deep holds allow for a more intimate connection with the body and mind. As the physical body is able to come into relaxation, the mind is able to begin to quiet down. Quieting the mind is quite a feat, especially in today’s society where to-do lists run long and stress is a near-constant companion; however, yoga is a practice and restorative yoga affords that space to work on cultivating that sense of balance between the physical body and the mind.
History of Restorative
Restorative yoga was developed in 1937 by B.K.S Iyengar. He noticed his students were straining and struggling through poses, creating a concern for injury and pain. He wanted to find therapeutic poses that would help to restore and heal his body and those of his students. He created a practice that involved longer, gentler holds of poses, and integrated props in order to create modifications for each student without causing additional strain or work. This allowed students to develop a practice that was uniquely suited to their bodies at any given moment.
Today, restorative yoga is becoming increasingly more necessary in a society that never stops, where anxiety and depression are becoming more common, and a way of life that doesn’t facilitate the best movement for the body. Starting your own restorative yoga practice will allow your body to begin to heal from stress, relax tension within the body, to allow the constant narrative in your head to relax, and to allow yourself to let go, and simply be!
Benefits of Restorative Yoga
Restorative yoga functions on a deeper level, creating a sense of stillness and peace that allows the body to reap several physical and physiological benefits. These include:
Creates homeostasis in the body
Lowers blood pressure levels
Therapeutic for hormonal issues - menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, cramps
Helps relieve cold and flu symptoms
Provides headache relief
Relieves symptoms of joint pain - carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica nerve pain
Gives you more energy
Relaxes the nervous system
Reduce tension, physical pain in the body
Release fascia (connective tissue within the body)
Triggers the parasympathetic nervous system
Creates self-compassion, patience
Download these once and have them for life.
The wound is the place where the light enters.