Updated: Jan 18, 2021
Given the fast-paced world in which we all live, dedicating a little time for ourselves each day can effectively contribute to the quality of our lives and well-being. Restorative yoga is an excellent way of diverting our attention from the external world, which is often a source of stress, to our inner self.
This is a practice used to achieve physical, mental, and emotional relaxation. It will help us find our inner peace and better understand the needs of our bodies.
Restorative yoga supports the effect of healing the body and mind. It can be helpful, especially at a time when we need to restore our energy and reduce the stress and fatigue that result from our fast or tense lifestyle.
Restorative yoga relaxes and softens the body, calms the mind, balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain, our yin and yang principles, harmonizes the hormonal system, and introduces deep relaxation. We can use it to recover from physical and mental exertion or even overcome depression and anxiety.
Regular practice of restorative yoga will strengthen our body and make us more resistant to stress-related illnesses. Restorative yoga also increases flexibility, lowers blood pressure, reduces heart rate, gives a boost to the immune system, and accelerates recovery after illness.
How it works
In restorative yoga, many props such as blocks, straps, and blankets are used for supporting the body, so it can be easier to hold poses for extended periods. Many poses are like usual yoga asanas, but they are slower to perform, so with the help of props we stay longer in the poses - up to 15 minutes.
If we want to achieve calmness and relaxation, we should incorporate restorative yoga into our daily practice. We can set aside some time for two or three restorative poses in the morning or before bedtime, or we can add a restorative pose at the beginning or at the end of the practice. We can also use a restorative pose as our meditation practice.
A few popular poses for restorative yoga:
Supine Spinal Twist, Child's Pose, Reclining Bound Angle Pose, & Shavasana
Child's Pose (actual child not necessary lol)
In the end, we just need to have patience and enjoy the silence of our body and mind. It does not seem that we do much in restorative practice, and that's the point. It takes some getting used to, but after a while, it gets more effortless, and we can enjoy the numerous benefits it brings. Release!
By guest writer, Marina, MSc & Avid Yogi.