YOGA STYLES 101: Which is right for me? PT 3: RESTORATIVE YOGA

Today we are exploring Restorative Yoga. Restorative yoga is a gentle form of yoga that emphasizes relaxation and deep rest. In this style of yoga, the body is supported by props such as bolsters, blankets, and blocks to allow for deep relaxation, comfort, and release of tension. The focus is on holding poses for longer periods of time (typically 5-10 minutes), which can help to calm the nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety. Restorative yoga differs from Yin in a few ways. While both styles are slower and more nourishing than a traditional vinyasa class- restorative yoga emphasizes rest while Yin emphasizes sensation. Restorative Yoga practices are all about letting go, while Yin is more about leaning in. This means that in a Yin class, we stretch and hold the pose to meet our edge- so that we can get into the deep fascia of the muscles. Restorative does not need us to lean into sensation- rather, restorative asks us to surrender, to let the body rest rather than reach, and to allow the poses to do the work for us. 

Some common poses usually found in a Restorative Yoga class include supported child's pose, supported reclined bound angle pose, and legs-up-the-wall pose. Each pose is held for an extended period of time to allow the body to fully surrender and receive the benefits of the posture. 

Restorative yoga can be highly beneficial for people who are recovering from injuries or illnesses, those who regularly experience stress or anxiety,  and anyone who is looking to reduce chronic pain. It is also a good option for anyone looking for a gentle, relaxing form of exercise. Restorative Yoga is also a wonderful practice for bedtime, and can aid those who suffer from insomnia or restless leg syndrome leading to better, more rejuvenating rest. 

Overall, restorative yoga is for anyone who wants to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve their overall well-being. It is a gentle and accessible practice that can be adapted to meet the needs of individuals at any level of experience or ability.