Restorative Yoga for Deep Relaxation of Mind and Body

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Have you ever heard of restorative yoga? This is the practice of mental, emotional, and physical relaxation that everyone in today’s world needs. This is one of the best styles of yoga, perfect for all these people that would prefer to practice for deep relaxation.

Regarding restorative yoga, do not expect to move from pose to pose faster since it is not an active type of practice. Instead, be prepared to stay in the same posture for five minutes, to breathe deeply and meditate.

Restorative Yoga – what is it?

The restorative yoga definition is the following – restful and calm practice during which we hold yoga poses (asanas) for a longer time while using props like bolsters, blocks, and blankets. This calming practice is all about slowing down your body and mind and opening it with the help of passive stretching. It is not about the movement; it is about the deep relaxation and uniting your body and mind.

The restorative yoga meaning is to “restore” the parasympathetic nervous system function of the body to help it heal and be healthy. When we think of restorative yoga description, we can say that this practice is gentle, therapeutic, and supportive – during the classes, you may not have to move a lot since it is all about being relaxed, calm, and happy.

Restorative yoga has something similar to Hatha yoga since both of the practices have the goal of strengthening and stretching the body. At the same time, it deepens the connection between mind and body. The intention of restorative yoga is to help you go into a state of more profound relaxation, to help you see your inner self and find your feelings.

restorative yoga
Photo: LOGAN WEAVER / Unsplash

Restorative Yoga Benefits

Regarding restorative yoga benefits – we can say a lot, and it will never be enough. This practice is excellent for the body, mind, and soul. Let us tell you more about the fantastic benefits of the practice.

Deep Relaxation

First, and most important – deep relaxation. This is one of the most significant benefits of the practice. While breathing deeply, you calm down your nervous system. This results in promoted relaxation and reduced stress and anxiety levels. That’s why we believe that restorative yoga is one of the best ways to calm yourself down and help you deal with daily stress.

Improved well-being

When practicing restorative yoga often enough, you will enhance cardiovascular and respiratory function and improve your flexibility and stability, resulting in overall better mental health and well-being.

Better sleep and better mood

Thanks to the lowering of stress levels and deep relaxation, you will fall asleep easier and sleep deeply. This will result in overall better well-being of your mind and physical body. Being calm, having a good sleep, and moving a little more will make your mood better than ever.

Gentle practice

One of the benefits of restorative yoga is that it is gentle on the body. Since the practice is not intense and challenging, it is not bad for the joints and the overall body. This makes it an excellent option for all people of all ages.

You may ask, does restorative yoga burn calories? Well, every movement you make burns some calories. However, restorative yoga is not an active way of moving, so you will not burn many calories while practicing. You will surely tone your body and give it flexibility and strength. Still, if your goal is to burn some calories, you better go for another, more intense style of yoga.

Props for Restorative Yoga

One of the critical features of restorative yoga is the usage of props. They are used to support you during the practice and prevent hurting the muscles while holding into one pose for a more extended period of time. The props make the practice much more comfortable, and thanks to them, you can relax deeply.

But let us explain in detail why props are used – when your body is supported, you will be able to relax more easily. That’s why we fall asleep lying in bed, not standing up. When you can fully relax, your mind will also do the same, and that’s the moment we are looking forward – the rechange and restoration of your mind, body, and soul.

Some of the props you can use for your restorative yoga practice are the following:

  • Yoga Blocks – the yoga blocks are made of recycled foam or wood and are perfect for practice support. If you don’t want to spend money on that, you can use some books or a heavy box.
  • Yoga Mat – of course, you need a yoga mat while practicing yoga. Make sure you have a soft and comfortable one.
  • Blanket – many yogis prefer to get a blanket while practicing restorative yoga since it gives them warmth and cushion.
  • Eye pillow – people love to use eye pillow since it helps them to deeply relax. You can go for an eye pillow filled with sand or lavender for even more profound relaxation.
  • Bolster – the bolster is a huge pillow that can support you while practicing. There are different shapes, such as round and rectangular, so you can choose the one that fits you best.
restorative yoga
Photo: Anton Shuvalov / Unsplash

Restorative Yoga Favourite Poses

There are many different restorative yoga poses, so you can choose these to help you calm down and feel good. You can also go for a YouTube guide to help you choose the best restorative yoga poses. Remember that you should not feel pain – all you can sense is stretching. If you feel pain, you should stop since your body tells you that you are not ready to perform a specific yoga pose.

Here are our favorite restorative yoga poses:

  • Child Pose – great for relaxing the lower back and stretching the knees
  • Fish Pose – good for opening the shoulders and the chest and relaxing the upper back
  • Reclining Bound Angle Pose – great pose for relaxing your back and stretching the groins and hips
  • Seated Forward Bend – amazing for relaxation of the mid-back and stretching of the hamstrings
  • Supported Corpse Pose – good for deep relaxation and stretching of the whole body

Practicing Restorative Yoga

If you have decided to try restorative yoga, you indeed have made one fantastic decision. You can practice alone, at home, or visit a restorative yoga class with a teacher – it is all about how you feel and what you want. Many people would prefer to start with this style of yoga at home since it is much easier to calm down and concentrate. However, others believe that the teacher’s guidance is essential for successful practice.

You can do restorative yoga at night, at noon, or even early in the morning – choose the time that fits you best. Some yogis would love to start their day with deep relaxation. In contrast, others prefer to end it with the practice and relieve all the stress they have experienced throughout the day.

If you have chosen to practice at home – make sure you have a clean and calm place where you can fully relax and get into a deep state of meditation. Make sure you feel secure and have space to perform the poses. Some people like to put on music, others prefer to listen to birds and water sounds, and third – they enjoy the quietness.

So, when it comes to restorative yoga, you must listen to your mind, body, and needs. This practice is all about deep relaxation and calming down, so choose a place to help you relax and select nice yoga music or props that will make you feel comfortable. If you believe that you need guidance – go for a restorative yoga class where you will have the chance to listen to a specialist and get into the deep state of relaxation you are aiming at. Good luck!

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Photo: Windows / Unsplash

FAQ:

Is restorative yoga good for you?

Restorative Yoga is a gentle practice that will help you get into deep relaxation, relieve stress, and improve flexibility. It is suitable for everyone.

What is restorative yoga good for?

Restorative Yoga improves well-being, reduces pain, reduces stress levels, and enhances sleep quality.

What is the definition of restorative yoga?

A restful and calmful practice during which we hold yoga poses (asanas) for a more extended time while using props.

Why do we use props during yoga practice?

The props are used to help you hold poses for longer without hurting your muscles. They are used for support and comfort during practice.

What do I need to practice restorative yoga at home?

You need a calm and quiet place, props to make you comfortable, and a good YouTube video to guide you through the practice.

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Nora Yulieva

Young, but already found my passion - writing. I love to travel, I love animals, and most - I love having the freedom to work from anywhere around the world.
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