Restorative Yoga-Resting Muscles and the Mind

Restorative Yoga-Resting Muscles and the Mind

November 14th, 2011 by tanja

Restorative Yoga-Resting Muscles and the Mind Restorative Yoga focuses on making sure that the muscles and mind can rest. Poses are practiced and held for minutes in one movement and for as long as up to 15 minutes when your body has warmed up enough. The poses can include Sun Salutations or some gentle vinyasas. During yoga teacher training and practicing this style of yoga you can be so deep into a meditative state with Restorative Yoga that you can lose track of your physical shape.

The History of Restorative Yoga

The creation of modern Restorative Yoga classes stems from the traditional teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, who focused on teaching his students to practice various poses for the main purpose of perfecting those poses. His style is called Iyengar yoga and his teachings are the reason and inspiration behind the design of Restorative Yoga. During his yoga teaching one of his students took the idea of Restorative Yoga and made it what it is today.

Function of Restorative Yoga

Yoga teacher training takes you through the training and yoga teaching that you will need to use Restorative Yoga practice to heal your body both emotionally and physically. Some people look to a yoga teacher to help guide them through Restorative Yoga practice while they are dealing with something traumatic in their lives or when they simply need to find a way to relax and unwind their mind and body completely. Like with other styles of yoga, Restorative Yoga can focus and treat one area of the body and relax the mind or it can work on the entire body as a whole. You can practice a supportive relaxation which will focus on the entire body and relax your mind at the same time or you can recline and practice a bound angle pose which will take the focus directly to opening up your hips.

Poses for Restorative Yoga

Yoga teacher training shows you how to use a lot of variety with traditional poses of yoga but with the use of props and modifications. There are some more common and popular poses that are used in this style of yoga certification like the Child’s Pose where your hips rest on the heels and your upper body cradles a pillow or a bolster for extra support. Having your legs up against the wall and using a bolster under you back, hips and legs for modification. Another pose which is practice is the Reclining Bound Angle where you would modify it with the use of props under your arms, head and legs. Finally, relaxing and moving into Savasana with your feet resting on a blanket, your legs comfortable with a bolster and your head on a pillow. While practicing all these poses, your yoga teacher may even encourage you to cover some of your body with a blanket to get a more comforting and warm effect to be able to fully fall into the relaxation of the pose.

Props to help Modify

During your Restorative Yoga class you will be able to practice using a lot of props in your poses. Your instructor may advise you to use pillows, blankets, bolsters, chairs, blocks or even straps to achieve the pose you are practicing. The props will help allow your body to relax and stretch with more support.  The props are there to be used to help you support your body while you are practicing the yoga asanas. The props allow the pose to become more comfortable allowing you to stay in that pose longer.

Why should I practice this style?

Restorative Yoga is another form of therapeutic yoga which by using props helps the body move into certain poses with less stress on the body. Yoga teacher training will guide you in how to use these props to provide a complete and deeper sense of relaxation during the poses. Total relaxation is a state where there is no effort, no movement and the mind is quiet. Restorative poses are held for up to 15 minutes as long as the body is comfortable.

Practicing Restorative Yoga can help heal the body. Holding onto the everyday stresses we encounter can cause havoc in the body’s ability to heal itself or it may even cause more health risks such as high blood pressure, back pain, ulcers, immune disorders or depression. The greatest cure to stress is relaxation. Restorative Yoga takes your body on a yoga vacation and focuses on renewal, relaxation, and calm. This type of practice will soothe your nervous system and help you release tension and quiet your mind. Yoga teacher training will help guide you and bring you periods of deep relaxation which will help nurture you from within.

By tanja