What is restorative yoga?

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Restorative yoga is used to promote rest and healing within the body. Our bodies are constantly striving for balance and restorative yoga is a great way to bring balance into the body by pressing the pause button, so to speak.

Many of the different types of yoga offer some sort of restoration any time you participate. An actual restorative session will usually involve props such as blocks, blankets, pillows, bolsters, and even yoga straps. The pace of restorative yoga is slow, with the movement still being breath driven.

Restorative yoga will hold certain supported positions for longer than a regular, physical asana practice. This allows the body to relax more fully into the pose, thus allowing for a greater release through not only the muscles, but also the tendons, ligaments, and joints. All of these areas tend to be stress pockets for the emotions of life. By settling into these pockets in a supported way, we are then freed up to start dealing with the stress that is weighing us down in other areas of life.

Yin Yoga is a wonderful form of restorative yoga and Viniyoga (while NOT always focused on the restorative class) offers restorative moments and postures throughout every class. By taking part in restorative yoga you can expect to ease residual joint and muscle pain, as well as stress that is stored in these tense areas.

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Restorative yoga is a more gentle and relaxing yoga practice. It provides a healing oasis often supported by yoga props to aid in deep relaxation in the body and the mind. The postures, or asanas, are generally held longer, approximately five to eight minutes, in order to savor the opening and relaxing in the muscles. Breath work and meditation can also be incorporated. While you are in the postures, you will be guided to observe your breath, clear your mind, and release tension and holding in the entire body.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.