Despite the fact that I love to move in my yoga classes, I also enjoy Restorative Yoga and have come to realize that it’s essential to slow down our practice from time to time. Restorative yoga has tons of benefits for both your mind and body and is also a great compliment to more vigorous styles of yoga. It’s also a wonderful type of yoga to try if you are seeking a gentler style or are working with an injury. So you're probably asking yourself, "What can restorative yoga do for me?" Look no further...I've got answers!
It’s like Pre-School Nap Time Only Better!
Think of your Restorative Yoga class as a long, cozy nap. The class is filled with gentle poses and lots of long (Yin Yoga like) holds, which allow your body the opportunity to really open up and move deeply into the poses. This in turn helps us to relax, renew and heal. At the end of class, you “wake up” feeling refreshed, calm and much better than you began. What’s not to love?
Fun With Props
Do you find yourself gazing at the “wall of props” during your Power Yoga Class, feeling jealous and wondering why you never get to use all those cushy blankets and bolsters? Restorative Yoga generally incorporates lots of different props during each class. From bolsters and blankets to keep you cozy and elevated, to blocks and straps to help you feel supported or get deeper into certain poses, you will use TONS of props in Restorative Yoga! You will also have the opportunity to try lots of new poses that you’ve probably never encountered (or held for as long in such a healing way) in most traditional Power or Vinyasa Yoga classes. Heck, you may just find a new favorite pose or prop while you’re at it that you’ll want to start practicing/utilizing at home after a sweaty Vinyasa class.
Stress Free, Finally!
Power Yoga classes are certainly a great way to relieve stress in your life, but Restorative Yoga has been proven in several studies to help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, mental health and overall quality of life. According to Gopi Rao, "Practicing Restorative Yoga will lower cortisol levels and raise endorphin levels through the deep, slow practice of holding Yoga postures (asanas) for an extended period of time. The release of endorphins helps to ease aching muscles and release toxins and negative energ through the natural pain relief of these chemicals. Yoga and therapy in one? Sign me up!
Bottom Line: If you feel like you need to slow down, de-stress and re-charge (and lets face it, we ALL do), give Restorative Yoga a shot! Even if you’re a self proclaimed Power Yoga addict you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised.