You’ve probably heard a good amount of information about yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises in recent years, but there are countless subcategories of these practices to dive more into; one such subset being restorative yoga.
What is it?
While yoga is more of an active class—one that involves muscle flexibility and strength—the restorative version entails very little movement. In fact, you probably won’t break too much of a sweat, which is the point. Restorative means to renew or recuperate, so as you might suspect, restorative yoga is meant to help de-stress and help you become more comfortable with stillness.
Who should try it?
Research shows that this form of yoga helps those experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety, and those who need help managing feelings of pain. If you’re already a regular yogi, restorative yoga complements your regular practice well. It can also aid those who have experienced forms of trauma, as it addresses the fact that people often hold trauma in their bodies, not just in their minds.
What can I expect?
A restorative yoga class will include poses that encourage awareness in the body, and emphasizes posture in a way that helps tackle poor energy levels, emotional imbalances, and muscle tension.
Often using props such as blankets, pillows, blocks, and bolsters, the poses in the class may include any of the following: child’s pose, seated forward bend, supported bridge pose, legs up on the wall, supported side twist, and more. You will hold the pose anywhere from 2–10 minutes.
You’ll walk away from a restorative yoga class feeling less stressed and a little lighter, with an appreciation for what you can benefit in the act of being still.