“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.” – B.K.S Iyengar
What is it?
Restorative yoga aims to relax all points in the body - physical, mental, and emotional. This practice heavily relies on props such as bolsters, blankets and blocks to help the body sink into deeper relaxation throughout one’s practice. The goal of restorative yoga is to modify all asanas into simple poses, so one can relax and focus on releasing any tension points in the body. While other forms of yoga flow through different asanas quite frequently, restorative yoga aims to stay in each pose for long periods of time, sometimes even up to 20 minutes.
A regular practice can have many physical and mental benefits!
- Improves flexibility
- Relieves tension in all types of muscles
- Regular practice can help lower stress-related illnesses
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Releases emotional tension
- Increases sense of calm
- Clears the mind for a clear conscience
What to expect in your first class:
Since restorative requires the use of many props, expect to be interacting with new equipment you might not have used before. Ask your instructor before your practice which props they will be using. If you have not used one of them before, it’d be best to have them explain the use of the prop beforehand. Aside from props, the class will revolve around relaxing your body, but most importantly your mind. Get ready to release any tension you may be experiencing both physically and mentally. As you sink deep into many poses for long periods of time throughout the class, this class will leave you feeling weightless by the end of your practice. Try your best not to fall asleep though!
What you need to practice: comfort is key!
- A mat: Choose a mat that is comfortable and at least 5 mm thick.
- Bottoms: Any comfortable bottoms (shorts, capris or pants) in a cotton or stretchy fabric that breathes and allows movement are ideal.
- Top: Choose a tank top or t-shirt that moves with you, but it is helpful to have a sweatshirt or blanket for the relaxation period.
- Equipment: Bolsters and blankets are essential to experiencing full relaxation with these poses, but a comfortable mat is key as well.