Restorative Yoga Introduction
Restorative yoga is a type of yoga which focuses on relaxation of the body, calmness of the mind and healing from physical and mental diseases. If we want to know the history of Restorative yoga, we find that this yoga is the part of V. K. S. Iyengar yoga. This yoga is especially for the people who want to do the yoga without any pain and discomfort. It is the yoga which is very effective for the people who are ill and injured. This yoga became very popular in 1970s among Americans especially with celebrities. The credit for making it popular around the world goes to the teacher Judith Lasater, a student of Iyengar. It is the solution for the day to day busy life of modern age. It can maintain the balance between spiritual world and materialistic world.
Benefits of Restorative Yoga
Restorative yoga is especially for relaxation of the body and mind. It is very effective to the people who want to do yoga very slowly and by little effort. In this yoga, we stay in a pose longer period of time in comfort postures using some support. It is very useful to release the stress and tension from our mind. We do only five or six postures during our whole sequence. Body should be relaxed and comfortable in this yoga while we do postures. We can listen very gentle music combined with the guided meditation by our teacher. We can use blankets or anything to make the postures more comfortable.
This yoga is believed to increase the immune system and the healing power of natural force. When the natural force of healing works in our body, all the diseases slowly start to disappear. It maintains the heart beat and blood presser of our body. It is very beneficial to the patient of anxiety, headaches, insomnia and other stress related diseases. By this yoga, we can achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation. It can help us to seek the solution of the problems in our daily life like fatigue, divorce, loss of job, death of beloved. It can be the guidance of life in the right path. If we want to make some changes in our life to the positive direction, this yoga can be the best choice.
Poses used in Restorative Yoga
In restorative yoga, the postures are the same like in normal yoga but this yoga has its unique qualities those are the support of props and to stay for a long period of time in a single posture. Warm up is also very important in this yoga. For the warm up, we can do sun salutation or any simple type of Vinyasa. After the warm up, we do poses. Poses are done by holding for 10 or 15 minutes in a single pose. The postures should be comfortable to do.
We do simply some following postures in Restorative yoga.
- Legs against
- Child’s Pose
- Reclining Bound Angle
- Sawasana (Relaxation)
Props of Restorative Yoga
When we do restorative yoga, we use a blanket or any types of support which is called props. Props make us more comfortable to perform restorative yoga. Simply, we use bolsters, pillows, blankets, chairs, straps and blocks to make the pose perfect. The main aim of using props is to provide the support for the body. We have to consider using proper size of prop by concerning the pose which we are doing. These types of props help us to make our body comfortable while doing yoga for longer period of time. In this yoga, we stay in a pose for longer period of time without moving. We have to use proper props so that our body can feel easy and comfortable.
We surrender our body and mind in the pose by using props. How much effective we can make the support, more we can go into deeper level or feel relaxed. While doing this yoga, our mind should be quiet so that the environment becomes peace and quiet. If the props are perfect, our purpose of doing restorative yoga can be fulfilled.
Why should we do restorative yoga?
Today the life of the people becomes very complex and this complexity makes our lifestyle very busy. This era’s main feature is the rushing life. Our quality of life is decreasing in the stress related aspect. Most of the people are suffering from some types of tension in their life. The pace of life becomes so fast that if we cannot run in that speed, we cannot think we are living. This restorative yoga is very useful to the people who are suffering from physical and mental illness and any types of injury. The most beautiful part of this yoga is that it can be the good solution of the mental stress and the restlessness of the mind. In this yoga, we focus on the breathing, while doing postures. This helps us to be free from all the stresses and tensions. Concentrating on the breathing makes us aware of our thoughts which help us to be less stressful.
In the ancient time, yoga students spent their time doing single pose for longer period of time and master gave new posture when a student became perfect in the previous posture. But, now the teacher gives all types of poses in a single session. We can grow slowly the capacity to stretch our body by this yoga. It is not good to stretch our body fast. We can be well relaxed in the pose, we may fall asleep. It is good to sleep doing yoga because it can make us stress free. When we can able to relax the nervous system, all the stresses can be eliminated.
In Restorative yoga, we don’t force to do postures. We do the postures gently in comfortable way. This yoga is gentle yoga and passive yoga in the sense that it is done passively. There are many types of yoga but almost all have active postures in their courses. This yoga focuses on the relaxation and peace of mind. It makes our restless mind restful. It is designed to increase the flexibility of the body very slowly. When students practice more with props, they can remove the support when they can do the postures easily without any support. The time takes to open the tight muscles. When we are able to do the poses with the bolsters very nicely then we can do other hard postures. This yoga doesn’t tell the students to force in doing postures but it tells them to do as easily as they can. It increases the stretch on our body without any hard effort. It is the natural way of opening the body muscles.
Restorative yoga is related with the body and mind in the same range. By focusing on the breathing that we take, it leads us towards the mental stillness and by staying motionless; it brings us into stillness of our body. In this way, we can make our body and mind alert and aware. There may be a soft music in the class, which adds the beauty of the calmness. The voice of teacher can be the real inspiration in performing yoga. Teacher guides the students throughout the class which helps them to concentrate on their breathing.