Restorative yoga – what are the benefits
When it comes to restorative yoga, you should know that it’s a restful practice that can help you slow down and calm your body with the help of some deep stretches. This is also called passive stretching. So, if this sounds like the type of exercise you would enjoy and you would like to visit a class, be prepared to sit very still for a long time. Since this is designed to help the body and the mind, don’t be surprised if you end up doing several different poses during one class.
In contrast to the other types of yoga out there, restorative yoga centers on calming your mind and listening to what your body has to say. So, if you are interested in embracing the power of being rested, then feel free to learn something more about the powers of restorative yoga today. Keep on reading and find out how it will benefit you.
How can we describe restorative yoga?
First, it is important to accentuate that this is the type of yoga anyone can do. You don't have to be a professional if you want to indulge your body and mind in a wonderful meditative hour that will light up all your senses.
Let's look at the definition of it. Restorative yoga is a practice that includes a few different poses (asanas) where you hold them for a longer period to start feeling their therapeutic aspect. If you want to last a little bit longer in a certain pose, then we suggest you use some props such as a blanket, a bolster, or even a specialized block. Because this is an exercise that focuses on the meditative aspects of the sport – enjoy the union, togetherness, and shades of coolness and calmness when it comes to connecting your mind and your body. Even though the props are only used for support, you will be surprised by how many of the poses you will be able to do easily – and on your own.
Once the body enters a state of calmness and repairs itself, only then will you be able to relax and start enjoying the benefits that come with this gentle yoga exercise. And it is only through the practice of this type that you will start noticing your breathing cycles, your posture, and your thoughts too. Because once your body goes into a state of relaxation, the mind will immediately follow. Your tension is released, and you will start enjoying the session. The only thing you should be focusing on is your breath, and start being aware of the thoughts that come to your mind and the emotions that flow through your body.
It seems that, in the Western world, more and more people focus on the healing powers of this particular type of gentle yoga. And it is even sometimes preferred over styles that include a more athletic, aerobic, and acrobatic approach to the practice. If you want to build up your strength, there are some types where you move very quickly from one pose to the next. This is not only good for muscle-building, but it is also an excellent approach toward giving your body the flexibility it needs. These are the common types of energetic yoga that focus on muscle engagement.
On the other hand, restorative yoga focuses on relaxing the muscles while supporting the entire body. In some of the poses that you will do, you will notice that your body is going into a deeper stretch. These poses are sometimes held for about 10 minutes each!
What are its benefits?
We are all aware that yoga practice is considered to be one of those physical exercises that can improve the body's flexibility, increase strength, better your balance, boost the cardiovascular system, and even alleviate any issues in the respiratory system too. And finally, it can also work its magic to alleviate chronic pain in the body. It sounds like a dream exercise, am I right?
On the other hand, there are plenty of mental health benefits you can enjoy too. These include reduced levels of stress, depression, and anxiety and improved sleeping patterns. All in all, it will contribute to overall improved quality of life.
However, today we are talking about rejuvenating yoga, and when it comes to it, it has some specific benefits that you can enjoy too. Some of them include:
- Improved sleeping patterns – if you are extremely relaxed, you have a very high chance of falling asleep right after getting into your bed. Many studies have considered the power of restorative yoga in an individual's sleeping pattern, and all of them have come back with the same result. This type can not only impact the quality of sleep but can significantly improve it. Research has proven that if you are dealing with some sleep issues and feel like you need some help, this gentle yoga is effective in battling insomnia and managing any other sleep issues you may be dealing with.
- Increased state of relaxation – this is highly important since we live in an extremely fast-paced society, and it seems like it only goes faster and more hurried as time progresses. Completing some deep breathing with this rejuvenating style promotes relaxation in your entire system, and research has supported this fact. One of the most effective ways to get your body into a relaxed state is through exercises that promote deep breathing. And in this case, stretching has proven to be a much more successful approach than anything else.
- Increased mood levels – have you ever noticed that, after every class, you feel like you are on top of the world? Well, gentle yoga practice can help you deal with the stress of everyday life in a unique way. Furthermore, it can help you deal with any other pressures, as well as anxiety and depression. In fact, did you know that yoga has a greater effect on a person's mood than other forms of exercise such as walking and running? It is truly an incredible cure that can do wonders for your mind.
- No more pain – the list is endless when it comes to the physical benefits of this sport. Of all the other points we have mentioned earlier, the fact that restorative yoga is beneficial in reducing the levels of chronic pain in the body is one of the most important. We should note that different styles of yoga have proven to be advantageous to this cause. And these are considered to be helpful interventions when it comes to managing the chronic pain that happens in the muscles or bones.
- Gentle on the body – rejuvenating yoga exercises are one of the most kind to the body. This does not just mean that you are moving your limbs very slowly during practice, but that this sport is gentle for the joints in the body too. If you start practicing it regularly, then you will notice that your bones and muscles will start to feel stronger and more fluid. And the connective tissue surrounding the joints and the bones will become better and stronger, thus giving you a more youthful and happy spring in your step.
- An overall improved well-being – generally, yoga practices have always been connected to an improved mental and physical state. Regular execution can promote mental clarity and calmness, and sharpen concentration! This means that once you decide to complete this exercise, you will enjoy an elevated and improved version of yourself.
In addition to all of the above, there has been clinical research that covers the practice of gentle yoga. It has been shown that this exercise is excellent for cancer patients, where there has been significant improvement in the psychological well-being of the people involved in the study. Research has also been conducted that has shown that this particular type can decrease depression in cancer patients and cancer survivors. It can furthermore improve the mood level, decrease the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the pain of cancer patients too. This is an excellent way to help patients deal with the entire process and the treatments that await them.
Should you use props?
When it comes to restorative yoga, props are not only widely used but also an encouraging aspect of the practice. In this particular case, they are used to support the body when you are doing the poses for a long time. The postures tend to be adapted to the supine or seated poses. There is an addition of blocks, blankets, and bolsters that can help eliminate any pain.
For example, there is one forward bend where you can place several bolsters on top of the legs. These will help your legs stay in one place by giving your body the opportunity of stretching as far as possible.
Another interesting pose that sometimes requires assistance is the reclined goddess pose. This is an interesting pose that can be adapted into a restorative yoga pose by simply adding a bolster at the back of your pelvis, and this can help support the spine. You can even place some rolled-up blankets under the feet and gently bind them together.
What about the poses?
When it comes to gentle yoga, there are several poses that you can do. And there are many possibilities and variations which are available, and these variations depend on your level of flexibility and how much you want to use all of the props that we have mentioned so far. Some restorative yoga poses are considered to do marvels for the body. We are going to take a quick look at some of the best poses that you can do to make your mind and body feel and function better:
- Doing a child’s pose with support between the inner thighs;
- Completing a bridge pose with support on your lower back region with a few blocks;
- Doing a reclined twist with support between the inner thighs and knees;
- Raining your legs up against a wall and adding some support to your lower back;
- Corpse pose but supported with placing a rolled-up blanket at the back of your knees;
- Sun salutations with blocks – this lengthens your arms, giving you that extra lift through your armpits.
Should you expect anything in a class?
If you decide to visit a restorative yoga class, you should be able to get into a wonderful, relaxing state while doing it. Any teacher in a yoga studio will most likely dim the lights and put on some soothing music before they begin the class. Also, prepare yourself to be completely relaxed since the teacher will most likely talk in a very gentle voice, encouraging even more calmness on your end.
If you are a little bit cold, then you are always allowed to keep on your socks and sweater. But, naturally, in this case, we will opt for something much better – excellent yoga equipment. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter if you are in a studio or not – what matters is that you have the proper equipment that will help you get through all the classes with ease.
If you've started feeling determined, want to make some necessary changes in your life, and start doing yoga, you have come to the right place! You will need some equipment that can help you progress in a faster and more efficient manner. This is why we encourage you to visit our website here (add hyperlink) and look at all the products we offer. You will see that the variety of yoga mats and props can help you achieve your goal and become an expert yogi in no time.
So, order the necessary equipment and start enjoying the full experience of practicing yoga. You will not be disappointed. If you feel like there is something you might need some help with, we can always give you some extra information. And if you have specific questions, feel free to contact us, too – we are happy to help you out and give you the answers you require!