Updated: Jan 12
The first time I was introduced intensively to Restorative Yoga was in India! In India, my attention shifted from Ashtanga Yoga to Iyengar Yoga. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main reasons is that my host in Bangalore suggested an Iyengar Yoga to me who was living around the corner.
I loved the classes I received by Arun. "Relax your forehead", he shouted, or do you want to waste money on anti-wrinkle cream? We did not even use yoga mats, but lots of blankets, chairs, ropes etc. - soon I got invited for the classes for yoga teachers, and I loved them!
It wasn't called "restorative yoga", but basically, many of the postures we practised were restorative. So, what is Restorative Yoga?
"The strain of modern life can lead to physical pain and illness, as we neglect our bodies in the race of material success. The stress of modern life can also lead to mental suffering, feelings of inadequacy, isolation or powerlessness. Yoga helps to integrate the mental and the physical plane, bringing about a sense of inner and outer balance, or what I term alignment. True alignment means that the inner mind reaches every cell and fibre of the body" B.K.S. Iyengar
As I mentioned above, restorative Yoga uses many props so that you can stay for longer times in the shapes (asanas). If you stay longer, it affects your psychological feeling, and you start to surrender and let go.
A restorative class normally does not involve movement but propping up with blankets, bolsters, cushions etc. so that you can enter the shape in the most relaxed way with the least muscular effort. The props support your body.
Benefits of restorative Yoga
- Deep relaxation
- Surrender of tension
- Decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety
- A decreased level of stress
- Body rests, heals, and restores
- Elicits relaxation response
- Balancing of Nervous System
- Immune system boost
The focus is on ease and release, surrender, breathe in, mentally say "let" breathe out and mentally say "goooooo".
Are you ready to practice restorative yin yoga?
Restorative Yoga At Home
Dim your lights dimmed, play some soft music, use some candles and incense, wear comfortable clothes, jumpers and socks and have all your props ready!
I will provide you with one pose a day (sign up to receive the other shapes)
The first therapeutic shape is called child’s pose or balasana. Open your knees in front of your bolster and lie your tummy down. Hug the bolster. A long hold of 10 or more minutes gives your hips time to relax on a profound level.
Child Pose or Balasana
Place a bolster in front of you. If you don't have a bolster, use at least three or four yoga blankets, neatly folded and stacked into a bolster shape.
Position your legs for a child's pose right in front of the bolster. Your legs are on the mat, not the bolster.
Fold forward slowly, draping your torso over the bolster.
Let your arms come out in front of you, resting gently on the floor or wherever it feels good to you.
Turn your head to one side with your cheek resting on the bolster. Periodically change your head's direction so that you don't get a stiff neck or place another blanket underneath your forehead.
Stay for at least 10 minutes.
I regularly offer restorative workshops. Sign up to receive my updates