Hello, you beautiful lovely yogis! 😀
Welcome back to my blog! For my last yoga type category post, I’ll end it with how to 101 Restorative yoga for beginners like you and me.
Restorative is definitely one of my favorite yoga types out there, it gets me to relax and really unwind after a series of a more challenging workout, or simply a long day in the office.
Before this, when I went to the yoga classes out there and before I learned more about different types of yoga, I’ve always taught Yin and Restorative yoga are pretty similar. But there are a few differences between these two.
Though both types hold poses for a long period of time, they have different purposes. In Yin yoga, you can have certain poses to give you deeper stretch, to let the gravity does its job and you can get extremely uncomfortable doing it (to some people), and it plays on your strength to hold that “uncomfortableness” for a long period.
Whereas Restorative yoga is meant to give you pure relaxation. Some poses are being supported with props to give you better comfort.
Sometimes we just need a little bit of time to really unwind ourselves, to prevent or help with any stress or anxiety that life at times can bring upon us. With the poses being practiced in Restorative yoga, you can be assured that your mind and body will get the balance that they need 🙂
Before we jumped into the poses, let’s discuss a little bit on the history of Restorative yoga.
P/s: To read on where I do my daily yoga practice, check out my review on Alo Moves here.
Read More: Different Types of Yoga And Their Benefits
History of Restorative Yoga
Do you remember B.K.S. Iyengar? You can read up on him here on my post on Iyengar Yoga For Beginners.
So with Iyengar, we all know that they practice detailed yoga poses and movements. & they are also quite famous for having a rather slow-paced. Not as slow as Restorative Yoga though.
Anyway, B.K.S. Iyengar also taught restorative sequences in his Iyengar class. But it wasn’t made famous until one of his former students brought it to the mainstream and created a totally different type of yoga.
Her name is Judith Hanson and you can read her book here 🙂
The Awesome Benefits For You!
Restorative yoga can give you so many awesome benefits to us! I’ve talked briefly in the beginning just now, but it’s time to go into them a little deeper 😉
- It can enhance your flexibility
- Quite similar to other types of yoga (also Yin yoga in particular), they can all make you a little more flexible bit by bit. I always take Restorative yoga as an outlet for my body to cool down after a vigorous practice, for a deeper stretch and working on my flexibility. So with all those exercises to make your body bendier, treat Restorative yoga as a cool down phase for your muscles and tissues.
- Not that Restorative yoga won’t have any stretching, but it’s not specifically meant for it.
- Zen out your mind
- The first time I tried a Restorative yoga class, I had a love-hate relationship with it. Because when the class first started, it was so hard for me to quiet my mind even though my body was completely relaxed. But as I get used to the silent and the ambiance of the class (it was at dusk, open-air balcony with candles & sage) my mind started to become so quiet. I almost fell asleep, but I didn’t. I can still listen to my instructor which was an amazing feeling!
- Alternative to Meditation
- If you’re someone like me who has been having trouble getting into meditation, I’d definitely recommend for you to try Restorative yoga as an alternative. This is because they will still help you quiet your mind and give you the kind of unwinding that you need in everyday life.
Honestly, if you get very deep into the practice, and if you’re going through something tough in life, Restorative yoga can bring out the vulnerable side of ourselves – and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a totally beautiful process.
I’d recommend preparing an eye mask, a blanket and some pillows to use as props 🙂
Let’s Practice Restorative Yoga Now 🙂
There are a few poses that you can do even for 15 minutes of your day for restorative purposes. But to get you guys to get the first-hand experience in Restorative yoga class, I’m gonna put some videos below from YouTube for you to start Restorative yoga today 🙂
What To Expect In A Restorative Yoga Class?
All you need is your positive open-minded mind and a body that’s ready to relax! 🙂
A few things that you might want to know before going to a Restorative Yoga Class:-
- Props might be used
- Usually, if you go to a yoga studio, they will prepare some props for this yoga class, to further support your body. If you’re at home and you don’t have any props, you can opt for some online Restorative yoga class that is not using any props. Or you can simply use any props you have at home like your blankets and pillows 🙂
- Soothing song and sage
- The ambiance that teachers usually prepare for this class is absolutely soothing. They usually dim the lights, or just lit a few candles in front of the class and burn some sage for the smell to help you further relax your mind and body. Sometimes, soft music will be played as well to help enhance the soothing ambiance.
- You can keep your socks on
- Sometimes the yoga room can be quite chilly after a while, and you can actually keep your socks on for this type of class. Your body won’t get the normal warm-up that it usually gets with another type of yoga classes. So… yeah, wrap yourself in some blankets for extra comfort and warmth 😉
- Wear whatever that makes you feel like a baby
- Since this is a pretty relaxing class, you can keep your harem pants, loose shirts, whatever that makes you comfortable 🙂
- Poses are kept for a long period of time
- I honestly can’t tell how long a certain pose being held the last time I went, but I remember I only did 5 poses throughout the whole 1 and half hour class. So yes, pretty long for one pose.
But one thing for sure that you can expect at the of the class is that your body will feel so refresh and extremely relaxed. 🙂
I honestly think that each of every one of us can deeply be benefited by Restorative yoga. It balances out all the fast-pacing things that we have going on with our lives. It helps us feel grounded again.
Even though there is no muscle activation during Restorative yoga practice, our muscles and body, in general, will still benefit from the softening and relaxing poses. Sometimes we get so uptight in doing more challenging poses and activities to improve our flexibility that we ignore the parts where we’re supposed to relax the muscles too. This is where Restorative yoga comes in.
Anyway, let me know if you would like to give Restorative yoga a try? Or if you have done one, what is your take on it?
Would love to read them in the comment section below 🙂
Till my next post, Namaste.