While many yoga styles are invigorating practices, restorative yoga is a type of relaxing yoga discipline that uses the assistance of props like yoga blankets, towels, blocks, bolsters and straps among others to help ease in a yoga pose and hold it there for a longer period of time. Poses done in restorative yoga are different types of stretches that may need to be held for a duration of time ranging anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes.
Many of the moves are passive stretches that are held in seated or supine postures and can also include gentle inversions. Typically a restorative yoga session will be a rather relaxing one and makes for a good counterpart to more active types of practices. Although the poses are done with additional support from yoga props, they will still feel like a good stretch since the positions need to be held for an extended period of time. As such restorative yoga is an unwinding practice that will leave individuals feeling refreshed and exhilarated.
This yoga practice is recommended for those people who need some recovery time in their busy schedules. Taking time out gives individuals a chance to rebound from routine hassles and when done with restorative yoga practices, also to relax their muscles, lower heart rate and authorize the nervous system to stop reacting to stressors. It offers a therapeutic opportunity to lower chronic stress as well as gives the body some downtime.
But restorative yoga is not only for the sole purpose of relaxation. In fact, it is a gentle type of yoga that is also suitable for people who may be recovering from an injury and whose body may not be strong enough to deal with the demands of a regular yoga session. The stretches of restorative yoga poses are done in comfortable positions where muscles are relaxed and tension released slowly.
Many of the restorative yoga poses are done so that the head lies below or near the same level as the heart. Known as inversions, these positions help stimulate reflexes that calm not only the brain but also the heart. Well known poses like Legs up the Wall are gentle moves that aim to achieve these benefits.
Likewise, many of the positions are done in a reclined pose where participants lie down on their back and relax. Positions like the Corpse Pose, Reclining Bound Angle Pose and the Reclining Hero Pose are some examples.
Since restorative yoga poses are devised to open up the body in a gentle manner, there is no forcing involved while getting into the position. Staying in passive positions supported by props, all the focus is on relieving not only muscular tension but any mental conflicts as well.
So the next time life takes on a fast pace, slow down, breathe deep and consider a restorative yoga class. For this yoga type will definitely help you balance a fast lifestyle and offer healing capacity to alleviate mental and physical symptoms that are stress related.
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