Restorative yoga is a gentle, restful, supportive, and more passive healing practice yoga. It aims at relieving muscle pains, tensions on the nerve, and reduce stress. Restorative yoga involves some poses that are held for a longer period. Restorative yoga encompasses strength building and working out sweat from the body. It is more concerned with initiating a deep mental and physical relaxation response. During a restorative yoga session, whether at home or in class, you’re likely to hold on to very few stretches and positions that relieve tensions for longer periods. Take an instance on the vinyasa yoga (which flows from pose-pose more easily and rapidly). You’ll be required to focus on your breath while maintaining a particular pose. Deeply breathing into every stretch, relaxing every tensed area, concentrating on what your feelings and thoughts are, and establishing a connection between the breath, brain, and body. Restorative yoga involves the use of helpful props which include: yoga blocks or bricks, bolsters or pillows, a towel, or blankets that provide support to the body in diverse poses. The use of bands or straps is also required in holding, deepening, and lengthening particular stretches.
Yoga is widely viewed as a physical practice that improves strength, enhances flexibility and stability, and improves cardiovascular and respiratory function. It also eases symptoms of chronic pain.
- Documentation of mental health benefits of yoga is as follows.
- Relief from stress
- Relief from anxiety
- Relief from depression
- Improved sleep
- Hygiene and overall quality of life.
The benefits of restorative yoga are comparable to the benefits of various styles of yoga. And this includes:
Improved relaxation: Deep breathing ensures calmness in the nervous system to improve relaxation. Research has it that “practicing restorative yoga” is one of the effective ways of initiating relaxation. A quick study in 2014 insinuates that restorative yoga is better than ordinary passive stretching because it stimulates the body during relaxation.
Reduce pain: Studies demonstrate that various styles of yoga such as restorative yoga assist in managing musculoskeletal pain.
Better sleep: The chances of you getting better sleep are dependent on how relaxed you are. A 2020 meta-analysis observed nineteen (19) different studies on how various types of yoga such as restorative yoga can induce the quality of sleep in a person. Researchers have also resolved that yoga is an efficient means of handling sleep problems by the increase of melatonin and reduction in hyper arousal.
Better mood: Research demonstrates that yoga can be used by those affected to manage symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, stress, and any other mood disorder.
Gentle on the body: Restorative yoga practices, if frequently done, can strengthen the connective tissues surrounding the bones and joints. And it is also gentle on those joints.
Improved well-being: Generally, yoga practices are connected with the improvement of physical and overall mental health in people.
Furthermore, medical research into restorative yoga has established that restorative yoga practice can be great for people with cancer, noting enhancements to psychological well-being. Research demonstrates that restorative yoga can reduce depression in cancer survivors; ameliorate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain symptoms in patients with cancer; and assist patients in the management of the toxicity of cancer treatments.
Comparable to the various styles of yoga, restorative yoga presents a lot of mental and physical health benefits while initiating a deep relaxation response that can enhance overall well-being.
- The Use of Props
Props are used to support your body in restorative yoga practice for you to hold on to poses for longer periods. Postures are usually changed from reclined yoga poses with the inclusion of pillows or bolsters, blocks, and blankets.
Here are some of the restorative yoga poses which are essential in the practice of deep relaxation.
- Fish pose
The fish pose assists to extend the spine. It relieves tensions in the neck & shoulders as well as opens up the chest. You can make use of towels, bolters, or folded blankets underneath your head and shoulders to achieve a cozier pose.
- Child’s pose
This pose assists in releasing stress & fatigue, it calmly stretches the hips, spines, hamstrings as well as shoulder muscles. If your head & torso are supported, this pose is capable of assisting to release neck and back pain.
- Corpse pose
The corpse pose also known as savasana is a great pose to attain a deep relaxation response and it also relieves stress.
- Legs up the wall pose
The leg up the wall pose is a great pose that helps in relieving tired legs and feet. This pose gently stretches one’s hamstrings, the back of the neck and can also relieve mild backache.
Restorative yoga is a gentle form of yoga and it is popularly regarded as safe for most people. Supposing you have doubts about how safe restorative yoga is, contact your doctor or better still a physical therapist before you begin to practice this kind of yoga.