Restorative yoga is one type of practice we can use to emphasize the healing benefits of yoga. In today's busy world taking time to rest and recuperate is essential if we are to maintain wellness. In restorative yoga we use lots of props and passive longer held postures to relieve stress and find balance. The larger history of yoga practice dates back at least 2000 years and includes physical and spiritual practices. While all types of yoga have the potential to be therapeutic the more active physical forms may at times need to be tempered with slower more restorative poses. At times the stronger forms of practice may not be appropriate. Due to the use of extensive props, and attention to supporting the body restorative yoga is very helpful for injuries, stress, or weakness.
Restorative yoga was primarily developed by B.K.S Iyengar as a way to adapt when the body needed a more supportive practice. The restorative poses help to rejuvenate health physically, emotionally, energetically and mentally. Some poses offer specific benefits depending on which area of the body is being gently opened and others provide broader rewards.
"Restorative poses are poses of being rather than doing"
~ Judith Lasater
The intentional relaxation that is encouraged during restorative practice is a kind of antidote to our busy lives. It is especially important that you feel comfortable and supported. As you enter each posture you can check in whether you are holding tension in the jaw, the abdomen or the back and whether you need more cushions or blankets to feel supported. The deliberate stillness once in the posture affects energetic and physical healing by calming the nervous system and gently activating and soothing the internal organs and the spine.