Let’s first explore yoga and what restorative yoga is, as there are many types of yoga practices.
Yoga is an ancient system of physical, mental, and spiritual practices from ancient India. It involves postures called asanas, breathing exercises and meditation methods to improve strength, flexibility, physical health, psychological well-being, and emotional balance. It has been around for 5,000 years. There is a wide variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals. The term “Yoga” in the Western world often denotes a modern form of Hatha Yoga and Yoga as Exercise, focusing mostly only on the postures.
Restorative Yoga is a therapeutic style of Yoga that utilizes props like blankets, bolsters and straps to make it easier for the body to get into certain poses and surrender into the pose entirely for total relaxation. B.K.S. Iyengar from India, a worldwide authority and one of the most creative Yoga teachers, modified classic poses for students recovering from injury or illness. He is the author of Yoga: Path to Holistic Health, Yoga for Sports: A Journey Towards Health and Healing, Light on Yoga, and numerous other books.
The most common health benefits of Restorative Yoga:
- calms mind
- relaxes and regenerate body
- increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone
- improved respiration, energy and vitality
- maintaining a balanced metabolism
- cardio and circulatory health
- lessen chronic pain (back, neck, arthritis, headaches)
- lower blood pressure
- reduce insomnia
- helps relieve cold and flu symptoms
- WebMD: Yoga by Stephanie Watson
- Natural Health Practitioners of Canada: Yoga Instructor
- American Osteopathic Association: Maintaining a regular yoga practice can provide physical and mental health benefits