Restorative yoga is on the up and up. We’re seeing more studios and teachers, even here in TYR’s home city of York, offering restorative classes, courses and workshops. But should you consider adding the prop-heavy, super slow vibe of this stuff into your wellness routine? Well, we reckon the answer to that is a resounding yes. Here’s why.

1. You need to slow down

Guaranteed. This sort of practice is about more yin energy, or the slow, resting energy, compared to the yang energy, or lifted in-and-up of a regular yoga class. And actually, it’s a way of conscious relaxation. A bit like a meditation for the whole body. And whether you’re a student, a retiree, or somewhere in between, we all DO too much and feel too little. Restorative yoga, whilst maybe a little tricky at first for our chattering mind, is a perfect way to learn to find a slower pace (and yes, this is as much of a practice as nailing a perfect downward dog).

2. You’ll learn where you’re holding tension in your physical body and learn to let it go

When you’re in a pose for longer periods of time, as in a restorative practice, you really start to feel things. And this feeling of stuff leads us to really understanding our bodies more and learning to let things go. We can then return to our regular non-yoga lives with more consciousness.

3. Improve your immune system, balance your nervous system

Yes, you read correctly. This slower kind of yoga literally builds your body’s immune system and gives your nervous system chance to relax. This, in turn, improves digestion, helps us sleep better, and aids in tissue repair. It can also be a great way to avoid a ‘heart event’. Yes, less of them please.

But what should you expect in a restorative class?

Well, lots of props. That yang – in and up – energy needs to come from somewhere to help us find the subtle space, stretch, and length restorative classes give us. So we generally let props do that work for us to allow us to find more softness.

You’ll generally hold a pose for long periods of time – anything from 2-6 minutes or so. And get rid of the idea of warrior poses, vinyasas, or balances. This stuff will see you getting up-close and personal with your mat in seated and reclined poses. Take a blanket if your studio doesn’t provide them for an extra level of cosiness.

This practice, although still physically beneficial (in more ways than we’ve listed) is, for some of us, a truly mental practice. Learning how to switch that frantic mind off, or turn the thing down at least, is a practice in itself. Once you get it, you really get it. Everyone around you – your dog included – will start to feel your zen vibes.

And if we’ve convinced you, dive into this 18-minute sleep session and discover the slowing-down vibes we’ve got going on. Or, find out what kind of yoga god(dess) you are and get a free class when you take the quiz.

Chloe - TYR Founder & Joyful Living Coach

POSTED: 23/08/2019

Chloe is a yoga teacher, mindfulness guide, and joyful living coach, and she thinks the meaning of life is probably to be as happy as possible.

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