What is Restorative Yoga?
While some restorative yoga poses are beneficial to the entire body, others target specific parts of the body, such as the back, neck, head, heart or lungs.
Many restorative yoga poses are similar to other types of yoga poses, with the exception of the use of props to support your movements.
Each class instructor may have a different approach but basically, they start with a warm-up. Then, the real yoga work begins. Each restorative yoga pose has to be held for several minutes, and it can even be held as long as 15 minutes. This may not seem challenging, until you actually do it.
Some of common poses include:
- Legs against wall – This pose is noted to specifically help with migraines, and can be performed with a bolster pillow under your legs, hips or back. This pose has you lay down on the floor with your legs at a straight right angle up against a wall, basically butt to the wall and forming the capital letter L. Deep relaxation ensues.
- Savasana (relaxation) – With this pose you rest your head on a pillow, legs on bolster and feet on blanket. While you are practicing restorative yoga poses, your instructor may suggest that you use a blanket to cover your body, so that you will feel more comfortable.
- Child's pose - Tuck your heels under your hips and cradle a bolster or pillow with your upper body.
- Reclining bound angle- Also known as reclined cobbler’s pose, this is where you sit with your knees open and draw your heels in toward your pelvis. Press the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop open to both sides, then you lay back and put your elbows to the floor to slowly ease your back onto the mat. This is done with props under head, arms and legs.
Benefits a Restorative Yoga Practice
Helps Heal the Body and Mind
Restorative yoga is an excellent opportunity to disconnect from the busy chaos of life and slow down. It is especially useful when you need to eliminate stress, fatigue and pains within your body that are born from your daily stressful activities.
It can also help you recover from illness and injury or overcome emotional upheaval or depression. All of these things can agitate a migraine or help bring one on.
By moving slowly through the poses yoga allows you to explore your mind and body at a steady and natural tempo.