Restorative yoga is a very gentle inward form of yoga where the body is placed in highly therapeutic postures that are supported with props while the mind is invited to slow down and watch the breath. The result is a state of relaxation much deeper than traditional sleep.
A restorative practice is perfect for almost anyone, from an athlete who needs time to repair his body after strenuous training to a mother who needs some quiet time for herself. Restorative yoga is a perfect complement to other styles of yoga and other forms of exercise. Because it is so gentle, it is also a great practice for people who are working with limitations in their bodies such as injuries, cancer treatment and heart conditions. It is also great for people who have not exercised in a while and want to ease back into a more active practice.
In my restorative classes I often use aromatherapy and hot stones to support the healing process and invite the mind to deeply relax. Occasionally a local massage therapist will assist me, offering neck, foot and back massage to add an extra treat for our stressed minds and over tired bodies.
Even though restorative yoga is very gentle, it is essential that you talk to your doctor or health care provider about your restorative practice. In most cases they will enthusiastically support you in doing restorative yoga, but modifications may need to be observed for some conditions, and for other issues even restorative yoga may not be appropriate.
To penetrate the hardest armor, use the softest touch.
Yielding melts resistance. Density filled with light.
Good work accomplished without effort.
In silence the teachings are heard.
In stillness the world is transformed.
—Haven Trevino, The Tao of Healing