Restorative yoga classes are designed to liberate the stresses of everyday life and to eliminate the ‘need’ of having to accomplish, perfect, compete or ‘get things right’. You give yourself permission to completely ‘let go’.
So what is the underlying principle of restorative yoga?
Simply that using support such as bolsters, blankets and pillows creates ‘release’ both physically and emotionally. The use of these props is to relieve muscular tension and mental strain, and to improve your breathing and posture.
In these 2-hour sessions, a small selection of postures will be practised. The aim is to ‘surrender’ into each posture for between 8 to 10 minutes. Your individual body shape will be supported to your absolute comfort. You will be able to relax fully without exerting any physical effort to stay where you think you need to be. You can ‘be’ rather than ‘do’.
If you are confused between Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga, the former is more complex and focuses primarily on the hips, pelvis and spine. Postures are more challenging. It is generally advised to practise Yin with a little yoga experience behind you and not if you are carrying a severe injury. ‘Newbies’ of course are welcome but as long as you are very mindful of your body and its needs.
Restorative on the other hand is more about being completely supported by props and being ‘still’ without any effort whatsoever, holding postures for extended periods of time. Doing absolutely nothing. Restorative yoga heals a body in need of healing. Ideal for cancer patients, those suffering with anxiety-related disorders and the like. Yin yoga on the other hand stimulates change at a very deep level in an already healthy body.
The conclusion of the class will be a 20-minute Yoga Nidra session – taking you into a deep state of relaxation through visualization and/or sound techniques.
You will feel deeply rested, calm and ‘at ease’, light and tranquil.