The practice of Restorative Yoga can be defined as a yoga practice in which we support the body to such an extent that we feel safe enough to completely relax the body and mind. The postures are restful and are held for a long time in order to release mental and emotional tensions.
Our mind is constantly busy mulling over future and past actions. We are exhausted by thinking about what we could have done or will do. This disconnection with the present often prevents us from truly practicing yoga, and therefore often reduces the discipline of yoga to mere physical exercise.
Yoga is so much more than just the physical shapes we assume during practice. In a true yoga practice, we connect with our innermost Self – our true Self. Yoga asanas and breathing exercises, performed in a state of mental and physical equanimity are the backbones of the ancient yoga tradition that guides us on the way to reconnecting with our spirit.
Restorative Yoga allows us to truly stop. Thanks to the use of supports, we are able to completely relax every cell of our body and to nudge it into the state of parasympathetic nervous system arousal. Restorative Yoga provides precisely the right kind of physical and mental activation that allows us to enter a deeply relaxed state.
What is the purpose?
Restorative Yoga primarily seeks to let the body enter into a state of rest and relaxation and activate the parasympathetic nervous system more easily. As the word ‘restore’ connotes, Restorative Yoga seeks to bring the body and mind to a natural state of calmness and harmony by gently and mindfully allowing the body to move between movement and stillness.
Restorative Yoga is often regarded as active relaxation because the poses do not involve too much stretching and straining. Moreover, as we hold the poses for longer duration, the body gets enough time to drop into a state of complete relaxation. The mind slows down, the breathing deepens, and the bodily functions get balanced.
Restorative Yoga nourishes and soothes the body and mind.