Introduction to Restorative Yoga

Imagine a yoga practice that gently cradles your body and mind, guiding you towards profound relaxation and healing. Welcome to the world of restorative yoga, where the focus is on deep rest and rejuvenation. 

Unlike more vigorous styles, restorative yoga employs objects like blankets, mats and pillows to support your body in restful poses. This practice invites you to slow down, release tension, and make a sense of inner peace, making it an ideal solution to the stresses of modern life.

What is Restorative Yoga?

Restorative yoga is a gentle, therapeutic style of yoga focused on deep relaxation and stress relief. It uses props like blankets and bolsters to fully support the body in restful poses, allowing for extended holds and promoting physical, mental, and emotional healing.

Benefits of Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga offers numerous benefits for both body and mind. 

  • Physically, it helps reduce muscle tension, improve flexibility, and increase overall relaxation. 
  • Mentally, it promotes stress relief, calms the nervous system, and supports better sleep. 
  • Emotionally, this practice encourages mindfulness and self-awareness, fostering a deep sense of inner peace and balance. 

By focusing on slow, supported poses and deep breathing, restorative yoga can also help in reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure, and increasing the immune system, making it a better approach to well-being.

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Top 5 Restorative Yoga Poses

Restorative yoga poses are classified into various categories which include gentle backbends, forward folds, twists, hip openers, and supported inversions, each aimed at promoting deep relaxation and healing. Here are a few yoga poses that help your body calm.

i) Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child’s Pose, or Balasana, is a basic restorative yoga pose that offers deep relaxation and gentle stretching. To practice Balasana, start on your hands and knees, then lower your hips back towards your heels, extending your arms forward or resting them alongside your body. 

Allow your forehead to touch the mat, and breathe deeply. This pose gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles while relieving tension in the back, neck, and shoulders. It encourages a sense of grounding and calm, making it ideal for stress relief and mental relaxation.

Child’s Pose can be modified with props such as blankets or bolsters under the torso or forehead for added support, enhancing comfort and promoting a restorative experience.

ii) Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Supported Bridge Pose, or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, is a restorative yoga posture designed to gently open the chest, release tension in the spine, and calm the mind. To practice this pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart, placing a yoga block or bolster under your sacrum. 

As you lift your hips, allow the support to cradle your lower back, encouraging a passive stretch in the chest and shoulders. This pose stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. It also improves circulation, soothes anxiety, and can alleviate symptoms of fatigue and insomnia. Supported Bridge Pose is accessible to practitioners of all levels and is often used in sequences for deep relaxation and restoration.

iii) Supported Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Supported Reclining Bound Angle Pose, or Supta Baddha Konasana, provides relaxation and restoration. Begin by reclining on your back, knees bent, and feet together, allowing your knees to gently fall apart. Placing supportive objects like blankets or pillows under your knees and along your spine increases comfort and encourages deeper relaxation. 

This pose opens the hips, groin, and inner thighs while relieving tension in the lower back. It also stimulates the heart and improves circulation. As you surrender to the support of props, focus on slow, deep breaths, allowing your body to release any stored tension. Supta Baddha Konasana provides calm even in critical situations, offering significant physical and mental health.

iv) Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose, known as Viparita Karani, is a deeply restorative yoga posture with numerous benefits. To practice, lie on your back close to a wall and extend your legs upward, resting them against the wall while keeping your arms relaxed by your sides. 

This gentle inversion encourages blood and lymphatic circulation, relieving swelling and fatigue in the legs. It also helps to alleviate tension in the lower back and can be beneficial for those suffering from mild back pain. 

It also calms the nervous system, reduces stress, and promotes relaxation, making it an excellent pose for unwinding after a long day or before bedtime. Additionally, it can improve digestion and may eliminate symptoms of anxiety and insomnia.

v) Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse Pose, or Savasana, is l relaxation posture in yoga. Often practised at the end of a session, it entails lying flat on the back with arms slightly apart and palms facing upwards, legs extended, and eyes closed. Even Though it has a seemingly simple appearance, Savasana is a powerful practice for both body and mind. It allows the muscles to release tension, the breath to naturally deepen, and the mind to enter a state of calmness. 

Through Savasana, practitioners can bring themselves an awareness of the present moment and experience a deep sense of relaxation. This pose also offers opportunities for introspection and integration of the benefits gained throughout the yoga practice, making it a vital component of any session.

Top 5 restorative yoga

How to Set Up Your Space for Restorative Yoga

Creating a closed and silent space for restorative yoga is essential for maximizing the benefits of your practice. Start by finding a quiet, comfortable area where you will not feel disturbed. In other words, the room should be warm and free from distractions.

Next, take your supportive objects for yoga. Essential objects for restorative yoga include blankets, bolsters, pillows, and yoga blocks. Place them within reach of your mat so you can easily access them during your practice.

Arrange these objects to support your body in various poses. For example, fold blankets to create a bolster for under your knees or head, or use pillows to support your spine in reclining positions. Adjust the objects as needed to ensure your body feels fully supported and comfortable in each posture.

Dim the lights or light candles to create a calming ambience. You can also play soft music or nature sounds to improve relaxation.

Finally, turn off any electronic devices and silence your phone to minimize distractions. By setting up your space mindfully, you create an environment that supports deep relaxation and inner peace during your restorative yoga practice.

Tips for Practicing Restorative Yoga

  • Settle into each pose gradually, allowing your body to sink into a state of deep relaxation.
  • Focus on your breath. Take slow, deep breaths to encourage relaxation and release tension with each exhale.
  • Use props generously. Bolsters, blankets, and blocks provide support and comfort, allowing you to fully surrender into each pose.
  • Listen to your body. Obey its limits and adjust the poses as needed to ensure comfort and safety.
  • Embrace stillness. Allow yourself to let go of any urge to move or fidget, and instead, surrender to the present moment.
  • Practice mindfulness. Stay present with your sensations, thoughts, and emotions without judgment or attachment.
  • Stay warm. Keep a blanket nearby to cover yourself during longer holds to maintain body temperature and deepen relaxation.

Restorative yoga takes time to unfold its full benefits, so allow yourself to fully experience the practice without rushing.

End with Savasana. Spend at least 10-15 minutes in Corpse Pose to integrate the benefits of your practice and transition back into daily life gradually.

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End Words

Engaging in regular yoga practices offers a comprehensive approach to addressing the stresses of modern life. The combination of specific yoga postures, when performed consistently, cultivates a sense of inner peace. 

These postures encourage the release of tension, promoting a more relaxed state of being. Through this practice, individuals find relief from the pressures of daily life, ultimately leading to a renewed sense of well-being and rejuvenation.

If you want to keep your body healthy with a calm mind, Ojas Yoga and Wellness is your right stop, as we are the leading yoga and wellness centre in Singapore. We have a team of experienced trainers, so you can perform the Yoga with ease. Our trainers will also help you to perform yoga from scratch, making us the best yoga studio in singapore.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to practice restorative yoga?

The best time to practice restorative yoga is typically in the evening, before bedtime, to unwind and promote relaxation. However, it can be beneficial at any time when you need to de-stress.

How often should I practice restorative yoga?

For optimal benefits, aim to practice restorative yoga 2-3 times per week. However, even just one session weekly can provide significant relaxation and stress relief benefits.

Can restorative yoga help with anxiety?

Yes, restorative yoga can help alleviate anxiety by promoting relaxation, calming the nervous system, and fostering mindfulness, leading to a sense of calm and inner peace.

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