There’s a style of yoga that is known as Restorative Yoga. The word restorative means “something that restores health, strength, or well-being” and the yoga style reflects that with its gentle nature and use of more props. There are no intricate poses, there is no fast movements, it’s more restful and relaxing. Along with this gentleness comes a focus on breathing and on meditation at the end. It truly is becoming more in-tune with your own body and your inner self.
Props are used in many of the asanas, which help you and your body relax more and take pressure off your joints and muscles.
There are several benefits to taking a restorative yoga class, including lowered stress and anxiety and a better range of motion. The style promotes healing in the body. Also, it’s good for those that do not like high intensity workouts, as restorative classes are all about keeping you comfortable.
I remember my first restorative class as a student. I didn’t see how it was going to help me at all. Then I went home and realized I was moving easier, my mind wasn’t racing, and I was breathing more deeply than “my normal.” I loved it.
I remember my first restorative class (my signature Yintra style – combining long hold Yin poses with props and mediation) as a teacher. I hoped that I was arming the student with the tools needed to find that sense of calm that I had in my first class. I wanted them to go home relaxed.
During your first ever class, you may be thinking “how is this helping? I’m not doing anything,” but you’re wrong. You’re setting yourself up in asanas that are designed to open your body up and using gentle stretching of the muscles. Your body is working for itself instead of against itself. Also, it is a great time for introspection. There are some clients who feel as if they’ve been to a therapist just in the thoughts they have while in a restorative pose.
So, if you’ve never thought that a slow flow, gentle yoga class, or a restorative class was right for you, give it a try. Rome is blessed with a variety of different yoga studios, with yoga instructors and therapists that are just as varied in their approaches. One will resonate with you.
Tina Samuels, a native of Rome, is a local yoga instructor and shiatsu bodywork therapist. Readers can contact her at www.romebodyworkandwellness.com.