by Sarah Lamb, Inner Bloom Yoga
In a traditional Hatha Yoga class, savasana (relaxation) is the most important part of the class. It helps your body and nervous system integrate the benefits of the postures. The act of letting the body and mind relax for just 10 minutes is said to be equivalent to one hour of deep, dreamless sleep that let’s your whole system really rest.
Restorative Yoga is the yoga of total relaxation. In a traditional class, students may only do 3 or 4 postures in the course of an hour and a half. Each of these postures may be held for up to 20 minutes. The instructor will make minor or major adjustments to ensure you are comfortable.
The “holding” of a restorative posture involves simply letting go or melting into the props that support the body. The postures are meant to work you, instead of you working them, relaxing the body, mind and spirit.
There are many benefits to a Restorative Yoga practice, including releasing pent-up physical, emotional and mental tension. It can take up to 10 minutes for the body to calm and clear of tension, the mind to clear of constant thoughts and the emotions to settle into a state of balance and serenity. Students often have deep emotional releases in the form of sighing and sometimes even tears or laughter. The result is a sensation of feeling lighter and more present in the here and now.
It can also release chronic pain and bodily toxins. Restorative Yoga is safe for most people and beneficial for many chronic conditions, ranging from insomnia to asthma to chronic pain, migraines and depression. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing the body back into equilibrium. As with any yoga or bodywork, food is not recommended sixty to ninety minutes before class, and lots of water is recommended following to help flush toxins.
Are you ready to melt onto your mat? Give Restorative Yoga a try and experience the benefits for yourself.
Search "restorative" on the Places to Practice page to find studios that offer these classes.