Yoga » Restotive Yoga
Restorative yoga is a deeply relaxing style of yoga practice. It is a receptive practice, not an active practice. Unlike the more active styles of yoga where poses "flow" into one another, in restorative yoga poses are held from five to as long as twenty minutes. During this time, you are held in "shapes" while being supported with blankets, blocks, or bolsters (pillows). The shapes emulate the forms of some more active poses found in Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or Iyengar such as back bend, forward bend, twist, or inversion. When you are in the poses you are completely supported in a particular shape, which helps achieve the desired benefit - it could open up your lungs, release tension in your lower back, or any of the other physical or psychological benefits. In any style of yoga, part of the practice is about letting go of the ego. Restorative yoga is no different. Yoga teches patience, devotion, and faith. When you applay the teachings both on and beyond the mat, your mind is better able to adjust to the stresses of everyday life and is brought into harmony with your body.
When you practice this type of yoga, you enter into a state of deep relaxation. It is here, that you can "let go" of those deep holding patterns in your body and find a state of balance that will allow your body to heal.
The development of restorative yoga poses began in 1937 with B.K.S. Iyengar, a master of yoga teacher from Pune, India. They grow out of Iyengar`s need to find therapeutic poses that would help him to heal and restore his physical body.
Restorative yoga is relatively new style of yoga, and is becoming popular because it addresses the ills of our fast-paced society so effectively. It gives the body a real sence of the healing power of just being still, which is actually the heart of the practise of yoga and meditation.
Most of us lead lives that reinforce our working at fast-forward speed and then collapsing in exhaustion. We have very few habits that encourage balance between these two extremes. We can call this balance point the art of being relaxed. Restorative yoga poses will teach us how.