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Restorative Yoga: What It Is & Benefits

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What Is Restorative Yoga

Do you often feel like the hustle and bustle of daily life prevents you from relaxing? In today's fast-paced world, taking time for yourself is more complicated than it seems. However, there are a few holistic healing practices that can help you improve your mind-body connection and calm your senses.

It's important to have tools to help recenter and reinvigorate your inner peace and balance. Restorative yoga is a unique practice that emphasizes rest, stillness, and tranquility.

Key Takeaways

  • Restorative yoga is a gentle, therapeutic, and soothing form of yoga that prioritizes rest and relaxation over strength and stretching.
  • It has countless health benefits, including increased relaxation, improved sleep, and decreased stress.
  • Restorative yoga poses are often enhanced with the use of props that allow the body to fully relax.
  • For a soothing self-care day, pair restorative yoga practices with a rich and nourishing skincare routine.

Keep reading to learn more about this movement practice and how it can enhance your way of life.

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What is Restorative Yoga?

Unlike other forms of yoga that focus on strength and stretching, restorative yoga is centered around relaxation and stillness. It is more of a mental practice than a physical one, though the benefits transcend the mind and body.

Many considered restorative yoga to be quite gentle, therapeutic, and supportive. Most of the time, props are used to alleviate the physical burden of yoga and allow the individual to focus entirely on rest and relaxation.

Like other holistic traditions, restorative yoga is a passive form of healing. It's suitable for all levels, whether you're a beginner or a veteran. It's also a great practice for those recovering from injury, physical or otherwise.

two women doing yoga knees bent other yoga practices

What Are the Benefits of Restorative Yoga Practice?

As a whole, yoga is known to have countless benefits for the mind, body, and soul. It's quite effective when used in conjunction with other wellness practices like aromatherapy, self-care rituals, and deep breathing.

The specific benefits of restorative yoga can be particularly impactful on the mind. Keep reading to learn five profound benefits of restorative yoga.

#1. Supports Overall Well-Being

For some, it can be hard to understand how restorative yoga can impact overall health. In general, yoga is excellent for overall well-being as it can affect multiple facets of health.

Restorative yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to support essential bodily functions. It can slow the heart rate, regulate blood pressure, and release tension.

#2. Increases Relaxation

The parasympathetic nervous system is known as the "rest and digest" system. Because restorative yoga can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, it is able to promote deep relaxation.

This therapeutic and restorative practice is a great way to enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation. A 2014 study even suggested that restorative yoga is more effective at inducing relaxation than simple passive stretching.

two woman laughing doing yoga extended period create space

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#3. Reduces Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be a debilitating struggle. In 2021, the CDC estimated that over 20% of United States adults have experienced chronic pain.

Some research suggests that restorative yoga might help alleviate long-term pain, particularly that associated with headaches or back pain. Taking a holistic approach to everyday life might be what your body needs to feel better.

There are other accounts of those suffering from chronic health conditions using restorative yoga and other movement practices to improve their psychological and physical symptoms.

#4. Improves Quality of Sleep

The more relaxed you are, the better chance you have of enjoying a good night's sleep. Restorative yoga allows the body to completely relax before bedtime, which can reduce stress and improve sleep.

#5. Other Benefits of Restorative Yoga

The far-reaching benefits of restorative yoga can impact various aspects of one's everyday life. Here are some other ways that restorative yoga can enhance your day-to-day life:

  • Reduced stress and improved mood.
  • Gentle on the body and joints.
  • Accelerates the body's natural healing process.
  • Helps to cultivate mindfulness and release tension.
  • Teaches conscious relaxation.
  • Improved posture, flexibility, and alignment.

Restorative Yoga Poses and Props

Restorative yoga is a very gentle practice that soothes the body and mind. It involves passive stretching, but the main focus is on calming poses that allow the body to fully relax.

Restorative yoga involves the use of props, which allow individuals to hold poses for longer periods of time without physical stress or strain. That being said, you can still practice restorative yoga without any props at all.

Props like yoga blocks, blankets, and bolsters are not uncommon for restorative yoga practice. For example, a typical seated forward bend (paschimottanasana) can become a restorative yoga pose if you place a bolster of folded blankets on top of your legs so that your upper body can rest on the prop.

someone's hands who is meditating slow paced pose offers

Restorative Yoga Classes & At-Home Practice

Restorative yoga classes tend to be slow-paced and relaxing, so even if you're a yoga newbie, you'll have no issue keeping up.

Here are some common poses that you might try with a restorative practice:

  • Child's pose
  • Supported bridge pose
  • Corpse pose
  • Legs-up-the-wall pose

However, it's not necessary to attend a restorative yoga class if you want to enjoy the many benefits of this practice. You can do it at home in the comfort of your living room (which can be even more relaxing for some).

woman doing yoga at home yoga poses yoga teacher

To help everyday stress melt away, pair your restorative yoga session with a soothing self-care ritual. JUARA's Jamu Wellness Kit features all the necessary items for a day of wellness, though you can also easily make do with our Bali Escape Set, a two-piece product that features a silky-smooth cream for aging hands and our signature Candlenut Perfume Oil.

Final Thoughts

You deserve to live a life you love. Whether you want to enjoy moments of mindfulness or simply erase unnecessary stress, restorative yoga can help you improve your daily life.

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