Restorative yoga is about slowing down and opening the body through passive stretching. Props are used extensively to support the body so that you can hold poses for longer. Postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters and blankets.
In a restorative practice, you may hardly move at all, doing just a few postures in the course of an hour. During these long holds, your muscles relax deeply. It's a completely different feeling from other types of yoga since props are used to support your body instead of your muscles. Restorative yoga is profoundly relaxing, making it a good compliment to more active practices and an excellent antidote to stress.
Benefits include increased flexibility (without having to make any effort), being able to let go more easily, profound relaxation, feeling calmer, de-stressing for body and mind (stimulation of parasympathetic nervous system – ‘rest or digest’) and greater ability to relax, concentrate and meditate.
Victoria teaches Gentle & Restorative yoga in Ealing on Thursday evenings. This class includes breath awareness, very gentle movements and a range of restorative yoga poses which allow students to move easily into a deep relaxation and meditation. This practice is open to all students who want to nourish themselves and slow down but is particularly beneficial to people suffering from stress or anxiety, or those recovering from illness.