The Benefits of Restorative Yoga favorite_border

Yoga Girl Daily - July 17th 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Feel-Good Friday, Self-Love, Yoga

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

Grab your pillows, blankets, bolsters and props - today’s self-care practice is restorative yoga!

This practice is not only beneficial for your body, but for your mind as well. Sometimes the hardest practice is simply allowing yourself to be.

Restorative yoga has few transitions and long holds, so settle in as Rachel shares how to practice and the poses that may benefit you the most.


[00:04] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily, happy Friday and welcome to our Feel-Good Friday episode of this week. I have a very specific, specific practice for you in store today, and the reason I've chosen this one is because I'm sensing in myself a huge craving for this kind of practice. And I bet you are going to love it too. So today, to enter the weekend feeling really good and maybe continuing to practice this all through the weekend, we are going to practice a restorative style of yoga. So dropping into a yin yoga practice, a restorative practice, yoga therapy, yoga nidra, any kind of yoga practice or style of yoga that is really, really slow, that has a focus on restoring and settling into the body where we're not moving continuously from pose to pose and transitioning all the time, but where you can actually give yourself plenty of space just to ground, to settle and to let go.

[01:06] I love restorative yoga. I mean, I really, really do. And the love for a restorative practice didn't happen naturally for me, actually, I've always been really into a Vinyasa style practice, Ashtanga style practices. And when I had my first ever yin yoga class, I remember having a really hard time focusing in the practice because my mind got really, really busy. So if you've never practiced restorative yoga before, there's a difference between restorative and yin yoga, but pick whichever one you feel you have access to right now, the main difference between this style of practice and a Vinyasa based practice is that we remain in the poses for a really long time. So if you're doing a one hour practice, perhaps you'll just have a couple of poses and we use tons of props, we can actually support ourselves to really melt into this practice. It is so juicy, so beautiful and requires a bit of transition if you're used to more of a fiery dynamic practice.

[01:59] If you've never practiced this before, trust me when I say you need it. It's a beautiful compliment to a Vinyasa based practice as well. So how are we going to go about this? You don't even need a mat. If you don't have a mat at home, don't worry about it. I have some really beautiful restorative and yin type practices on, if you want to practice with me there. You can also literally Google restorative yoga and find little sequences to use. You can go to YouTube and find free classes as well. And the beauty of this is, I want you to find a bunch of pillows and blankets to bring into your space for practice. So you can literally do the poses that you're used to doing that you feel are grounding in your regular day to day practice, but then use pillows and blankets as props to support you enough that you can remain in each pose for several minutes.

[02:52] And it can be something as simple as beginning with reclined bound angle, and then coming to a really long child’s pose and then taking a hip opener with tons of support, anyone that calls your name, maybe a gentle twist, belly down toward earth, get creative. You can intuitively allow your body to choose for you. But what I really want you to focus on is taking long, deep breaths, giving your body a chance to really wind down. And it usually takes a while, especially at the end of the week for the body to totally slow down to a point of being able to get really grounded and really make our way to the present moment here now. A restorative practice can literally be you coming into child's pose right now, but placing some pillows beneath your chest, a block beneath your forehead and a rolled up blanket at the back of the knees.

[03:42] So you are so supported in that pose that you can stay for 10 or 15 minutes. See what that's like, right? And of course we never want to feel any pain, any sharp sensation, nothing that feels icky or bad, especially in a restorative cooling type practice. You want to feel comfortable all the way through, so not going from maximum sensation, but for a place where you can actually let something go. So make it a little project for this weekend to practice some style of restorative yoga, something to calm you, to ground you, to bring you back home into the body. Trust me when I say it's going to feel so amazing and it's a great practice to do right before bed ensuring you get a long night sleep. Thank you so much for tuning in with me today. I hope you have a really good practice today. I hope you have a good weekend. Yoga Girl Daily will be back on Monday.

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