Everything To Know About Restorative Yoga

2 years ago / by Richa Sharma
restorative yoga
Image credits: Alexandra Tran via Unsplash

For those who have never practiced yoga, the concept of contorting oneself may not be your notion of relaxation and healing. But do not be deceived: there are various forms of yoga, and the appearance varies depending on the methodology. While you still can very often try a much more severe, ramped up, and rigorous type of yoga to get your heart beat faster and muscle fibres working (in other statements, yoga as an exercise), restorative yoga is a mildly different variety of yoga that could be just the correct prescription for psychological catharsis, muscle relaxation, as well as reduced stress.

In this blog, we’ll provide all the information you need about restorative yoga and why practising this type of yoga is much needed in recent times.

What Is Restorative Yoga?

Restorative yoga is a calmer, more peaceful, and receptive kind of yoga that is intended to melt away muscular tension, find openings in the body, and relieve stress. Although restorative yoga is founded in the very same methodology as other forms of yoga and contains many of the same basic and essential postures, the aim is slightly different: Restorative yoga is more about profound physical and mentally relaxation than it is about gaining strength or dripping with sweat.

So, in a normal practice of restorative yoga, whether at home or even in a studio, you’ll definitely hold only a few, mostly very few, tension-relieving poses and postures for longer than you could ever in energetic vinyasa yoga (which flows from pose to pose more fluidly and quickly). While holding one position, you’ll most likely pay special attention to your breathing: inhaling deeply into each stretch, cooling down tense regions, concentrating on what you feel or think, and creating a connection among brain, breathing, as well as body.

Restorative yoga frequently includes useful props, like yoga bricks or blocks, cushions or bolsters, or a robe or towel, to maintain the body in various postures. Belts or bands can also be used to assist hold, extend, or deepen particular poses.

The Nervous System and Restorative Yoga

Rejuvenation is the solution for completely resting and reactivating the body’s physiological systems. Relaxing does not imply falling asleep. In fact, if our sleep is disrupted, we recover yet feel much more fatigued.

There have been dreams as well as other phases of sleep that might cause muscular and mental activity. Relaxation is defined as a state in which there is no physically or mentally exertion required and the mind is fully quiet.

The calming in Restorative Yoga is “energetic,” and we rapidly reach a parasympathetic condition by performing the postures mindfully and focusing on the breath.

Whenever the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged, what happens?

The autonomic nervous system is in charge of controlling the body’s subconscious activities.

The parasympathetic nervous system is in charge of all processes that occur when the body is relaxed, such as sexual stimulation, salivation, lacrimal gland, urine, digesting, and feces.

The parasympathetic nervous system works in tandem with the sympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of the actions involved with the “fight or flight” reflex.

Your nervous system reaches the parasympathetic phase and we’re in a relaxed state and serenity, and therefore when our mind is quiet.

What Is A Restorative Yoga Class Like?

Although there is no defined format for the class, “much the same as in regular [yoga] courses, there are spins, front bending, and backbends; the distinction would be that in restorative yoga, you’ll maintain these positions for far longer than normal, most often with the use of props.”

Twists and backbends may well be done over even a cushion or bolster, for instance, and then you might see yourself laying on your backside with a cylindrical bolster below your knees, sandbags on your hands, and a robe over your body. As previously said, your class may incorporate nonphysical components as well.

And what exactly do you need to carry? We recommend dressing comfortably and carrying a few warm things, such as comfy sweats and warm socks, in case you become cold (which is possible given that you won’t be producing much body heat). You also might want to bring anything else to protect your eyes, such as a lightweight eye cushion, a washcloth, or maybe even a T-shirt, to help you feel better even more. You can wear this over your eyes throughout any part of the class.

Benefits of Restorative Yoga

Enhances Digestion

Non-essential activities such as digestion, tissue reproduction, gut, and cell development are disrupted when the body is stressed. Restorative Yoga, through resetting the neural system, assists digestion in performing its essential tasks and the gut in absorbing nutrients and producing waste.

Enhances Memory & Attention

There are several scientific studies that indicate how nervous system equilibrium and a clever and controlled mind contribute to stages of profound focus that cannot occur during agitation and worry.

Controls Blood Pressure

Stress causes blood pressure to increase and disrupts its balance; relaxing causes the pulse to decrease and blood pressure to return to normal levels.

Helps Through Pregnancy, Menopausal & Menstruating

Restorative Yoga, with all of its variants and adaptations, is a wonderful practice for rebalancing the complete female hormone system. This is particularly true during so-called changed phases, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopausal, when hormones are changing.

Aids In The Treatment of Endometriosis

Restorative Yoga aids in the treatment of pain and the regulation of hormones. It aids women in regaining physical and emotional tranquility, promotes hormone balance, and decreases pain perception. For many years, there is a research team that helps extensively with ladies who have endometriosis and with ladies from all over Italy who have opted to integrate medical therapy with a course of Restorative and Therapeutic Yoga to ease the condition.

Assistance In The Event of A Traumatic Event

Restorative Yoga practice is beneficial not just in cases of physical trauma, as well as in cases of psychological damage. It creates a process of self-healing and understanding of our emotions to life’s problems when practiced on a regular basis. We believe that the practice of Restorative Yoga is extremely beneficial for all types of rehabilitative therapy, as well as for mental specialists such as psychiatrists and therapists.

Aids In Weight Loss

Restorative Yoga shows us how to become more mindful, which reduces our desire to overeat. Daily  practice, even if only for 20 minutes per day, raises our consciousness of our behaviors, educates us to respect ourselves, and lessens the urge to compensate for the ills of contemporary life with eating or “fatty foods.” It’s a fantastic place to start rethinking our food and lifestyle patterns.

Who Should Try Restorative Yoga?

Restorative yoga is a type of yoga that is suitable for everyone—you do not even need a certain degree of fitness or previous yoga experience to attend a session. It can also aid experienced yoga instructors and professionals in balancing the impacts of more physically challenging practices. Restorative yoga is a terrific kind of yoga for everyone, regardless of the type of yoga they do; it is an important element of a well-rounded approach.

Obviously, if you’ve had a chronic health condition, a major injury, and are otherwise worried about your ability to perform restorative yoga, see your doctor first.

What to Expect If You’re Just Getting Started With Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is ideal for both newcomers to yoga and experienced practitioners—everyone gains from incorporating low-impact, low-intensity movements into their fitness regimen. If you are new to restorative yoga, it is vital to understand that certain poses may elicit different emotions in different people. Just don’t be frightened: they may even cause some people to experience some temporary stress—it may seem paradoxical, but it’s quite natural.

Any backbend or heart opening [position] opens the chest and forces the nerve system to work in the opposite way it is accustomed to. It’s a risky stance because you’re letting your heart out there, while when you’re worried, you slouch your shoulders and [cross] your arms to defend the delicate parts of your body.

With a load on their thoughts, someone walking into a restorative yoga session or at-home practicing may stumble with some postures at first, or need a minute to completely execute them and enable their body to loosen up and relax.

Upward Dog

Glide into this wonderful chest-opener to widen your lungs as well as diaphragm, extend your abdomen softly, and tighten your wrists as well as shoulders slightly.

How to do it:

Lower yourselves to the ground from a plank posture. Bend your toes under, extend your arms, and elevate your chest into the sky as you get closer to the floor. Make sure to keep your shoulders down and also away from your ears while drawing your shoulder blades closer to each other.

Child’s Pose

Allow this foundational floor position to be your go-to stretch for decompressing the spine (particularly the lower back), opening up the shoulders, and providing a moment of calm. Child’s pose is also a fantastic place to go when you need to take a breather from more intense positions. Return to it as needed and hold for about as much as it feels comfortable, inhaling deeply further into lower spine as well as rib cage.

How to do it:

Kneel with your knees slightly bent at a V angle with your toes meeting (like the point of the V). Lay back on your heels, with your chest down toward your knees. Stretch your arms in front of you, allowing your head to lie on the mat.

Wide Angle Forward Fold

According to DuShaun Pollard, a Chicago-based certified yoga teacher and director of Sage Gawd Collective, yoga is a useful approach to heal stress and other types of emotional disturbance, in addition to its numerous physical advantages. This covers, for instance, the current COVID-19 tragedies and social justice concerns from the previous year.

How to do it:

Spread your legs 3 to 4 feet away (a little further than hip-distance) from standing, then put your palms on your hips. Extend your waist towards to the sky, then start to bend your upper body over gently. You could either lay your hands straight beneath you on the floor, extend them behind you in the the floor, or tuck them behind your back, utilizing whatever hand movement seems best to you.


The wheel posture is the most complete representation of this backbend stance, and it is usually performed at the end of the practice. Beginners, on the other hand, may (and therefore should) commence with a less strenuous, fundamental bridge position, which is excellent for spinal mobility, glute stimulation, and widening the hips as well as chest.

How to do it:

Begin by laying on your backside with your legs bent and your heels near to your buttocks. Your hands are straight on the floor at your sides, and your fingertips are reaching towards your feet. Strongly and uniformly push your feet into the ground, then softly tighten your glutes (butt muscles) and raise your hips off the surface.

Seated Forward Bend

This position stretches your hamstrings, buttocks, and back, but it also improves digestion, calms the nervous system, and lowers blood pressure, making it the perfect stress reliever.

How to do it:

Sit upright on the ground, your feet and legs firmly together in front of you. Put a cushion, pillow, or yoga prop on your lap, then bend over your lap (and the cushion), extending your arms forward toward your feet. If reaching forward is tough because you’re not stretchy or your hamstrings are too stiff, place a rolled-up blanket beneath your knees. Soothe your sight or shut your eyes as you rest your brow on the pillow.


​​Savasana (or corpse position) is the final body reset, promoting digestion and calming the sympathetic nervous system.

How to do it:

Begin by lying flat on your back with a cushion (or pillow or rolled-up cloth) beneath your knees as well as a blanket wrapped over your shoulders. Allow your arms to hang at your sides, hands facing up. Rather than a bolster beneath your knees, position a cushion below your head as well as upper back to support your spine while also loosening up your chest and breathing passages. Allow your knees and legs to spontaneously rest to the side but if this is how they would really like to rest.


What is restorative yoga good for?

Restorative yoga is fundamentally a passive healing technique. Restorative yoga promotes relaxation by giving time for lengthier asanas (stances or postures) and deeper inhalation. This reaction can assist to decrease breathing, lower blood pressure, and generate a sense of serenity and well-being.

Is restorative yoga for beginners?

These poses are typically held over several minutes at a period and are strongly backed by sheets, bricks, or even other props. All of those props might be frightening for newcomers to restorative practice. However, a few pointers will help you get started with your own restorative practice.

Can restorative yoga help you lose weight?

Yoga techniques that are active and vigorous help you lose the most calories. This may aid in the prevention of weight gain. While restorative yoga is not a particularly strenuous kind of yoga, it does aid with weight reduction. Restorative yoga was found to be beneficial in assisting overweight women to reduce weight, especially abdominal fat, in one research.

How often should you do restorative yoga?

As much as you need it, as frequently as your body demands it, as frequently as it feels wonderful – but minimum each week! Although if you could only have time for one or two 10 minute postures a few times a week, it will help!

What is the best time to do restorative yoga?

Restorative yoga is best practiced whenever you have the time and space to do so. Restorative yoga can be practiced in the morning, afternoon, or evening. You could choose to practice first thing in the morning to begin your day on a pleasant note, gradually waking up the mind and body.


Restorative yoga may be of interest if you wish to experience profound relaxation of either the body and the soul. It’s a moderate, non-physically strenuous yoga practice that’s appropriate for all abilities.

If you’re looking for information about other types of yoga, keep reading Seema!