When we practice restorative yoga, the focus is not on stretching or strengthening but instead on releasing and letting go. We release tension in our muscles and gently stimulate the organs through long-held poses designed to support and comfort the body. In order to achieve the comfort that we are seeking in restorative yoga, a variety of props such as blankets, blocks, bolsters, sandbags, and eye pillows are often used.
Restorative yoga helps us to relearn how to relax while also helping us to develop the skill/ability to self-soothe. This is self-care at its finest. Restorative yoga enhances our healing capacity by helping us to regulate the stress response in our bodies and then help us to also rebalance our nervous system. Reducing stress in this way, with yoga, may help address many health concerns.
You can adapt all types of yoga, including restorative yoga, to your fitness level and stage of treatment and recovery, changing your poses as you get stronger or face new challenges over time. As with all forms of exercise, start slowly and check with your doctor before getting started.
Here are a few restorative yoga poses to try (with your doctor’s permission of course) at home. Click on the link for articles and images to help you see some of the ways to get into these amazingly restorative poses. Stay in each pose for 7-10 minutes, so long as it is comfortable for you to do so. Namaste.