Published on July 18th, 2016 | by Catherine Tingey0
When I see clients 2-3x/week or if they are doing yoga on their own at least 2-3x/week, I recommend sprinkling in a Restorative Yoga session.
Restorative Yoga is a style of mostly floor-based postures where each pose is held for several minutes. As Restorative Yoga poses are derived from the Iyengar tradition, they include the ample use of props such as bolsters, straps, blankets and blocks. The idea is to create a spatial environment with these accessories where the body is fully supported such that deep relaxation and restoration can begin.
I incorporate Restorative Yoga poses into my private sessions when:
- the client specifically requests them
- the client is dealing with extreme stress, cancer, recent trauma, chronic pain, auto-immune issues, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or simply fatigue
- the client does high energy workouts at least 3x/week.
On occasion, Restorative Yoga is a hard-sell to a Type A client, especially the person who is always in motion and finds it difficult to settle down. These clients are generally drawn to a sweaty vinyasa heavy practice, but once they experience just a few Restorative Poses, they are more inclined to ask for them in the future.
Personally, I enjoy taking Restorative Yoga classes locally although they are not often programmed into a studio’s schedule.
I find as a teacher, and as a student in Restorative classes, the best classes are those where there is a balance between guided visualizations and silence (once the students are in the pose).
Too few directives from the teacher and those with active minds will lose you. And conversely, if you’re talking too much, your students simply can’t really let go of what’s going on in the room.
There are some Restorative poses where I like to use guided meditation to facilitate deeper relaxation.
One of my favorites is Supported Bound Angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana). I like to sequence this at the end of a session, and on occasion, at both the beginning and the end, and I combine it with a deep belly guided meditation. I have also found this posture and guided meditation helpful for anyone healing body image issues or personally wanting a more body-positive perspective to their practice.
Any questions about Restorative Yoga? Feel to comment below, try out a session with a Private Yoga Instructor, or simply take a Restorative class at your local studio.