About Restorative Yoga

About Restorative Yoga—an inward, receptive practice that creates expansion and/or grounding in a physically passive way with the use of props. The goal of Restorative Yoga practice is to create a safe and supportive space for the body so that tension will be released, a relaxation response will be initiated and the mind has the opportunity to observe and eventually learn the body and mind’s process of relaxing.

 

Understanding Restorative Yoga

One way to understand Restorative Yoga is to see it as a bridge between active asana and meditation. Active asana will create spaciousness, stretching, and expanding. The practitioner is the doer and the body responds as receiver.

What Happens During Restorative Yoga

In Restorative Yoga, there’s opening and expansion but no active stretching. Restorative yoga poses don’t increase range of motion nor build strength.  Prop utilization creates sensations of complete comfort so practitioners are only the receiver.

Addressing tension in a Restorative Yoga practice is more than just muscular tightness. However, that kind of physical tension releases during practice.  Certified yoga therapist Jillian Pransky defines tension in the context of restorative practice as “the body’s way of forming resistance over places of vulnerability.” This means the practice addresses tension that includes both a physical and psycho-emotional component.

Restorative Yoga is effective for managing conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, high blood pressure and gastrointestinal disorders. Restorative Yoga is also ideal for anyone recovering from illness or injury.

“I find it remarkable that Tara, who practices and teaches highly athletic versions of yoga, is also an advocate and teacher of restorative yoga. Her classes have helped me realize that both activity and deep rest are necessary. Inspired by what I’ve learned from Tara, I now begin my yoga practice with restorative poses. This really settles me into my body and helps me notice what areas are tight, etc. I find that after just 10 minutes of restorative yoga, my entire practice feels much more real and authentic.”

Margaret CervarichFrederick, MD

Ready to take your Restorative Yoga experience to the next level? Check out Tara’s highly acclaimed Rest for All: Restorative Yoga Teacher Training, hosted by Roots & River Yoga.