Practicing Restorative Yoga at Home
Some say that home is where the heart is, and what better place to practice the deep, heart-opening, and grounding goodness of Restorative Yoga than the comfort of your home?
All-day long, we rely on our bodies’ muscular abilities to hold us upright and take us where we’re going. We find ourselves in a constant state of doing – rushing around and moving quickly through the world. This practice is all about using props to support the body and allow the muscles to relax, the bones to settle, and the breath to deepen. In Restorative yoga, we use the props to create a completely effortless experience of a long-held posture. With this support level, you may notice that you can slow down and let go of long-held tension. Ideal for students suffering from physical and mental fatigue, most poses are held for 5-20 minutes.
To a bystander, Restorative Yoga may look like creating a pillow fort. However, what’s happening under the surface can be profound.
When we allow the body to be held, melt into a pose, and focus on the breath, it’s easier to slip into the relaxation response. This neurological reply can help with healing, take us out of fight or flight mode, and lessen concerns about safety and let the body focus on essential functions such as digestion, regeneration, and immunity.
Where to start? You can begin practicing restorative yoga at home anytime, and you may find that the practice is a soothing addition to your weekly routine or a tender time-out on the weekends after a busy week. You’ll need a yoga mat or rug, two yoga blocks, two-three yoga blankets, a bolster or cushion, a strap, or a scarf. Add an eye-pillow to the mix and place it over the eyes once settled into a posture. Ensure that you have enough space around your mat to move freely and keep your props close-by. Once you’ve set up your space, dim the lights, turn on some soft music and let yourself relax. If you’re looking for guidance, try out this 50-Minute Restorative class with Emily Ruth.
You may find that incorporating this self-care inspired style of yoga is a practice you look forward to doing. The benefits are great, and after a few sessions, if learning more about this profoundly relaxing yoga practice calls to you, learn more by participating in a Restorative Yoga Teacher Training such as the one previously offered at Pilgrimage Yoga. Interested in our next Restorative Yoga Teacher Training? Contact us.
Written for Pilgrimage Yoga by Kara Willingham