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Yoga Hero: All of Yoga Podcast – Episode 17

Styles of yoga – Restorative Yoga

Navigating your way through the different styles of yoga can be a bit of a minefield, so, in this episode we break down what Restorative yoga is, the many benefits of Restorative yoga and some bits and bobs to bear in mind when you’re practicing, and then we’ll let you know how you can learn more about Restorative yoga with us at Yoga Hero if you’d like to. 

Restorative yoga is, in essence, any yoga that is restful, nourishing, very calming for the nervous system and healing. Because of that; Restorative yoga is floor based, meaning little or no weight bearing, using props to support the bones – which the muscles detect, and so they start to relax, and they send messages of relaxation in to all the systems of the body – which is the key and the beauty of restorative yoga. 

Restorative yoga is a counter-balance to modern day life. Many of us are very on-the-go, trying to fit more and more in to our days, trying to to work harder, to achieve more. There’s nothing wrong with ambition and drive, but being all-go with no rest is unsustainable, and unfortunately we’re seeing increasing levels of burn out, fatigue and dis-regulated nervous systems as a result. 

In this podcast episode, we’ll look at how to practice restorative yoga, what the benefits are, and lastly, how you can learn more about restorative yoga with Yoga Hero. 

Restorative Yoga with Yoga Nidra Teacher Training Course at Yoga Hero

Friday 10th April – Sunday 12th November

Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra are amazing for balancing a busy and stressful life.  There’s nothing to do, nowhere to be and while the body is able to rest in stillness and ease,  the mind can process, reset and reformat experience. For many, it is a divine and nourishing experience on many levels, physically, mentally and emotionally.

This training is a divine, deeply nourishing experience that you can enjoy for yourself, and yoga teachers can integrate the knowledge and experience in to their teaching too.

Dates

Friday 10th – Sunday 12th November 2023, 9:00 – 4:30pm

Investment

The course price is £375

Dina is a wonderful teacher and trainer, she created a space which felt very easy and relaxing for me to learn. I loved the yoga space and the group in which I trained alongside, we had plenty of time to practice our learning on each other and to work together as a whole group. After I completed the training it took me a while to get back into the pace of life however I did this with a mindful and restorative approach and perspective.

Huge Gratitude to Dina and Yoga Hero for creating the space for me to train.

Paddy.

The training was great. It was pure relaxation as well as being very informative. I would highly recommend doing the training, even if it is just for yourself.

Vicki C

All of Yoga Online Membership

Check out our All of Yoga online yoga membership, just £9.99 per month, no minimum contract: All of Yoga membership 

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Listen to ‘Styles of yoga – Restorative Yoga‘ where you get your podcasts:

Thank you, and happy listening!


Styles of yoga – Restorative Yoga – Transcript

Navigating your way through the different styles of yoga can be a bit of a minefield, so, in this episode we break down what Restorative yoga is, the many benefits of Restorative yoga and some bits and bobs to bear in mind when you’re practicing, and then we’ll let you know how you can learn more about Restorative yoga with us at Yoga Hero if you’d like to. 

Restorative yoga is, in essence, any yoga that is restful, nourishing, very calming for the nervous system and healing. Because of that, much – or all – of Restorative yoga is floor based, meaning little or no weight bearing. Restorative yoga tends to use a lot of props to support the bones – which the muscles detect. The muscles detect that they’re not needed, and so they start to relax, and they send messages of relaxation in to all the systems of the body – which is the key and the beauty of restorative yoga.

Restorative yoga can also include calming, nourishing breathing, mindfulness and Yoga Nidra, which translates to Yoga sleep, which is a guided meditation with the aim of deep relaxation.

Restorative yoga is a counter-balance to modern day life. Many of us are very on-the-go, trying to fit more and more in to our days, trying to to work harder, to achieve more. There’s nothing wrong with ambition and drive, but being all-go with no rest is unsustainable, and unfortunately we’re seeing increasing levels of burn out, fatigue and dis-regulated nervous systems as a result.

In this podcast episode, we’ll look at how to practice restorative yoga, what the benefits are, and lastly, how you can learn more about restorative yoga with Yoga Hero.

So let’s go!

How to practice Restorative Yoga

There’s a few fundamentals that mean that a practitioner will get as much from their practice as possible. Restorative yoga poses include poses that you’re familiar with, such as forward folds, backbends, twists, inversions and so on. But the way that these are practiced is tailored for Restorative yoga.

Physical comfort

Taking the time to get as comfortable as possible not only has massive benefits for the body; the muscles, the nervous system and so much more, but it also does the world of good for our self-respect and self-esteem. Think about it, if you take the time to make something feel really good for yourself, you’re putting yourself at the top of your priority list – and how often do you do that, really?

As I mentioned before, in restorative yoga we tend to use loads of props. One of the great things that came out of all that time at home is how incredibly creative people became in magicking yoga props from standard household items. A pillow wrapped in a blanket or a two is a bolster. Thick books become bricks. The belt from your dressing gown is a yoga strap… and so on. So restorative yoga isn’t just for a well-equipped yoga studio, its for home too.

Creating total comfort is scanning every millimetre of the body when you’re setting up the pose, and ensuring its cared for. Propping up finger bones, making sure toes don’t get cold, moving that necklace or bit of hair out of the way. Doing whatever you need to do, to ensure the entire body is as comfortable as possible.

Warmth

Warmth activates the relaxation systems in the body. It never ceases to amaze me just how much the body temperature drops when relaxing, so don’t scrimp on jumpers, socks and blankets, as the warmth really does help you relax.

Low lighting

As long as you’re ok with low lighting, again, it stimulates the calming response in the body. Ideally make sure no lights are shining in your eyes, and / or use an eye pillow.

Time

Ohhhh the time. When you follow the steps mentioned just now to setting up your restorative pose, you can stay there 5, 10, 20, 30 minutes!! Longer, why not! Truly, honestly give yourself permission to be there and to stay there. If you’re concerned about time, set a timer (that has a nice beep, not a harsh beep) just so you’re not constantly wondering how long you’ve been there and you’re not trying to peek at the clock with one eye half open.

The benefits

The benefits of restorative yoga are all to do with relaxation – to do with counter-balancing busy lives and mastering our own ability to find space and peace in our lives and a balance in our bodies. Ongoing, challenging stress really, really takes its toll on all the systems of the body, it’s really not healthy. And like I said before, being ambitious and motivated isn’t a bad thing, but we do have to step in and counter balance this. Let’s look at the benefits of a restorative yoga practice.

Learn how to relax

Ok that actually sounds mad doesn’t it. It’s a bit like saying ‘learn how to breathe’ or ‘learn how to sleep’ – you’d think that relaxing is an innate skill that we possess, so why would we have to learn how to do it? Well actually we can all refine our breathing, and we can improve our sleep hygiene and sleep efficiency, so learning to relax or indeed, learning to relax better is most certainly a possibility. If you’re in a restorative pose for 10 minutes, you have no choice but to relax in to it. This is a skill that you cultivate within these restorative poses, that you can then use off the yoga mat, too.

Learn about yourself!

Have you ever heard your yoga teacher, or anyone, say release anywhere you’re holding tension in the body – and you think, well I don’t know where’s tense!

With restorative yoga, you’ll discover the areas of your body that unconsciously hold tension, and you’ll give them permission to let go. Once you have the knowledge of where you hold tension, you can then consciously release it when someone lets you down at work, or you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or you just have too much to do that day. This helps to decrease the overall levels of tension in the body, which is really important.

Activate the rest and digest response

You might have heard of the fight, flight or freeze response, which is where the nervous system is on high alert, and has reprioritised all our systems for our immediate survival. This is actually a very useful response, but, it shouldn’t be activated all the time. We have to step in, and activate the other option – the rest and digest response – which Restorative yoga is an absolute master at.

Learning more about Restorative yoga

We’re really proud to have Dina Cohen lead our Restorative yoga immersion in November at Yoga Hero. There’s a two day immersion totally focussed on restorative yoga, or a five day immersion which brings in practices from mindfulness and Yoga Nidra, too.

These immersions are open to anyone who would like to learn more about rest, which really, is probably all of us. Stress is turning in to a pandemic, and it manifests in many of us in sneaky things like sleep problems, grinding the teeth, mood swings, forgetting things, difficulty concentrating, constipation and IBS, unexplained chronic body aches, fatigue and more.

The skills and knowledge gained on these trainings could be the difference between an enjoyable, pain-free life and the alternative.

If you’d like to find out more about these courses, simply go to the shownotes for this episode – by going to yogahero.co.uk/allofyoga17

We’d love to welcome you to our immersions and teach you how life can be with less stress and more calm, it really does feel so spacious!

So that’s it lovely heroes!

If you have a spare couple of seconds, we’d be so grateful if you could rate and review this podcast just where ever you’re listening to it, and if you could share with a friend too, well that would just be amazing!

Go and have a fabulous day, remember, you’re your own hero.

See you next time!


All of Yoga Episode List

Episode 1 – Yoga Nidra for Deep Sleep

Episode 2 – Ujjayi breath – the what, the why and the how

Episode 3 – What is Yoga?

Episode 4 – The thing about thoughts

Episode 5 – Self love – the what, why and how

Episode 6 – Yoga teacher training – the what, why and how

Episode 7 – Micro rest, midi rest and maxi rest

Episode 8 – Ways to deepen and advance your yoga practice

Episode 9 – Styles of Yoga – Ashtanga

Episode 10 – Forgiveness

Episode 11 – Styles of Yoga – Yin

Episode 12 – The four types of people and the four ways to treat them

Episode 13 – Align your intentions and actions

Episode 14 – How to prepare for your first yoga class

Episode 15 – Tips for developing a regular yoga practice

Episode 16 –  Start Yoga in September

Episode 17: Styles of yoga – Restorative Yoga

Episode 18: Beautiful guided Savasana

Episode 19: Control the controllables

Episode 20: How to stop overthinking, according to yoga

Episode 21: Morning Yoga Nidra for a great day!