Almost more than rest and relaxation, we need recover and restore yoga in our lives. Although hot yoga is (still) all the rage, it’s likely that R&R yoga is missing from your exercise routine. Similar to yin yoga, restorative yoga uses a series of stretches, meditation and foam rolling techniques to heal the body and sooth the mind. Taking the mindfulness that is found in all disciplines of the activity to the next level, R&R is all about slowing down and opening your body through passive stretching. Often supported by props that allow you to rest and relax (yay best of both worlds!), this type of practice is completely different from contemporary yoga. For the gym rats, weight lifters and hardcore yogis, restorative yoga is the perfect complement to your day-to-day life. Look forward to mastering lengthy, controlled poses and pushing your body to its limits in non-traditional ways. Below, check out all the reasons you need to give it a go.
1. Enhance flexibility. Bring on the deep stretches, long poses and full body engagement.
2. Build body awareness. Get to know your body in a whole new way and learn more about existing aches and pains.
3. Improve posture and alignment. Reward your body for making it through the day (i.e. the sitting, the driving, the typing and the texting).
4. Trim fat and lose weight. Forget the 30-day challenges and short-term diets, it’s time to adapt to a new lifestyle through R & R.
5. Improve meditation and mindfulness skills. Press pause on the hustle and bustle of life off the mat through slow moves and still poses.
6. Practice reflection and introspection. Schedule time to center your breathing and direct your thoughts and feelings inward.
7. Recover from an injury. Lose the cast or crutches and re-discover the basics of exercising in a safe environment.
8. Heal emotional pain. Similar to recovering from an injury or building physical strength after an illness, it’s important to take care of your emotional needs. In need of a pick-me-up (or in this case a drop-me down)? Repair your inner body and restore your energy.
9. Short on sleep? Make it to the mat for what’s been described as adult nap time, between holding poses and resting you’ll benefit double time.