Restorative Yoga For Beginners At Home:
Modern life is fast and exhausting. For many, this has become the new norm. it’s become imperative we identify things in our own lives that may help us find relief from time to time. For many, yoga can be that relief. Specifically, restorative yoga poses, even for complete beginners, can be a gentle way of introducing yoga into your daily life. One of the great aspects of restorative yoga, is it’s flexibility when it comes to location to practice. Here, we discuss restorative yoga for beginners at home.
What is Restorative Yoga?
Restorative yoga is a regenerative, anti-stress program, that can be geared to virtually anyone. Goals of restorative yoga include, relaxation and passive-stretching. Truly, it’s approach is geared toward and based on surrendering to each pose and/or sequence.
Restorative yoga for beginners, is one of the best ways to get acquainted and start practicing yoga. Restorative yoga can be beneficial for;
- people of all ages, including seniors,
- Individuals of all fitness levels,
- and people with injuries (recovery phase) or illnesses, as long as the practice is tailored to their needs and limitations.
The use of yoga props can be used to distinguish this form of yoga. Oftentimes, used to support the body. Props include; blankets, yoga mats, pillows, straps, blocks, chairs, and even walls. Consequently, their use can help reduce the action of a muscle in a specified pose. These common items may already be available in your home.
Can You Practice Restorative Yoga at Home?
Even during a pandemic, one can very easily bring the practice of restorative yoga to their home. However, you may want to keep a few things in mind.
For example, your practice should be done in a quite environment. Furthermore, the surroundings should be comfortable and relatable. Preferably a location that is spacious, for preforming specific asanas.
While it’s not necessary to have a yoga mat to practice restorative yoga at home, it may be more comfortable then a towel or laying on carpet. As we’ve discussed in a recent post on “The Best Way To Meditate at Home“, we emphasize making the space feel welcoming and calming. Consequently, this helps get into a more relaxed state of mind. Placing objects, images, or items that bring about a sense of comfort, is a way to create the right preconditions for achieving harmony and peace.
Other advantages to practicing restorative yoga at home include;
- freedom to practice whenever we want,
- we can make our schedule,
- we can do the poses/sequences that we want,
- our practice can last as long as we decide.
As beforementioned, yoga is flexible, allowing yogi’s to practice any time of the day. We’ve found for ourselves, practicing restorative yoga at night has been beneficial to help calm our mind and prepare our body for a more restful sleep.
All you need is some intrinsic desire and free time!
Restorative Yoga Poses For Beginners
Another great aspect about restorative yoga, in regards to beginner yogis, is that it does not require many variations of poses. In addition, it doesn’t have to follow a difficult set of yoga sequences. A few poses can go a long way in providing you many of the benefits you seek.
Restorative yoga is about remaining in your poses for extended periods of time, not necessarily seeing how many poses we can fit into a particular session. You’ll want to maximize each pose.
Oftentimes, poses within the practice of yoga seem difficult and can challenge you from both a physical and mental aspect. However, as you progress and practice restorative yoga, you’ll find yourself easily maximizing the benefits of each pose, both from a body and mind perspective. Furthermore, even increasing the time spent in each asana.
Many yoga poses, (particularly restorative yoga asanas), can be simplified and tailored for age, and abilities. As you progress, you’ll find your strength, and flexibility levels increase. You’ll intimately learn your bodies capabilities, imperfections and what areas may need more work then others. You’ll learn to embrace those small imperfections and tensions that you feel in specific areas, like your pelvis, hips, neck, and shoulders.
Related Article: All About Restorative Yoga: Postures & Sequences
Simple Poses For Beginners to Restorative Yoga, include;
- Supported Fish Pose (Matsyasana);
- Child’s Pose (Balasana);
- Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
- Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana);
- Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana);
- Supine Spinal Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana).
The Benefits of Restorative Yoga and Such Poses:
Oftentimes, poses within the restorative yoga routine seem fairly straight-forward. Consequently, you may yourself, wonder how these poses can help you physically and mentally.
The focus here is to relax, fully engage the body and mind. It’s not about forcing your body into pain, or increasing a stretch beyond it’s limitations. It’s about listening to your body and stretching as deep as it allows. In time, achieving a sense of relaxation, which eventually allows for deeper stretching, but also stretching in comfort, as time passes.
As beforementioned, restorative yoga deeply loosens the body, creating a feeling of relaxation and peace.
Touted Physical Benefits:
- Strengthens the body;- Increases flexibility;
- Stretches the muscles;
- Stimulates blood circulation;
- Increases oxygen in the body through better breathing;
- Accelerates recovery after injury;
- Relieves stress;
- Strengthens the immune system.
In fact, did you know that stress influences the immune response, which can therefore cause alterations to immune cells. Activities such as yoga, meditation, hypnosis and muscle relaxation, have been linked to a reduction in the psychological and physiological effect of stress in diseases such as cancers and HIV infections, according to the International Journal of Yoga, 2008.
Broadly speaking, yoga has many potential benefits for the body. in fact, one meta-analysis completed on 42 different studies in 2017, found that yoga asanas were associated with reduced systolic blood pressure, lower evening cortisol levels, lower resting heart rate, fasting blood glucose, and even lower cholesterol levels.
Touted Mental Benefits:
- Promotes peaceful and comfortable sleep;
- Helps heal emotional wounds;
- Reduces the symptoms of anxiety;
- Calms the mind;
- Develops awareness of the present moment;
- Improves concentration.
Several studies have linked yoga and helping to reduce depression, stress and anxiety symptoms. A 2005 published article suggested potential beneficial effects of yoga on depressive disorders.
A 2013 study out of the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, suggested potential for improvement in overall sleep quality in elderly people and improvement in quality of life with regularly practiced yoga routines.
In addition, multiple other studies link yoga to helping with pain control. For example, this 2013 meta analysis suggesting yoga is a helpful additional therapy for both short term and chronic lower back pain! Studies also suggest broad improvements in many musculoskeletal conditions as they relate to pain and functionality.
Restorative yoga poses, allow an individual the opportunity to truly learn there body. Thus, helping to create mental awareness in relation to different parts of your body. It helps develop a better mind-body connection. It’s a time to focus on breathing. Restorative yoga provides a supportive structure, and therapeutic way of introducing the practice of yoga for beginners. Perhaps for advanced yogis, offering a productive change in routine.
Final Thoughts On Restorative Yoga For Beginners At Home!
Restorative yoga may not be for everyone. However, restorative yoga for beginners at home, is possible. Truly, restorative yoga is different. It enables practitioners to relax, while at the same time, fills us with energy. It can help teach us how to listen to our bodies. Thus, improving how we take care of our needs. In the process, restoring a sense of security, courage, and control.
Remember to be open and curious, to play and experiment, and to enjoy the countless benefits that restorative yoga will bring you.