We have talked about the health benefits of yoga often on our blog. Maybe you have thought about trying it, but were not sure you were ready to challenge yourself to the back bends, deep twists, and arm balances that yoga can entail. There is a form of yoga called restorative yoga or yin yoga that might make you reconsider. Restorative yoga focuses on relaxing the body in restful postures, usually with the support of yoga “props” such as yoga blocks and straps. The props help the body move more easily into certain poses, which can then allow you to gain a deeper sense of relaxation. The atmosphere in a restorative yoga class is quiet and peaceful. There is not a feeling of doing things right or wrong – in fact some teachers suggest keeping your eyes closed during part of the class. Group classes typically supply the yoga mats, as well as the props.
The beauty of yoga is that it can work for different bodies, at various stages in life. For some people power or hatha yoga works. Other people feel the benefits of alignment based or gentle yoga. By slowing down the practice, and using props to help you feel the poses more deeply, restorative yoga can enable you to be more conscious of the connection between body and mind relaxation.