Restorative Yoga is a gentle, therapeutic style of yoga which utilizes props to support the body and assist the student to ease into certain poses. The use of props provides a safe, supportive environment for total surrender into the pose.
The gentle support provided by props such as blankets, bolsters and blocks provides a deep sense of relaxation and promotes recovery from stress, illness and injuries. Restorative classes are typically very nurturing, with dimmed lights, gentle teacher assists (preparing and arranging pros and supports), and soothing music.
Restorative Yoga is derived from a yoga style that was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar and popularized by one of his students, Judith Lasater. In her book, Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times, Lasater wrote:
The development of these poses is credited to B.K.S. Iyengar, of Pune, India. Author of the contemporary classic Light on Yoga and numerous other books, Iyengar has been teaching yoga for more than sixty years. Widely recognized as a worldwide authority, he is one of the most creative teachers of yoga today.
Iyengar’s early teaching experience showed him how pain or injury can result from a student straining in a yoga pose. He experimented with “props,” modifying poses until the student could practice without strain. Iyengar also explored how these modified poses could help people recover from illness or injury. It is because of his creativity that the restorative poses in this book (Relax and Renew)-most of which have been developed or directly inspired by him-are such powerful tools to reduce stress and restore health.”
Restorative Yoga is one of several styles of Yoga that students of Healing Movement’s 200 and 500 hour teacher training programs will learn. Each program provides ample time for students to deepen their practice of restorative yoga and develop the knowledge and skill to bring this powerful tool into their own classes when they graduate and are ready to teach.