In restorative yoga, props are used to support the body so that you can hold poses for longer, allowing you to open your body through passive stretching. The postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to eliminate unnecessary straining.
- a seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana) can be done with a bolster or several folded blankets on top of the legs so that your forward bend is fully supported with the entire torso resting on your props.
- Legs up the wall (viparita karani) is a classic restorative yoga pose, with the wall used as a prop to support the legs.
Restorative classes are usually very relaxing and are a good complement to more active practices. The teacher will arrange for the necessary props to be available to you. The lights may be dimmed and if it is chilly, you may be covered with a blanket since you will not be warming up the body the way you would be in a regular class. After you are set up in a pose with all your props, you will hold the pose for an extended period, often up to ten to twenty minutes. Although you are supported, you will definitely still feel the stretch. It’s a relaxing style of practice that leaves you feeling open and refreshed.
Restorative Yoga Chikitsa
Yoga Chikitsa is the name referring to the Primary Series in Ashtanga Yoga, a series that heals and purifies the body.
The Sanskrit word chikitsa, means therapy.
This restorative yoga class includes a series of long holding asanas to specifically address any “issues” in the body, mind and spirit.
Use of props including blankets, eye pillows, cushions, straps, and blocks is encouraged to move past limitations and open the body to healing.
If you’ve never tried a restorative class, do not be fooled into thinking this is a class only for the feable.
Expect to leave in a state of bliss every time!