What is restorative yoga ?
Restorative yoga or gentle yoga is name given to postures, which are improvised according to body to practitioner who is doing them. This is mainly done to restoration of the said practitioner, who is approaching yoga to heal weak body parts or because due to age, they are not able to do normal practice. So within itself, restorative yoga isn’t a special or different kind of yoga but a term coined to denote the purpose of this practice.
So how is it done? In simplest form, you use support and get in postures as gently as possible. Now support can be pillows, blankets and other yoga props. Once you have your prop material, then according to how much body can move comfortably, prop is placed to assist the body. When the body part is supported, it helps in giving security to mind, thus relaxing the required muscle for proper breathing. And thus begins the path of recovery.
Now postures which are to be done for restorative yoga or gentle yoga, are decided from situation to situation. I have scanned a few sites, and listed out links for postures, which are suitable for each situation.
For stress or general relaxation:
For chronic pain
Yoga International: For chronic pain
Apart from these links, your teacher can also suggest few improvements for you. When you facing difficulty in any posture, then props or supports are helpful in crossing that barrier.
Be careful though, don’t be dependent on these props, as it may act as hindrance for the very growth you are looking for while practicing restorative/gentle/assisted yoga. These are supported moves and should be treated as such, for the time required only. Not a moment more 🙂