What exactly is Restorative Yoga ? Is a form of yoga that focuses on passive stretching. A restorative yoga class is similar to a meditation class except the focus is on relaxing muscles which will mean very little movement once a position is acquired and the class will cover just a few postures over the course of an hour. It is a completely different experience than most contemporary yoga.
Typically the majority of yoga classes practice active movement where the course is move from pose to pose, creating mechanical muscle energy (heat) and also increasing strength and flexibility through working multiple groups of muscles at the same time. Normal yoga is more of an athletic and acrobatic practice, than restorative yoga.
Restorative yoga works due to the fact that the muscles relax more deeply once they have held a specific position without having to come out of the position immediately following the intrusion into a position, this state of hold which is done using props allows the body to rest while the muscle begins to relax which can be a rather unique feeling as the muscle is used to support instead of relaxing. For this reason restorative yoga classes are rather mellow, which lends them as a good entry into other practices which the focus of relaxation is the primary goal and an excellent antidote to stress.
In restorative yoga, props are used extensively to support the body so positions can be held for longer periods of time so you should expect that you will enter into a state of relaxation. Many restorative yoga position are similar to traditional yoga except there is no direct movement from one pose to another.
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