Yoga is something many people have dabbled with at least once or twice in their lifetime. It addresses our overall well-being from a physical and mental state bringing a holistic approach to health. It doesn’t matter what your age is or your athleticism level. Everyone can do it!
Naturally, knowing where to begin when embarking on something new can be difficult. There are so many types of yoga out there as well as how you take the class. In-person and online classes are available. Paid-for and free classes are also a choice. This guide can start you off in the right direction because starting slow is better than not starting at all! The benefits are immediate, so there is no need to wait!
What Is Restorative Yoga and Why Is It Great For Beginners?
Restorative yoga has a very distinct approach to the practice. You’ll notice it is not the same as yoga taught in a hot room and is different from yoga focusing on total strength. This type of yoga practice is intentional in working on passive stretching throughout the body. The goal is to be able to calm the body and mind. Through this, minimal effort must be made, yet the results are outstanding.
The pace is slow instead of flowing a little quicker from asana (poses) to asana. Beginners may find themselves using assisted tools to help them with stretches. These are things like yoga blocks, straps, and more to find stability and deepen the poses. Even more, experienced yogis use these tools to continue working on their mobility and flexibility.
Beginners Can Take Advantage Of:
- Not rushing or feeling like they can’t hold or get into a pose. Slow and easier poses limit the risk of anxiety of not being able to follow along.
- Immediate benefits come from slowing the mind and body down, even if you feel like you may not be “getting it.”
- Being able to ask for assistance since there is the time between poses.
Benefits of Restorative Yoga
Restorative yoga focuses on the body as a whole. The benefits transform all areas of your life, how you feel when walking, sleep, anxiety levels, and so much more. That’s why even if it doesn’t feel like it may be for you, it’s worth sticking with it for a while and seeing the short-term and long-term benefits.
Restorative yoga allows us to do one thing at one time. There is no need to worry about getting to your next task when you are where you are. Restorative yoga brings inner peace by working on the breath in and out slowly to lower your heart rate.
This calms both your mind and body. The muscles will start to relax, allowing you into a deeper stretch. When this becomes the ultimate goal, the go, go, go of life seems to melt away, and you become at peace while taking care of your body.
Mobility and Function
Athletes and adults lose range of motion and mobility due to aging and the stress we put on our bodies. Keeping the mobility and range of emotion as open as possible helps fight against physical deterioration with age. The more flexible we are, the better we can balance and react to times of unbalance.
This becomes incredibly important for those who are more at risk of falling. It also plays a role in your heart when your body does not have to work as hard to move. You can also double the physical benefits when you incorporate compression therapy.
Experts at VIM & VIGR discuss why compression socks may be useful during restorative and athletic exercises. And they advise wearing compression socks all day during and after restorative yoga.
“The goal of putting on a pair of compression stockings is to apply pressure to your veins from the outside in situations where your activity level can restrict blood flow.”
Focus and Attention
One of the main reasons why yoga is such a great choice for everyone is that it gets us off our phones and online. Disconnecting from what’s around is incredibly important. But our attention spans have been trained to be ready for every call and every text the second it comes in.
Yoga requires us to focus on ourselves and what is body is doing. The ultimate gift of being present. This can result in more peaceful sleep as we rid some of our anxieties attached to being online.
Reduce Muscle Joint Stress
The main physical focus is to relax our muscles. This reduces the muscle and joint stress that happens when we put our body through daily activity or, in some cases, inactivity. When the muscles relax and loosen, it lessens the pressure it puts on the surrounding joints. That’s why after restorative yoga, a once tight back may feel limber and relaxed.
How Does a Beginner Get Started?
The best thing about restorative yoga is the many ways to get started. Technically speaking, you don’t have to wait. You can start after reading this article!
Go To a Class
If it is your first time doing yoga, attending an actual class is never a bad idea. Meeting the instructor and discussing the objectives and goals is a great introduction. They can even assist you if you have any medical issues that may present issues for you during the class. This also helps put you in a successful environment free of distraction from other things.
The great thing about technology is that many free online classes fall under the restorative yoga category. Since it is not an aggressive style of yoga, it is generally easy to follow. There are also several paid classes online, depending on if you find a particular instructor you like.
As a beginner, it may make more sense to try as many free classes as you can before signing up for a paid one. Just make sure there are a lot of good reviews.
On Your Own
Guided restorative yoga is always great, but you can also do it on your own anywhere at any time. The poses aren’t all hard to get into, such as following instructions from pictures works too. While you can teach yourself the basic poses, always remember that if it doesn’t feel right, you should stop.
Because restorative yoga is essentially a good stretch and working on your breathing, you can walk yourself through a guided routine. This is the least instructed pathway, so it’s good to run through a few classes first. But doing something is always better than doing nothing, so if you have a few minutes at the beginning or the end of your day, this is awesome.
Trying It Out
The most important part when it concerns trying restorative yoga is showing up. No matter if you love or hate the class, you are going to get a benefit out of it. And sometimes, it takes a little while to nourish your relationship with yoga. This goes for all ages, genders, and levels of athleticism.
Remember, it is not just a physical benefit as well. Restorative yoga offers a mental release that is needed from our daily connected lives. It puts boundaries so that we can spend time doing the necessary self-care routines!