Yoga is well-known for improving flexibility and increasing range of motion. There is much more to the practice than just stretching and flexing the body. Yoga improves how the body functions and also burns calories; you can expect to burn between 100 to 150 calories per session.
Restorative yoga guides the body through the recovery process and allows it to heal from both physical and emotional injuries. It is one of many forms of yoga that can be used when more rigorous forms of exercise are too stressful for the body.
What Is Restorative Yoga?
Restorative yoga uses poses and props to reach the deepest possible state of relaxation and balance. It is considered a more restful form of yoga because fewer poses are used during the session. Each pose is held for a longer period and helps to encourage a meditative state.
Even though the body is in a restful or meditative state, you will still burn calories. During a regular yoga session, you can expect to burn between 150 and 200 calories during a one-hour session. Because of the relaxed nature of restorative yoga, the number of calories burnt will be considerably less, possibly ranging from 100 to 150 calories per session.
Props And Poses
While all forms of yoga use props, restorative yoga relies on them to help you hold poses for much longer periods. The longer you can hold a pose, the more your body is allowed to relax. Props can include a variety of objects, including:
Props can be placed under the knees, lower back, and neck for added stability while performing certain poses. Props provide the body with the support that is needed so the joints and soft tissues can fully relax.
Using props allows the body to release tension that collects in the body. Tension and stress flow from the body with each breath.
You might find our explainer on is restorative yoga for beginners useful.
More Benefits Of Restorative Yoga
Restorative yoga slows the body down. During this time, the mind is able to release stress and tension from the body. Performing restorative yoga in the evening relaxes your body and prepares it for a better night’s sleep.
Because you are moving less, you are better able to focus on your breathing. Breathing through each pose connects the mind and body, so they remain in perpetual balance.
Improved Mood And Overall Well-being
With restorative yoga, both the body and the mind are given what is needed to improve mood and enhance an overall sense of well-being. The more the body is allowed to relax, the mind will follow suit.
Deep breathing during a restorative yoga session brings more oxygen into the body. This clears the mind and allows you to think more clearly. As mental function improves, physical function will also start to improve.
You might also be interested in our guide on practicing yoga to become more flexible.
During restorative yoga, less stress is put on the body. Your muscles are gently stretched with small amounts of pressure being exerted on the bones, which can increase and strengthen the bones and connective tissues. With less stress placed on the body, the healing process can move along much faster.
Someone just beginning to exercise can benefit from restorative yoga as it can guide them back into a healthier state. As they are restoring their health, a more relaxed form of yoga is needed to rebuild strength and resilience.
However, consult your doctor before trying restorative yoga if you have any underlying conditions or injuries.