Restorative yoga is a quiet time to physically unwind the body. It is probably the slowest paced of the yoga styles. Soft props like blankets, bolsters (think: giant pillow), and foam blocks support you. They dim the lights and play soothing music. You relax in different positions, letting your chest open, your back stretch, and your mind unwind.

Read: It feels really good.

Restorative Yoga for Runners Title

Runner’s legs won’t get long, grueling stretches in this style. Instead you will be allowing all your muscles to relax and de-stress, especially the back and hips. For runners, this is a great change of gears in your high-speed life and reduces your chances of burn-out.

While some (including me, at times) have called this class, “Adult Nap Time”, I do want to warn you that sometimes when you are relaxing into these postures, a sense of shapelessness comes over you. It can lead you to feel vulnerable and let underlying emotions to surface. It allows for an opportunity for emotional healing, as well as physical.

Unlike Yin yoga, it didn’t take me any time to learn to love restorative yoga. I treasured this quiet, dark time to let my back un-clench, to require nothing, and have nothing be required of me. This class was a good-for-me reward for each week’s running.

Restorative Yoga

Credit: Pixabay

Benefits of Restorative Yoga

  1. Deeply relaxes the body
  2. Stills the mind
  3. Enhances mood
  4. Boosts immunity
  5. Slows the heart rate

4 of my Favorite Restorative Yoga Poses


Restorative Yoga Cat Pose

Cat Pose

Restorative Yoga Cow pose

Cow pose

Gentle way to warm up the spine and open chest, exhaling into cat pose (back arching up) and exhaling into cow pose (back arching down). Click here for more information.

Seated spinal twist

Restorative Yoga Seated spinal twist

Seated spinal twist

Stretches shoulders, hip, neck, and spine. And I’ve now learned that this pose is called “Half Lord of the Fishes”, so there’s that. Click here for more information.

Child’s pose

Restorative Yoga Child's pose

Child’s pose

Stretches hip, thigh, and ankle. Click here for more information.

Supported bridge

Restorative Yoga Supported bridge

With block on medium height

Extends and supports back. Releases front hip flexors. Click here for more information.

Waterfall or Legs up the wall

Restorative Yoga Waterfall

Waterfall with block under sacrum

Can support legs with wall for “Legs up the wall” pose. Click here and here for more information.

Sources and Further Reading:

Does “Adult Nap Time” appeal to you?