Restorative yoga is all about rest! In an hour-long class, you can expect to do between 4 and 6 postures, spending anywhere from 3 minutes to 10 minutes in each.
You will use props (see more below) such as foam blocks, foam bricks, bolsters and blankets to make yourself as comfortable as possible – the aim is that it should take zero effort to be in the posture. Always ask yourself if there is anything you can do to make the posture even 1% more comfortable.
The space is then there for you to rest. For some people it can be harder to do a restorative practice than more physical practices. It’s drummed into us that we must be productive and always go-go-go, how often do we get a chance to do absolutely nothing?
Props are really important for restorative yoga – however, it doesn’t mean you need fancy yoga props!
For restorative yoga I’d recommend that you have a yoga mat, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry – find a spot with plenty of floor space, ideally somewhere with soft carpet for comfort. If you’re on a hard floor, you might want a blanket or a towel underneath you.
I’d recommend that you have yoga blocks/bricks of various sizes (they usually come in a flat block and a brick shape). Blocks will be used to adjust heights and fill spaces. If you don’t have yoga blocks then sturdy boxes of any kind will do, or different size books! You can always wrap them in a towel or pillowcase to protect them.
I’d recommend a bolster or cushion – maybe a few of different sizes. You might want a cushion to sit on so something fairly flat. We do sometimes use the bolster standing on its end – if you don’t have a bolster you can take a bed pillow, roll it length ways, and tie it so its sausage shaped.
I’d also recommend a few blankets – these are useful for keeping warm, but also padding underneath the knees, the head and just adding general cosiness!
I’d also recommend having a chair close by for your restorative practice – a dining room chair is ideal.
If you’d like to try Restorative Yoga, please consider joining my Patreon page where you’ll have access to 2 new restorative practices a month, along with the full archive of classes.