Restorative Bliss yoga is a unique style of yoga that focuses on supporting the body in a deeply restful way, while inviting in breath, fluidity, soft flow and movment. A variety of props such as bolsters, blankets, blocks, eye pillows and straps are used to support the body to encourage stillness and comfort or calm and ease while flowing gently with breath. There are no standing poses in restorative yoga. All postures are seated or lying down on the mat. Typically, a restorative yoga sequence moves the spine in all directions—gentle forward folds, backbends, twists, lateral bends and inversions. The intention of each pose is to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes called the “rest, digest and repair” response. In restorative flow yoga, relaxation is key—to keep the brain quiet, meditative, while gently moving the body. The practice is not to do anything. Instead the intention is to “undo.” Renowned restorative yoga instructor, Judith Hanson Lasater says: “In restorative yoga, the pose is acting on me, through me, with me, and I’m the receiver. I’m actively cultivating receptive mind and receptive body. So I am not the doer. I am the receiver.” (Lasater, 2015) The essential difference between restorative yoga and other forms of yoga is there is no goal to stretch the body or strengthen muscles. This differs even from yin yoga. Although yin yoga is similar to restorative yoga in that the poses are supported and held for a long time, the intention in yin yoga is to stretch the tissue. Sensation of stretch or discomfort is a part of yin yoga. In restorative flow yoga, the main purpose is to for the student to feel absolute comfort, while exploring with ease.
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