The development of the restorative poses is credited to B.K.S Iyengar, of Pune, India. Iyengar early teaching experience showed him how pain or injury can result from a student straining in a yoga pose. He experimented with props – simple tools used to modify poses so the student could practice with strain. Iyengar also explored how these modified poses could help people recover from illness or injury. These poses are powerful tools to reduce stress and restore health.
By supporting the body with props, we alternately stimulate and provides a supportive environment for total relaxation. Some of the restorative poses are back arches, others forward bend, and some gentle twist. Restorative sequences also include an inverted pose. And with that the body can move toward balance. Some poses have an overall benefit. Others target an individual part, like the lungs or heart. All create specific physiological responses that are beneficial to health.
In general, restorative poses are for those times when you feel weak, fatigued, or stressed from your daily activities. They are especially beneficial for the times before, during, and after major life events: death of a loved one, change of job or residence, marriage, divorce, major holidays and vacations. In addition, you can practice the poses when ill or recovering from illness or injury. It’s a wonderful practice also to complement an active regular practice of yoga. We recommended al least have one a week a session of restorative yoga!