Recently we had a great question from a student. She asked:
Q – Is Restorative Yoga the Same as Yin Yoga?
What a great question. I will do my best to explain the two, although keeping in mind I have not trained as a yin instructor. I have practiced yin yoga personally quite a bit, so I will speak to my experience.
When describing how I teach my restorative classes I think its works well to say that its moving the body into safe, comfortable, and supported postures; to nurture and deeply soothe the parasympathetic nervous system. We stay in postures anywhere from 5-10min, where focus is similar to all other yoga styles of bringing more awareness to the breath and calming the mind.
From my experience yin is similar in that poses are “held” for lengthy periods of time as well, although tend to work with stretching and holding the body. In restorative yoga many props are used to support the pose and allow the body to deeply rest. With yin yoga it seems as though it is a search to find your edge, and then allow the breath to support the body in allowing opening and a deeper stretch.
Restorative Yoga is active and conscious relaxation where you may find that magical place before sleep, when the mind, body and breath unite to discover the true beauty that you are.
In saying all this I do believe your experience will be personal and unique, so I encourage you to try a class and please share with me what your practice reveals.
Thank you for being curious, I do hope to meet you on your mat soon!