Restorative yoga is a slow moving yoga practice, where simple, supported poses are held for long periods of time. Sound boring? The thought of taking time to move in slo-mo may sound unproductive to those of us used to moving full speed, but there’s much more happening in a restorative yoga session than what meets the eye.

According to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s BFF and yogi Claire Grieve, a simple restorative yoga practice can leave you with a sense of focused calm that lingers — and might just help you sleep more restfully. Here’s what you need to know…

What The Heck Is Restorative Yoga?

It might seem a little counter-intuitive that a super relaxing yoga session can give you energy, but it truly can be a powerful tool for rejuvenation. Most of my clients have really high-stress lives: They are constantly on the go and always pushing to be better. Sound familiar? If you continually run at this high octane pace, chances are you’ll burn out. Incorporating a restorative yoga practice into your nightly routine can help you recharge your batteries so you have a fresh store of natural, vibrant energy at the start of each new day. And experience more restful sleep.

Restorative yoga is truly a luscious practice. As you rest into each pose, you can almost feel your stresses and anxieties melting away.

You’ll want to hold each pose from two to thirty minutes and use props to enhance relaxation. If you are restless or feel like you desperately want to come out of a pose, you probably need it even more. When things get tough, just hold the pose for a few more breaths. Every exhale will increase the benefits.

The Benefits Of Restorative Yoga

Decreases stress and tension | A restorative yoga practice requires you to slow down, let go and just breathe. It sounds simple, but you probably haven’t done this today. Even just one restorative yoga pose will help you calm your mind and nervous system, release any tension in your physical body and may help you to release deeper emotions that have built up over time. Freeing yourself from stress and tension is incredibly energizing — it will help you to feel lighter in both your body and energy. The Cow Face pose is my favorite way to rid the body of stress.

Promotes deeper sleep | Practicing restorative yoga before you go to bed can help you get a more restful night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep will promote refreshed energy in your day-to-day. Legs Up The Wall pose is my favorite way to relax my way towards a deep sleep. It will help you feel total relaxation almost immediately.

Helps heal The body | Restorative yoga can help your body heal itself. Yoga gets circulation, digestion and the lymphatic system moving. This flow of energy helps to deliver fresh oxygen and nutrients to your whole body and will jumpstart your detoxification system leaving you feeling refreshed and revived. Seated Twist is the perfect restorative pose to get your systems moving.

Quiets the mind | As you practice restorative yoga, you begin to release the chaos of your thoughts. A regular practice will help you cultivate presence, gratitude and authenticity, which will bring a new vivid energy into your life. Lay back into Reclined Goddess pose, pay attention to your breath and ease into a meditative state.

Increases flexibility | Stretching is one of the most underrated practices. Not only does it help you release tension from your muscles, it also keeps your body aligned so that energy can flow through your body freely. Most people suffer from tight hamstrings, so Reclined Big Toe stretch is a great stretch to start with to increase your flexibility.

Looking to pick up a restorative yoga practice? Check out Claire’s e-book ENERGIZE, and explore a few more of our favorites from her here.

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