Restorative Yoga For Beginners:
Gentle Poses For Relaxation and Healing
by Julia Clarke
Formats available: Paperback, Electronic
Pub Date: 12.3.19| 226 pages
REVIEWER: Sophia Rose
Received ARC of book from NetGalley. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Relax, relieve, restore—a beginner’s path to healing with restorative yoga
Recovering from an injury, an illness, or just interested in a natural way to relax? Restorative yoga focuses on simple poses in supported positions, encouraging deep relaxation so your mind can enter a peaceful, meditative state.
Dive in with an introduction to the spiritual origins and rejuvenating benefits of restorative yoga. Find the right position to reduce lower back pain, relieve stress, breathe easier, improve your energy, and even prepare your body for childbirth—all with illustrated instructions to get you into and out of each pose safely and comfortably.
Restorative Yoga for Beginners includes:
Take it easy—Make restorative yoga a lasting practice with simple suggestions on what to wear and what props you’ll need. Strike a pose—Ease into 36 essential restorative yoga poses, including labels with the therapeutic benefits of each—and extend your practice for deeper healing with 20 sequences. Breath of fresh air—Refresh your vital energy (prana) with breathing exercises and meditations designed to improve your digestion, heart rate, and more.
Restorative Yoga for Beginners offers the guidance to begin your yoga practice and bring harmony to your quality of life—one gentle stretch at a time. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48927944-restorative-yoga-for-beginners
Yoga can be intimidating especially for a novice with health complications so I was eager to try this book and the course it offered when I read through the blurb and thought this gentler version of Yoga just might be my speed.
Restorative Yoga for Beginners is a quick read and happily gets into the poses and sequences of poses for various purposes as the main body of the book. There is an intro to what Restorative Yoga is, how it will benefit those who practice it, and how the book will proceed along with a list of items needed (and they can be found around the house). Then there was graphics, explanations, and steps of each pose before the poses were arranged in several routines that were to meet specific needs. The last section of the book was devoted to breathing and meditation that takes place during the sequences. The resources and references were also another welcome addition.
It seems hard to believe, even to me, that I’ve gone through life with only a rudimentary knowledge of yoga and very little experience of it. Another form has always been my go to for working on flexibility, balance, breathing, etc. I’ve actually been somewhat intimidated by yoga from watching videos and even others in our circle practice it and encourage me to try it (at which I failed miserably).
But, I had not heard of this third most popular form of yoga- restorative yoga. This book caught my eye when browsing through books on physical health. I think the title alone had me relaxing and was welcoming me to pick it up.
I needed something doable if I was going to form it into a weekly routine and habit. This looked like just the thing. I’m physically able to do it, even with my health complications (its low challenge stretches and offers great support for the back) and my schedule, and I can afford it over the long haul because I can do it from home and all the props can be items from in the home (blankets, chairs, towels, and large elastic bands). The space required is what would fit the length and breadth of a yoga mat (meaning work or home or on the road traveling).
I read the book through before doing anything and then I went back and practiced a few of the poses (I chose chapter four’s stress relief poses since it was the holidays- nuff said). Finally, I attempted a few of the sequences in chapter seven.
I started with A Minimalist’s Dream which didn’t involve moving my blanket roll and pillow prop much and it was a 40 minute workout. It only moved me through four poses. First it shows you the pose graphics and then step by step instructions on how to move into position and transfer positions. Emphasis was on muscle relaxation and breathing to calm the mind. Incidentally, I found that by ‘giving up’ 40 minutes that I finished with a refreshed and more centered mind and body that made me more effective and efficient at my tasks afterward helping to make up those minutes.
Next, I tried Back to Bliss sequence which was a longer routine that focused on back pain relief. I enjoyed the stretches and they didn’t hurt my back. I think it is likely one that takes time and habit for the best results. I went on through Dissolve and Evolve for headache, neck and jaw tension.
A couple of the poses are still beyond my flexibility ability, but I was able to modify so I got something out of the pose and could complete the sequence of poses. I think that this is a good thing and proves that this is exactly what I needed and I have something to work toward that is doable.
I love how this is meant to be used for a variety of issues both physical and mental. I didn’t really do the ones for positive mental energy or spiritual results or to clear the mind in meditation, but they were there. One is not meant to do every routine, but try them out and choose the ones that fit the individual need. The author emphasizes that it is best to pick a few and get so familiar with them that the person doesn’t need to think (stress over) and can just relax into the routines for top benefit.
The easy guidance, hints, and step by step instruction made this definitely good for beginners like me. I had no confusion or trouble following along. I think making it habit will not be beyond me so I take that as an all around win and can recommend this book to others.