Restorative yoga: active relaxation with Audrey Favreau

Audrey Favreau, trainer and author, teaches Restorative Yoga through online courses, as well as face-to-face training in France and Italy.

She tells us today about the benefits of this yoga and explains how to practice it.

What is restorative yoga?

Restorative yoga is active relaxation. This style of yoga emphasizes deep relaxation and energy recovery. Thus, through poses, meditation and breathing, the body and mind can rest and regenerate.

These poses are held for quite a long time, often with the help of props. Indeed cushions, blankets and blocks offer additional support and relaxation.

What are the differences compared to yin yoga or yoga nidra?

Yin yoga focuses on deep connective tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, and fascia. It aims to improve the flexibility and mobility of the joints whereas, in restorative yoga, we do not seek stretching which will stimulate the nervous system. On the contrary, we seek to open the different areas of the body in order to improve blood circulation.

Yoga nidra, on the other hand, is a mindful relaxation practice that focuses on deep relaxation of the mind and body. It can be practiced in a lying or sitting position, without any other accessory than a blanket. It often involves vocal guidance.

While restorative yoga has a palette of about forty positions. Even if we only use three to five per session, in active relaxation and accompanied by a maximum of accessories. Generally, the accompaniment is only done at the beginning of the session so that the silence does its work in our inner journey. But what are these accessories for? What are the benefits of practicing this type of yoga?

Restorative yoga active relaxation with Audrey Favreau

The benefits of restorative yoga

  • It boosts the immune and endocrine systems
  • It improves our relationship
  • It stimulates our creativity
  • It helps in problem solving
  • It rebalances the nervous system

The essentials of an ideal restorative yoga session

The goal is to reduce what can remind us of the outside and any stimulation that will prevent letting go.

  • The silence. It creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere for deep relaxation. There are several types of silence: the absence of noise (external silence: the suppression of ambient noise), the rarity of actions (immobility), the discovery of silence in oneself.
  • Darkness. Darkness reduces visual distractions and creates an atmosphere conducive to relaxation.
  • Stillness. Stillness is important to allow the muscles to relax and the breath to become calm and deep.
  • Comfort. It is important to choose comfortable poses to allow relaxation (hence the importance of props).
  • The heat. In particular to prevent the cold from distracting us.

Audrey explains to us on today’s show how to practice restorative yoga. How to differentiate a burn-out from stress, she also gives us pretty metaphors and addresses the importance of regular practice, she talks to us about rhythm, the ultradian cycle. And like Joanna in the latest showshe explains the importance of having a daily routine.

Restorative yoga active relaxation with Audrey Favreau
Audrey Favreau in full session. Photo Audrey Favreau

Indeed, according to Audrey, a minimum practice of 20 minutes a day is necessary for the nervous system to do the right thing. We can then start with a simple posture such as Savasana (lying on your back) or even our sleeping position.

Moreover, if you want to practice with Audrey, you can find her on her online site but also in her book: “Restorative yoga – 32 postures to find inner calm” (Granche editions).

In the meantime, if you need immediate relaxation, here is 3 self-relaxation tricks that only require body and mind.

We want to say thanks to the writer of this post for this awesome material

Restorative yoga: active relaxation with Audrey Favreau

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