Free Restorative Yoga Lesson Plan
This Restorative Yoga Lesson Plan was created using the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner. It’s FREE. Hope you like it.
Each yoga lesson plan you create within the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner comes with a short version of the lesson plan. The short version is perfect for taking into class with you. It’s short and sweet.
Each yoga lesson plan you create within the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner comes with a long version of the lesson plan. The long version has everything you need to practice the lesson plan before getting to class. You can take it to class with you (but you may prefer to take the short version). The long version is a great handout to give to your students, especially your one-to-one students. It immediately shows your professionalism, and increases your expertise in the eyes of your students.
Each yoga lesson plan you create within the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner comes with a video stream version of the lesson plan. You’ll be able to provide the streams to students as a URL, so they can practice from home.
I’ve also included a downloadable “Om” yoga class handout for you, perfect for a restorative yoga class.
Restorative Yoga: Antithesis Of No Pain No Gain Mentality
A restorative yoga practice is the antithesis of the “no pain no gain” mentality.
Restorative yoga is a “no pain loads of gain mentality”.
Restorative yoga doesn’t do force.
It does release.
It does surrender.
It does compassion.
It does slow.
It does stillness.
Life for most of us is fast. We’re all rushing about. There’s nothing wrong with rushing, but we humans don’t do sometimes rushing, we do constant rushing.
We do relentless-on-the-go-rushing.
It’s as if we believe that stopping, slowing, or calming will cause instantaneous death. Guess what. It won’t. The only thing that will die when practicing restorative yoga is any strain that you’re holding onto.
Have you ever asked yourself…
“What am I running away from?”
If you ask the question enough, you’ll discover it’s you. You’re running away from you.
When you practice restorative yoga you will remember that:
You are compassionate.
You are kind.
And you are important.
Whenever I give a one to one yoga session or class (e.g. restorative yoga), I like to imagine a student client will ask me a bunch of questions.
So, I study up on the subject, and make notes in FAQ format (see below). Once I’ve completed my FAQs, I read one, close my eyes and answer it the best I can. I open my eyes to see how much detail I got right. If I missed anything, I repeat the process until I get it right.
This gives me huge confidence when giving a one to one session. There’s nothing like diligent preparation to give you confidence when going into a one-to-one session with a client. Though, I always tell my clients that I’m not a doctor, and if they have any concerns they should consult their doctor.
“What are the benefits of restorative Yoga”
The benefits are endless, but here are my top 14:
- Enhances flexibility
- Deeply relaxed body
- Softens and surrenders the monkey mind
- Improves capacity for healing and balancing
- Balances nervous system
- Boosts the immune system
- Develops compassion toward others
- Develops compassion toward self
- Enhances mood states.
- Slows down the pace of life
- Soothing to the Nervous System
- Encourages mindfulness
- Cultivates heightened body awareness
- Recovery from illness
“What is restorative Yoga in a nutshell”
A restorative yoga practice helps you to slow down and deeply open your body through passive stretching. In a typical restorative yoga class you do very little movement, doing just a few postures in the course of a 60 or 90 minute class.
“How is it restorative yoga different from normal Yoga.”
Most yoga classes in the West is a flowing form of yoga, where you move quickly from pose to pose, building heat and increasing your strength and flexibility in equal measure. This type of yoga has become athletic and an almost gymnastic style of practice, with the aim of getting into impressive looking poses.
“Does restorative yoga require props like bolsters, blocks, straps, and blankets?”
Props certainly help, but they aren’t essential. Simply holding a pose, instead of rushing to the next pose, can be a restorative pose. The mantra of restorative is to “slow down”. If you’re rushing to the next pose, you’re definitely not practicing restorative yoga.
So, what props can you use? Anything that allows you stay longer in a pose is going to be a good prop. Props can be: belts, blankets, blocks, bolsters, chairs, ropes, straps, walls, and last but not least, your Yoga mat.
Basically, a prop’s only function is to eliminate unnecessary straining. The goal is to be able to hold the pose for several minutes.
“Is restorative yoga mainly for seniors, or people with injuries?”
Absolutely not. Everyone, no matter how old, young, fit or unfit would benefit from a restorative yoga practice. Just imagine what the benefits are of holding a pose and allowing your body and mind to melt into your mat. It’s bliss. Yes, restorative classes are mellow, and seniors love going to them. And if you’re an A Type personality, you might initially be put off by that. But the chances are very high that you’ll fall in love with restorative yoga and never look back.
“Is stillness a super power?”
Yes. Stillness is a super power. It’s the perfect antidote to stress. Imagine having the ability to still your mind and tune fully into your body. That’s power.
“Is a standing forward bend become a restorative pose?”
Yes. If you can hold the pose for a length of time without straining, it is restorative pose. And it becomes even more restorative if you use a prop (e.g. a block to place your palms on so you’re not straining to reach the mat).
“If you had to pick your favourite restorative yoga pose, what would it be?”
My personal favourite is Legs Up A Wall Pose (Viparita Karani), but that’s probably because I was born with “restless legs” (which is very common). I also love Half Pigeon pose on a bolster. And I have a hankering for Supported Bridge Pose.
“What should I expect in a restorative yoga class?”
Expect to brace yourself for a deep relaxation to occur. If you’re like most people, you haven’t properly relaxed, I mean “properly relaxed”, since you were a child.
Expect your teacher to provide you props, and recommend what props you should invest in, to get the most out of the class.
Expect to feel freaked out to begin with. Your body might want to rebel against the calm. That’s normal. By your third or forth class, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to get yourself to a restorative yoga class.
Expect a calming atmosphere. There won’t be any loud motivation music bouncing off the walls. There will be dimmed lights. There will be an instructor with calm energy and a welcoming face. There will be lots of welcoming, compassionate faces amongst the students; if you’re a newbie they’ll know what it felt like when they first arrived: stressed, beat-up, on the edge, close to a break-down or already fully enmeshed in one.
Expect, if you’re a newbie, for the yoga teacher to cocoon you in soft blankets for extra warmth and coziness at the end of class relaxation.
Expect to love the the end of class relaxation.
Expect to focus on your breath throughout the class.
Expect the yoga teacher to talk you through guided meditation near the end of the class.
Expect to only do several poses over the course of a 60 or 90 minute class. The emphasis is on quality, not quantity.
“How long do you hold poses in a restorative class?”
Because most restorative poses use props that anchor you into the pose, you will be able to hold the pose for longer than you think, up to 10 or 20 minutes.
In these passive poses, the focus is on ease and release. You may even come close to falling asleep, but don’t. These deep holds are teaching your nervous system to a “rest and digest” instead of “fight or flight.”
“Will my body be sore from holding the stretches for so long?”
At the end of the session, your body will feel open and rejuvenated. Your body may feel a bit sore the next day from the deep stretching. That’s okay. That’s a sign that you’ve actually given your body an amazing workout, even though during the class you may have thought it was too easy.
“Can I do restorative yoga at home?”
Yes. Once you’ve been to the class for awhile, you’ll know the basics of the poses. You’ll have purchased a few props. You’ll have gained confidence. If your peace-of-mind is important to you, and you have the space, you’ll find yourself creating a “yoga space”, where you mat, props and maybe a smudge stick or two lives.