People come to a restorative yoga class looking for peace and stress release, not exercise. This type of yoga uses props to support the body as it rests and very gently stretches. As Judith Lasater, a leading restorative yoga teacher and author of вЂњRelax and RenewвЂќ puts it, yoga is an act of kindness toward yourself. If you want to share this feeling with yoga students, giving them an opportunity to rejuvenate in a safe space, perhaps you want to investigate restorative yoga teacher training.
In a restorative yoga practice, students use props such as pillows, blocks, sandbags, chairs and blankets to support the body and facilitate release of muscular and mental tension. These supported poses are usually held for three to 10 minutes. People turn to restorative yoga during times of stress, illness, or when they feel a desire to turn inward. If you're a yoga teacher who is considering taking a restorative teacher training, think about what props are available where you teach. Yoga studios often carry many of these higher-end props, such as bolsters and sandbags. Gyms and community centers usually don't. While it's possible to do some restorative poses without props, it's much easier if you have them on hand.
Topics Covered in Restorative Yoga Teacher Training
A restorative yoga teacher training will go into detail about the use of props - which ones to use, when and for whom. You'll learn to plan a balanced sequence of restorative poses. Your instructor will explain how to adapt poses for the special needs of your students. You'll also learn how to incorporate a restorative pose or two into your regular yoga classes. You may learn to guide students through yoga nidra, a long, deep meditation.
Duration and Credits
Depending where you take your restorative yoga teacher training, the course will vary between about 10 and 30 hours. Shorter courses may be taught over a single weekend. Longer courses may involve several weekends or a residential stay. Note that restorative yoga is a specialty within yoga teaching. You'll need the foundation of a regular yoga teacher training course before you take restorative training. If you are registered with Yoga Alliance, pick a restorative training course that provides you with continuing education credit hours. You should get a letter or certificate of completion at the end of the training.
Teaching restorative yoga requires some different skills from teaching more active styles. New teachers may be uncomfortable with how quiet a restorative class can be. They may worry that the students are bored, or that students expect the teacher to fill up the time with instruction or other talk. Let the students practice being quiet. Look for signs of physical discomfort in your students and think of ways you can make them more comfortable by adjusting their poses or supporting additional body parts with props. If possible, choose a restorative teacher training that gives you a chance to practice these different teaching methods on real students.