Restorative Yoga Instructor

A yoga instructor specializing in restorative yoga, which focuses on relaxation and healing through supported poses.


A Restorative Yoga Instructor is a trained yoga teacher who specializes in guiding students through a gentle, supportive practice designed to promote deep relaxation, stress relief, and healing. Restorative yoga utilizes props like blankets, bolsters, and blocks to support the body in passive poses held for extended periods. This allows the mind and body to fully surrender and release tension, promoting a state of rest and rejuvenation. Restorative Yoga Instructors create a nurturing, calming environment and offer personalized adjustments to ensure each student's comfort and alignment.

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Restorative yoga has its roots in the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, who pioneered the use of props to support the body in yoga poses. In the 1970s, Iyengar's student, Judith Hanson Lasater, further developed restorative yoga as a distinct practice. She recognized the need for a more gentle, passive approach to yoga that could help students manage stress, recover from illness or injury, and find deep relaxation. As restorative yoga gained popularity, more teachers began specializing in this style, adapting the practice to suit diverse needs and preferences. Today, Restorative Yoga Instructors can be found in studios, wellness centers, and healthcare settings worldwide, offering a valuable tool for stress management and self-care.


  1. Stress Reduction Restorative yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and lowering cortisol levels.
  2. Pain Relief The gentle, supported poses can alleviate chronic pain and tension in the body, particularly in the back, neck, and joints.
  3. Improved Sleep The deep relaxation experienced in restorative yoga can lead to better sleep quality and duration.
  4. Enhanced Flexibility Holding passive stretches for extended periods allows the muscles and connective tissues to gently release and lengthen.
  5. Greater Self-Awareness The slow, introspective nature of restorative yoga encourages a deeper connection with one's inner experiences and emotions.
  6. Improved Mood Regular practice can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, promoting a greater sense of well-being and emotional balance.
  7. Strengthened Immune System The relaxation response triggered by restorative yoga can boost immunity and overall resilience to stress and illness.

How It Works

Restorative yoga instructors guide students through gentle, supportive poses that are held for extended periods, often using props like blankets, bolsters, and blocks. These poses aim to promote relaxation, release tension, and encourage a meditative state of mind. The instructor creates a calming atmosphere, often incorporating breathing techniques and mindfulness practices. They offer personalized adjustments and modifications to ensure each student's comfort and alignment, promoting a sense of ease and well-being throughout the class.


While restorative yoga is generally accessible to most individuals, it's important to communicate any injuries, health concerns, or physical limitations to the instructor before class. Some poses may not be suitable for certain conditions, such as pregnancy or recent surgeries. It's also essential to listen to your body and respect its limits, avoiding any poses that cause discomfort or strain. Restorative yoga can be emotionally releasing, so be prepared for potential feelings or thoughts that may arise during the practice.

How Much It Costs

The cost of restorative yoga classes can vary depending on the location, studio, and instructor's experience. Drop-in classes typically range from $15 to $25, while multi-class packages or memberships may offer discounted rates. Private sessions with a restorative yoga instructor can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. Some studios may offer community classes at reduced rates or donation-based classes to make the practice more accessible.

Virtual & Online Options

Virtual restorative yoga classes offer the convenience of practicing from the comfort of your own home, eliminating travel time and expenses. Online classes also provide a wider variety of instructors and class times to choose from. However, in-person classes allow for personalized adjustments and a sense of community that may be lacking in virtual settings. Local studios also provide a dedicated space for practice, free from distractions that may be present at home.


While there is no universal certification required to teach restorative yoga, many instructors complete a Yoga Alliance-registered training program. These programs typically include a 200-hour foundational yoga teacher training, followed by a specialized restorative yoga training, which can range from 20 to 100 hours. Some instructors may also have additional certifications in anatomy, physiology, or therapeutic yoga. It's important to choose an instructor with proper training and experience to ensure a safe and effective practice.

Complementary Practices

Restorative Yoga pairs well with other gentle practices like meditation, breathwork, Tai Chi, and Yin Yoga. Incorporating these mindful activities can further enhance relaxation, stress relief, and overall well-being. Restorative Yoga also complements therapeutic modalities such as massage therapy, acupuncture, and sound healing, creating a holistic approach to self-care and healing.

Practitioner Types

Restorative Yoga is typically taught by certified yoga instructors who have completed additional training in this specialized style. These instructors may work independently or be affiliated with yoga studios, fitness centers, or wellness retreats. Some physical therapists, occupational therapists, and mental health professionals may also incorporate Restorative Yoga techniques into their treatment plans to support their clients' physical and emotional well-being.

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  • Q: What is Restorative Yoga and how is it different from other yoga styles?

    • A: Restorative Yoga is a gentle, passive form of yoga that focuses on deep relaxation and stress relief. Unlike more active yoga styles, Restorative Yoga involves holding poses for longer periods, often using props like blankets and bolsters for support. This allows the body to fully release tension and promotes a state of rest and rejuvenation.
  • Q: Who can benefit from practicing Restorative Yoga?

    • A: Restorative Yoga is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, including beginners and those with limited mobility. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with stress, anxiety, fatigue, or chronic pain. Athletes and active individuals may also find Restorative Yoga helpful for recovery and injury prevention.
  • Q: What should I expect during a Restorative Yoga class?

    • A: In a Restorative Yoga class, you can expect a slow-paced, calming environment. The instructor will guide you through a series of passive poses, using props to support your body and encourage deep relaxation. Classes typically last 60-90 minutes and may include gentle music, dim lighting, and guided meditation or breathwork.
  • Q: How often should I practice Restorative Yoga to experience its benefits?

    • A: The frequency of Restorative Yoga practice can vary depending on individual needs and preferences. Incorporating one to two classes per week can provide significant benefits, such as reduced stress, improved sleep, and increased flexibility. However, even practicing Restorative Yoga occasionally or as needed can offer valuable support for overall well-being.
  • Q: Can Restorative Yoga help with stress and anxiety?

    • A: Yes, Restorative Yoga is an excellent tool for managing stress and anxiety. The practice promotes deep relaxation, activates the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for rest and digestion), and encourages a sense of calm and inner peace. Regular Restorative Yoga practice can help reduce cortisol levels, improve mood, and enhance resilience to stress.


Restorative Yoga is a transformative practice that offers a sanctuary of peace and rejuvenation in our fast-paced, stress-filled lives. By embracing stillness, supported by props and guided by the wisdom of certified instructors, practitioners can tap into a profound sense of relaxation and self-nurturing. Whether you are seeking relief from physical tension, emotional stress, or simply a quiet moment to reconnect with yourself, Restorative Yoga provides a gentle path to balance and well-being. As you embark on this journey of self-care, remember that each breath, each pose, and each moment of surrender is an opportunity to cultivate a deeper sense of harmony within yourself and with the world around you.