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Low Impact Yoga: What to Expect & How to Prepare

Low impact yoga is a perfect class for a seasoned yogi or someone who is developing their practice. Engaging in a low impact yoga class can promote relaxation, improve flexibility, support sore muscles or can be a productive form of activity to recover from an injury. It is recommended that the student speaks with their doctor before engaging in any activity if there is a current significant injury.

In most yoga classes, you can watch and feel the sequence unfold from gentle to intermediate to more advanced. In a low impact yoga class, most instructors are primarily keeping the practice gentle to support your body with slow and intentional movements that put minimal stress on your joints and muscles. The class might be longer than most if the instructor is intertwining some “yin” forms of yoga and meditation.

Some forms of Low Impact Yoga :

  • Yin Yoga – yogis hold deep postures for up to 5 minutes at a time. The point of yin yoga is to stretch and target both the deep connective tissues between the muscles, and the fascia throughout the body. Most people will feel sensations of tingling after a yin class. It is also normal to feel sore after.
  • Restorative – these classes are often performed using props so a student can fully relax their mind and body. The focus of the breath is quite important in restorative yoga. The aim of the restorative yoga is to create an opening through the body center channels to release tension. Most people will feel a sense of calmness leaving this class.
  • Chair Yoga – this class uses a folding chair to build the foundation for all yoga poses.

Low Impact Yoga Props and Prep:

  • First and foremost, you’ll want your yoga mat. Go the extra mile and rub your mat down with a gentle essential oil like lavender or eucalyptus.
  • To enhance your practice just a tad bit more, bring a blanket or pillow to use during certain poses and during savasana.
  • Wear loose clothing for maximum comfort.
  • If you have an eye pillow or sleep mask, you can also use this during savasana to increase relaxation.
  • Brew a cup of hot tea

During a low impact yoga class, an instructor will guide you through slower movements and a series of deep breathing techniques. Most of the class will be done seated. While the class may not have a climax to it, this style of class is essential for all levels. All yogis should include a restorative yoga session at least once a week. I prefer to include a swift, low impact yoga practice at the end of each day before bed. It allows me to unwind easily and transition from the crazy day to calm night.

Any style of yoga can benefit many different aspects within our body/body systems. Specifically, the slower, more controlled movements can improve digestion, calm the nervous system, and promote better sleep.

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