Most forms of yoga practice are known to boost your health and your mood. But restorative yoga can help you reach a state of deep, healing relaxation. That’s good for your whole body, especially if you have health conditions made worse by stress, like GI issues, fibromyalgia or migraines. Other benefits…

Less pain. Because of the props supporting your body, it’s more comfortable to realign your posture, breathe more deeply and effortlessly relax. For instance, if you are hunched forward when you sit, you’re straining your back and shoulders and restricting your ability to breathe fully. Gentle restorative yoga backbends ease the tension in your neck, shoulders and back, thereby improving posture and decreasing pain.

Better sleep. Researchers at the University of Rochester found low-intensity yoga practices like restorative yoga to be especially helpful for cancer patients and survivors suffering from sleep disruptions, chronic fatigue, pain and distress. And it makes sense. The restful state you enter during restorative yoga poses—especially if you practice before you go to bed—improves your sleep cycle.

A more positive outlook. Researchers from Wake Forest University studied the effects of restorative yoga on breast and ovarian cancer patients. After taking 75-minute classes for 10 weeks, these women had all significantly improved their quality of life—they were less depressed and anxious and had fewer negative emotions overall. How can restorative yoga bring this about? When your body is still, you’re able to be present with your thoughts without suppressing or running away from them. That acceptance and self-compassion in turn boosts emotional resilience.

A cooler core. Your body temperature will cool as you relax in these postures. This is one way to reduce hot flashes.