I am going to try and make it out of the office in time to take a Hatha Flow Yoga class at the gym. I'm not quit sure what it entails (I found an article about Vinyasa Flow Yoga, but not Hatha), but I am looking forward to relaxing while toning. I have been really tired lately, so I am trying to ease myself back into the gym, rather than pushing myself too hard. Gold's also offers a Restorative Yoga - anyone know what that class is about?
The two are different ways of saying the same thing. As for Restorative Yoga, I highly recommend it! Restorative is not for exercise and only mildly for stretching - it is more a way to relax and release stress. Often you will be propped up on bolsters and pillows in a Restorative Yoga class. Of course, teachers vary, but I always love a Restorative Yoga class at the end of a stressful week!
Anything with Flow in the title will probably get you sweating. You'll be sore the next day, in the good kinda way! Restorative is just what it says - a way to restore your energy reserves. They are both important and wonderful ways to treat your body. You'll feel like you're cheating in the restorative class because it's so relaxing, but it's every bit as good for your body as the more strenuous flow classes.
"Hatha Flow" is a marketing term. The first word is used to indicate the type or style of practice. The second word tells you the pace or nature. Loosely speaking HaTha is a physical practice working the body. In this way you can see how several kinds of yoga would fit in that cubby.
You also ask about what a "restorative" class might be. And you are likely to find that differs depending on where you go. There is a certain nature to restorative in asana (postures). It is not, as some would have you believe, simply lying around nor is it only yin (quieter calmer) poses. Though the nature of a restorative class should absolutely be yin.
The concept of a restorative class is this. That which is done does not tax nor deplete the body. Rather it feeds and nurtures. Just as there is a way to feed and nurture a infant there is also a way to feed and nurture a yogi.
You may find a good restorative class at a gym. It is less likely as they often have a very noisy environment, very few props, and teachers less committed to the practice and its training. It is not always so, it is just likely. But give it a try. Who knows what flower might arise from the muck.