Restorative yoga is a soothing practice that aims to restore the body and mind to a rested, relaxed state. Poses are often supported with props such as blankets, bolsters and blocks to allow the muscles to completely release tension. If restorative yoga is done with breath work and focus, its benefits can range from increased relaxation to weight loss and improved health.
Unfortunately, our bodies don’t know the difference between non-life-threatening stress such as meeting a business deadline and high-danger stress such as running from a wild animal. Restorative yoga helps to calm the “fight or flight” feeling of stress that is caused by a busy lifestyle. As you breathe and feel your muscles supported during restorative yoga, the nervous system gradually sends less urgent messages to the brain, allowing the breath and heart rate to slow.
Cardiac Health: The cardiac system is constantly hard at work circulating oxygen-rich blood through the entire body. Restorative yoga helps to rest the heart, allowing the heartbeat to slow and work a little less than usual. A classic restorative pose, Legs Up the Wall pose, brings the legs and feet higher than the heart. This allows the heart to rest, since blood can move down through the legs with less effort. This pose can also reduce swelling and congestion in the feet and legs, while providing a gentle stretch.
Increased Breath Awareness: Breathing deeply with intention is at the heart of all forms of yoga, and restorative yoga is no different. Deep breathing helps the mind and muscles to quiet down. An increased awareness of your breath can also be helpful off the mat as you begin to note unhealthy patterns in your breathing, such as holding your breath or breathing jaggedly, […]