What is Restorative Yoga?
Restorative yoga isn't a traditional classification or style of yoga. It is rather, a category that has emerged among yoga practitioners to let people know that a class will be nice and gentle.
The practice of yoga involves stretching the body and forming different poses, while keeping breathing slow and controlled. The body becomes relaxed and energized at the same time. There are various styles of yoga, some moving through the poses more quickly, almost like an aerobic workout, and other styles relaxing deeply into each pose. Some have a more spiritual angle, while others are used purely as a form of exercise.
Restorative Yoga is a therapeutic style of yoga which utilizes props to make it easier for the body to get into certain poses, and thus, surrender to the pose. Practicing poses using props provides a completely supportive environment for total relaxation. The more the body is supported in the poses the deeper the sense of relaxation.
Relaxation is a wonderful state where there is no movement, no effort, and the brain is quiet. Typically, Restorative poses are sustained for ten minutes or for as long as you are comfortable.
Restorative yoga focuses on relaxation, renewal, effortlessness and ease.
Blankets, bolsters, straps, and other props safely support the body in various
postures which allows the body to move towards a state of balance. This
practice soothes our nervous system, helps quiet our mind and invites us to release deeply held tension.
Restorative poses cultivate the habit of attention. The mind should always focus on the breath and when we notice our mind wandering (as it often does) we bring it back to the breath. We can also focus on where and how we hold tension and then use the breath as a tool to release the tension.
Restorative yoga provides healing for our body and the mind. It's especially useful for when we need to eliminate fatigue
and stress that resulting from daily activities. It can also help us recover
from illness and injury or overcome emotional depression and anxiety caused by traumatic events such as divorce, loss of job and death of a beloved.
Restorative yoga can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which enables automatic control of the body. As such, the regular nervous system will be at rest, and the muscles will become more relaxed. Constant practice of restorative yoga will make your body less vulnerable to stress-related illnesses and help you achieve optimal health.
Restorative yoga uses forward bends, backbends and twists to move the spine in every direction. The pose sequence usually also includes inversions, or poses that are performed basically upside-down, in an effort to reverse the effects of gravity. This improves circulation and enhances heart function.
Restorative yoga is appropriate for any fitness level and can be a perfect complement to other styles of yoga and other forms of exercise. Restorative yoga utilizes variations and modifications, so it is a gentler version of the traditional discipline. The reduced intensity of the activity makes it more accessible and a great practice for people who are dealing with injuries, chronic pain or physical illness.
Remember, Yoga pays us back tenfold for the energy and commitment that we put in.
Still not certain what is Restorative yoga? Think a class is too expensive? Feeling a bit self conscious? Not enough time? There's no good excuse, try out these Restorative yoga sessions free in the comfort of your own home and start reaping the benefits now.
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