By Heidi Sherwin
WHAT IS RESTORATIVE YOGA?
Restorative yoga is a quieting and self-regenerating practice for the body and mind. The body is placed in supported postures (using several props, such as
bolsters, pillows and blankets) that are traditionally held longer than in active yoga classes. The physical support and extent of time in the postures helps
to enhance the healing benefits of renewing and rebalancing one’s energy. A well-rounded restorative practice will include restful poses, as well as breathing
practices (pranayama) and mindfulness exercises to support total relaxation.
BENEFITS OF RESTORATIVE YOGA:
In restorative yoga, you don’t DO the pose, the pose DOES you. From PMS and digestive discomfort, to anxious depression and moderate fatigue, there can be
a remedy through the art of restorative yoga. The practice helps you to embody peace by encouraging the release of muscular and mental tension, therefore
inducing the Relaxation Response (parasympathetic nervous system). With a regular commitment to restorative yoga, one learns LIFE-LONG techniques to
release and relax, which are powerful tools to have in the midst of our daily, active (stressful) lives.
In the book, Relax and Renew, Judith Hanson Lasater outlines 5 ways Restorative Yoga Works to “help relieve the effects of chronic stress”:
- Props provide a completely supportive environment for total relaxation.
- Restorative sequences are designed to move the spine in all directions — forward and back bending, twisting left/right (healthy spine is the key to
vitality and longevity).
- A well-sequenced practice includes an inverted posture, which reverses the effects of gravity. By changing the relationship of the legs to gravity, fluids are returned to the upper body and heart function is enhanced.
- Restorative yoga alternately stimulates and soothes the organs … squeezing/emptying, and then washing/soaking organs with fresh blood to enhance the exchange of oxygen and waste at the cellular level.
- Restorative yoga balances the energetic body, so that one is neither overstimulated nor depleted.
May you be happy, healthy and blissful!