Mind and Body Benefits of Restorative Yoga

December 14 | The Lifestyle | The Practice |

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What are the benefits of restorative yoga?

Life is busy for most of us these days. Everyone has a million places to go and a million things to do; most of us spend much of our time multitasking and still scrambling to get it all done. What few of us manage to work into our schedules is the time to stop and unplug. We rarely allow ourselves the downtime we need to truly feel rejuvenated. A restorative yoga class is one excellent way to take that necessary time to restore your energy and renew your sense of well being so you can continue your busy life without falling apart.

Calms Your Mind

Restorative yoga helps you learn to calm your busy mind, deepen your breath and use it effectively, all while using extended yoga poses that relax your muscles. The overall intent is a calmer, clearer mind and body that feels soothed and refreshed. While taking a restorative yoga class is profoundly effective for replenishing your energy reserves, you can also apply the skills you learn in class in everyday life. When you begin to feel stressed or overwhelmed, just take a moment for a brief restorative pose or practice, and you’ll feel better.

Poses and Props Focus on Relaxation

Restorative yoga poses are typically done on the floor, using props to help you rest and relax in the pose. Poses are held for prolonged periods—anywhere between five minutes and twenty minutes—to help you sink all the way into the benefits of each pose. From twists and forward folds to poses supported by the wall, these gentle asanas help you ease tension held in your joints and muscles. The areas where you hold your stress—like your hips, back, shoulders and belly—will experience gentle stretching and support for a completely calming and relaxing sensation. You’ll learn to breath into the areas of tension and release them, allowing your body to fully relax.

Requires You to Slow Down

A restorative practice is effective not only because of the poses themselves, but because it quite literally requires that you take the time to slow down. You have to set aside the time to practice and, since this is a slower practice focusing on mindfulness and relaxation, you’ll be required to find stillness in the poses. As you work on relaxing into stillness, your body will reap the benefits of each pose. You’ll replenish your strength and energy by breathing deeply and oxygenating your blood, but that’s not all. Many restorative poses also focus on lowering your blood pressure, encouraging lymphatic drainage and balancing your nervous system, so you’ll experience very real physical benefits. Even when you have full plate, take the time to nourish your body and your mind with this regenerative practice. You’ll feel more energized, more centered and better able to meet challenges head on.