The Benefits of Restorative Yoga
There are many benefits to a restorative yoga practice because it primarily encourages us to slow down and as we do, we can open up the body using passive stretches. Restorative yoga promotes the use of props and each of the poses is held for 3-5 minutes, maybe more which means you can really access the posture and this helps you to relax more.
Restorative yoga is promoting the mind, as well as, the body to relax and, therefore, this activates our parasympathetic nervous system. By doing this, we are lowering heart rate and lowering blood pressure. Also the respiratory rate decreases and in this state we are promoting digestion, all of which allows the body to rest and to rejuvenate.
Tension is slowly and gently released in restorative yoga because we still stretch and we really relax into the stretch.
The benefits of doing this are:
- Increased flexibility
- It fully relaxes the body
- It balances the nervous system
- It boosts our immune system
- It encourages mindfulness and
- Develops self-awareness
For the majority of us, the pace of life is fast which means that our minds are racing most of the time too. This often leads to a desire to participate in a fast paced or strong yoga practice. The problem with doing only that, and nothing else, is you can create over-whelm and fatigue because you are already over stimulated. Creating balance is the key. By its very nature, the restorative yoga practice is the opposite of the “no-pain-no-gain” mindset. So you can create harmony with restorative yoga to balance the body and still enjoy and get the most from a dynamic practice. The overall calming effect on the nervous system from restorative yoga sets a deeply relaxing tone for the class that comforts your mind and body right down to the cellular level.
I like this quote from the Yoga Academy about restorative yoga, they suggest that;
“Restorative yoga seeks to achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation and balance through musculoskeletal and emotional release. It is the perfect antidote to stress in our modern, achievement-orientated and performance-driven culture, where people typically overwork and under-sleep, multitasking their way through the day….(with) life lived on overload and high anxiety.”
It’s no wonder with the benefits of restorative yoga we are seeing that the practice of passive yoga is continuing to grow in its popularity. It’s encouraging that there are even members of the medical profession who have a forward thinking attitude and who are promoting the art of relaxation as a form of preventative “medicine”.
Please do have a look at our current timetable for our weekly restorative yoga classes at The Space 2 Be. It is on Monday at 7pm with Beth.
You also get the benefit of Yoga Nidra at the end of the practice, referred to as Yogic Sleep. It is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, and will teach you how to relax deeply.
Categorised as: Yoga