Updated: Nov 7, 2022
Yoga provides numerous health advantages for both body and mind, but when life moves at a fast pace, our brains and bodies may speed up to keep up. Our minds begin to race, and we can get overwhelmed and exhausted. We may become overstimulated if we are also drawn to a powerful, dynamic yoga practice or other high-intensity exercise.
On the other hand, even if we only practice restorative yoga once a week, it can help to balance our hectic lives and has a huge ability to treat stress-related physical and emotional ailments. Restorative yoga is particularly beneficial to attempt if you are chronically ill or recovering from an accident because it requires no muscular effort and it is suitable for practitioners of all levels. Continue reading to learn more about restorative yoga and the benefits of this gentle form of yoga.
What is restorative yoga?
By definition, restorative yoga is a type of yoga that promotes deep relaxation on all levels; physical, mental, and emotional. Restorative yoga - at its foundation - is a passive healing practice. Restorative yoga is a slow-paced kind of yoga that focuses on extended holds, quiet, and deep breathing. This style of yoga makes you feel completely calm and at ease in your own flesh, to the point where you don't even recognize your physical body.
Restorative yoga poses
Props like blocks, bolsters, and blankets are commonly used in restorative yoga. Props allow you to hold passive poses for longer periods of time without having to tire your muscles. It also allows you to feel at ease and supported, regardless of your previous yoga experience. Restorative yoga allows you to release tension in your muscles for longer lengths of time without discomfort since you're urged to relax fully in the posture while focusing on your breath. In contrast to more dynamic yoga forms like vinyasa or Bikram, you can anticipate to hold a pose for 5 minutes or longer, with only a few poses performed in a single restorative yoga session. Some people may even hold restorative poses for 20 minutes or more.
Restorative yoga calms the nervous system
The capacity of this type of yoga practice to activate the parasympathetic nervous system is well-known. This type of yoga, as the name implies, "restores'' the body's parasympathetic nervous system function, which helps the body relax, recover, and rebalance. In other words, it aids in the transition from the sympathetic nervous system's fight-or-flight reaction to the parasympathetic nervous system's relaxation response.
Restorative yoga assists us in identifying areas of tension. The actual effort needed in restorative yoga is a willingness to look at how and where we are holding tension, and to relax our body on the ground, allowing the breath to come in more, in order to soften or less gripping the tension we detect. Restorative yoga, combined with Yoga Nidra can greatly reduce anxiety. As a result, the more relaxed you body is, the better your chances are of getting a good night's rest.
Restorative yoga increases flexibility
One of the most important advantages of restorative yoga is that it is unique in that it does not need us to contract our muscles. Though we frequently assume that we must 'push' to develop our flexibility, softening and relaxing - rather than forcing our way through a powerful, active asana practice - can actually result in more opening. The approach is the main difference. We still stretch in restorative yoga, but we're urged to relax fully in the stretch with the help of supports so that we can release tension and focus on the breath. Restorative yoga allows you to relieve tensions in your body through extended poses and as a result you will become more flexible.
Self - awareness and introspection are enhanced by restorative yoga
A restorative yoga class's hushed quality can frequently assist you in turning your attention inward and away from external events and situations. The practice becomes a refuge for the mind and spirit when your awareness is directed within, allowing you to dig deeper into who you are, what you want and how you may serve the world. Restorative yoga takes us to new depths of self-awareness and reflection, allowing your true self to shine.
Restorative yoga is sometimes known as "mindful yoga" due to the increased awareness of one's own body and self that occurs as a result of the practice. Slower motions make room for a more in-depth experience of the poses and breath. In the depths of the restorative practice, awareness of physical sensations, ideas or emotions that arise, or sounds in the environment can all take on a far more profound importance. With restorative yoga, our bodies and brains become softer so we may make the space to reconnect with our innate traits of compassion and empathy of others and ourselves.
Restorative yoga boosts your immune system
The immune system is aided by a restorative yoga practice. Yoga improves digestion to maintain the body free of toxins and sickness, as well as balancing the thyroid function, which controls many of our body functions. It boosts lung function and respiratory health while also lowering stress levels, which can reduce immunity thresholds.
Restorative yoga to rebalance the entire female hormonal system
Women can benefit from restorative yoga throughout pregnancy, menopause, and menstruation. Restorative Yoga is simple to adapt and safe to do even while pregnant. Restorative yoga poses are appropriate for any woman who is pregnant or attempting to conceive and is a form of yoga that can also help with exhaustion and tightness caused by pregnancy. During the poses, pay attention to your bodily feelings to help you connect with your body and avoid strain or damage.
In a nutshell
Restorative yoga is a gentle kind of yoga that is typically deemed safe for the majority of people. Restorative yoga practitioners experience reduced psychological and physical symptoms, as well as a higher quality of life. Discovering where and how we store tension allows us to make space for transformation, ensuring that tension does not impede our physical, emotional, or mental well-being, as well as our comfort in our bodies.
While restorative yoga is typically a healing practice, it is not limited to physical recovery. If you have any concerns regarding the safety of this type of yoga, consult your yoga instructor, your doctor or physical therapist before attending a restorative yoga class. Once you have learned from a yoga teacher how to support yourself in different poses, you can practice it on your own.