By Beth Daugherty RYT 500
I think restorative yoga acts as an antidote to all of the stress that we encounter in our lives. With the fast-paced lifestyle that we all live and the many demands that we face every day, our bodies and minds are challenged every day.
This stress can take many tolls on our bodies like increases in heart rate, blood pressure, mental alertness and muscle tension. Some systems in the body, including digestion, elimination, growth, & reproduction can shut down. This can lead to the occurrences of high blood pressure, ulcers, back pain, immune dysfunction, reproductive problems, and emotional disturbances.
So what can we do to take care of our bodies and prevent these disorders?
Restorative yoga is the answer.
Restorative yoga puts our bodies and minds in a relaxed state. This manifests in a slower heart rate, a slower rate of breathing, lower blood pressure, lower metabolism, slower brain wave patterns, and slower aging.
A restorative yoga class uses poses that are completely comfortable, leaving you in a relaxed, supported position. Restorative poses are poses of being rather than doing. While in a Restorative Yoga class, props are used to support your head and limbs when you are lying down. For the deepest benefits, poses are held for 3-15 minutes each. Some poses will gently open the spine in all directions, enhancing the health of the spine. Other poses can gently stimulate and sooth the organs with freshly oxygenated blood in gentle backbends or twists.
A restorative practice can also include an inverted pose, which reverses the effects of gravity. Since we stand or sit most of the day, blood and lymph fluid accumulates in the lower extremities. By reversing this flow of gravity, fluids are returned to the upper body, and heart function is enhanced.
The heart of a restorative practice is deliberate stillness.
We are constantly moving throughout the day, so by lying down and being still, you quiet the gross movements of the body. You will have the opportunity to feel the rise and fall of the abdomen with the breath, the heart beating, the blood moving through the veins.
If you have any questions about restorative yoga or if you want to reduce your own stress, please don’t hesitate to call the studio at any time. We will be happy to help! You can also contact us via the website!