Restorative Yoga

November 18, 2013

Try Something Different….Slow Down and Heal Yourself.

Our lives are moving faster than ever!  Our minds are moving fast too.  Most of us come to yoga to find balance but end up in a strong, fast-moving Yoga Class.  With all this movement and little rest we end up overstimulated as our nervous systems begin to go haywire.  The stress response known as “fight or flight,” kicks in.  It is a lifesaving mechanism powered by the adrenal glands.  It can save your life in an emergency but after the danger passes, our bodies are supposed to return to normal function.  Unfortunately our bodies read our fast paced, over-stimulated lifestyle as a constant emergency.  The stress response is constantly activated and high levels of strong stress hormones are sent through our bodies.  Our bodies store fuel, slow down metabolism, and secrete cortisol, leptin, and other hormones which are more likely to cause weight gain because our bodies are getting the message that we are in survival mode.  We also end up with a mind thats racing, exhausted and overwhelmed. Our immunity plummets and we become more susceptible to illness.

Restorative Yoga balances a fast lifestyle and has an enormous capacity to heal physical and mental symptoms that are stress related; most diseases are caused by stress.  Practicing Restorative Yoga is boosts immunity and prevents disease.  It also has the power to aid in recovery for those who are ill or injured.

It’s all whole different practice…
In a Yin or Restorative Yoga practice there is no muscular contraction.  We are often led to believe we have to “work” to increase flexibility but we can achieve more opening in parts of the body (e.g., connective tissues and fascia) that we perceive as “tight” by softening and relaxing than through an active asana practice.  During a restorative Yoga you still stretch but it is done passively so that tension can slowly be released.  It’s about willful surrender.  Here are some of the benefits of a restorative yoga practice:

- Enhances flexibility

- Deeply relaxes the body

- Quiets the mind

- Self heals and nourishes

- Balances the nervous system

- Boosts the immune system

- Develops compassion and understanding (for yourself and others)

- Elevates mood

- Helps to maintain healthy weight

 

Here’s the kicker… you’re not the only one who reaps the benefits, everyone around you will take a direct hit of your bliss. You serve others best when you’ve had your rest.

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