What Is Restorative Yoga
With all the styles of yoga available, it can be confusing to keep track of every style. Restorative yoga is a passive form of stretching that usually requires the use of props (blocks, blankets, bolsters) to support your body. Each position is held for long periods of time, up to five minutes or more.
RESTORES THE NERVOUS SYSTEMBecause restorative yoga is essentially still, it allows for very deep relaxation and restoration of the nervous system. The deep breathing calms the fight-or-flight stress responses, promoting soothing effects of the nervous system. The body is completely relaxed and supported by the earth, promoting a sense of grounding which unconsciously lets your brain know you are safe, safe to let go of worries, of physical and emotional trauma.
WEIGHT LOSSAs mentioned previously restorative yoga promotes deep slow breathing which quiets your fight and flight responses. In particular, cortisol, the stress hormones that is triggered under stress, is shut off. When you are under constant stress, cortisol promotes fat storage in particular in the midsection of your abdomen. If you have been trying to lose weight by dieting and exercising alone without any results, try to calm your nervous system and practice restorative yoga or yin yoga along with diet and exercise.
MINDFULNESSThe slow pace of the practice allows you to deepen the experience of each pose, to become aware of your sensations, of where you might be holding tension, and how your body reacts to each asana (position) without trying to attain a specific goal. This is the perfect opportunity to just be in the moment, taking pleasure in what is happening now.
PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL TENSIONRestorative yoga allows your body to be completely supported without using any muscular tension. It gives you a chance to let go of any physical and emotional tensions. It is an opportunity to let go without expectations for any result
FLEXIBILITYIn restorative yoga your body is in a stretching position for long periods of time. You can use the props to ease into the pose and then adjust them and go deeper which will improve flexibility tremendously due to the length of time you are holding each pose.
MENTAL HEALTHRestorative yoga quiets the mind and creates a moment of stillness in your day. It gives you a chance to disconnect from your busy life. As a result it reduces stress, anxiety and gets you ready for sleep