This Is How Restorative Yoga Can Help You Relax
Although several yoga styles are in vogue right now, restorative yoga is one of the most popular ones, particularly because it is appropriate for all age groups. As the name suggests, yoga aims to restore balance, and people who practice this kind of yoga can attain physical, mental, and emotional relaxation. This yoga is best done at a slow pace, using deep breathing techniques for 5 minutes or more. Contrary to common yoga styles like Bikram and Vinyasa, this one is all about holding a pose for 5 minutes or even more. There are a couple of poses that you can try. Before going into that, let’s explore what restorative yoga is.
What Exactly Is Restorative Yoga?
It would be wise to use supportive, gentle, remedial, and therapeutic words when it comes to this yoga. This is a practice of passive healing. In this particular yoga style, the parasympathetic nervous system ‘rests and digests’ in the nervous system. By ‘restoring’ the normal parasympathetic functions, you can gradually relax your body and mind. Once you regain the normal parasympathetic functions, your breathing slows down, and so do the blood pressure levels. Gradually, you get a general feeling of calm and well-being.
Your instructor might advise you to use props like blankets, blocks, and bolsters. By resorting to props, you can hold on to passive poses for a fairly long period without having to exhaust your muscles. And just because you gain relaxation in the poses while focusing on your breath, all the muscle tensions and discomfort wither away soon.
The Most Common Restorative Yoga Poses
Yoga is all about poses. The use of several props indeed makes the process of restorative yoga gentler and more comfortable. However, you need to be at any pose you choose for at least 5 minutes. If you can, go for longer sessions.
The Fish Pose
This restorative pose is the perfect choice for those who have a sedentary lifestyle. Fish pose elongates the spine, releases all the tension at the back of the neck and shoulders, and expands the chest. You can try this using a bolster or maybe two folded towels or blankets under the head and shoulders.
The Corpse Pose
This is best suited for those who wish to gain adequate relaxation and relief from heightened levels of stress. You would identify this best when the term ‘savasana’ is used.
The Child’s Pose
You can counter stress and fatigue by practicing this pose or asana regularly. All you need to do is gently stretch the spine, glutes, hips, shoulder muscles, and hamstrings. And the pose will take care of everything else, meaning it will help you relax. By relieving your back and neck pain, this one takes care only when the head and torso are well supported.
The Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose
Do you experience tiredness in your legs and feet? Then gently stretch your hamstrings and the back of the neck and adopt this pose. This will also help you overcome mild headaches.
Salient Benefits Of Restorative Yoga
Although restorative yoga helps you relax, it has certain other benefits you can consider. For example, it helps soothe the nervous system. By practicing this kind of yoga regularly, you can experience a drastic shift from the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system to the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system. Besides that, your mind and body will be completely relaxed. Like any other yoga, it can result in a noticeable reduction in stress and anxiety levels, specifically the stress hormone – cortisol.
Studies have also pointed out that adding this yoga to one’s daily routine enhances sleep quality. By practicing restorative yoga, you can have a gentler response to activities and situations around you. If you want to put an end to your chronic pain, you should try it too. For those trying to beat osteoarthritis or extreme headache or back pain, this might be a solution they have been looking for.
If you want to practice restorative yoga, it’s best to consult a pro trainer. They will guide you through the steps and suggest poses that are ideal for you. If you want to learn and do it yourself, there are hundreds of YouTube video tutorials that you can watch.
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