06 Sep Restorative Yoga: Feel Full Again
Everyone’s motive to practice Yoga is different. Some want to get physically toned while others want to alleviate mental stress. Yoga is the cure for many physical and mental diseases and disorders.
Yoga has healing powers to reduce mental stress, pain and hurt caused due to various factors. People move to Yoga practice to free themselves from the emotional and mental wounds. With increasing stress owing to hectic lifestyle and difficulty in balancing work-life, the mental and emotional health goes for a toss.
Restorative Yoga is one such type of Yoga that is meant for relaxation, healing, stress relief and rejuvenation. It offers immense benefits for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of a person. We will learn more about its benefits, poses and durations.
What is Restorative Yoga?
Restorative Yoga is a practice that involves holding Yoga poses for a longer duration with the help of props like blankets, bolsters, blocks and straps. The major objective is deep relaxation and it boosts the parasympathetic nervous system. The word ‘Restore’ in ‘Restorative’ means to relax, rest and digest. It helps the body to repair, rest and balance.
When the body starts to relax, the mind also eases and slowly starts to release tension. With the help of this relaxation or meditative state and deeper breathing, the heart rate starts becoming slow, blood pressure reduces and there is an increased blood flow to the vital organs. The practice of restorative yoga is gentle, therapeutic and full of calmness without straining any muscles or causing any tension in the mind or body.
Restorative Yoga focuses on the concept of meditation and relaxation which helps in uniting or aligning the body and mind. All one needs to do is focus on the breath and stay alert of any thoughts or sensation arising in the mind and body.
Just like any other form of Yoga, Restorative Yoga also comes with numerous benefits for the physical and mental well-being.
- Calms the Nervous System: Deep breathing stimulates relaxation as it calms the nervous system and helps in changing the approach from fight or flight to relaxation and calmness.
- Enhances Mood: Yoga has shown tremendous results in reducing stress, anxiety and depression as through deep breathing and relaxation, there is a reduction in the stress hormones.
- Better Quality Sleep: One faces difficulty in sleeping when the mind is disturbed. With restorative yoga, the mind starts to relax and the breathing is improved. This plays a huge role in promoting better sleep. Since the mind is rested, the body also starts to get into relaxation mode which improves the quality of sleep and its patterns.
- Healing and Balancing: Restorative Yoga has a huge impact on the healing of the mind and body. The deep relaxation eases the pain from the mind and body and strengthens the mental and physical strength. With this type of yoga, one can find balance in their life.
- Improves well-being: The continuous practice has a positive impact on the overall well-being including the physical, emotional and mental health.
- Relieves Physical Pain: The poses help in reducing chronic, muscle, joint or neck/headache pain. The restorative yoga poses work in a way that it reduces fatigue, helps in relieving pain and brings relief.
Poses and Duration:
1) Balasana (Child’s Pose) – For 5 minutes
Practicing this pose helps in stretching the spine, hips, shoulder muscles and joints. It relieves stress, back and neck pain and fatigue.
- With knees hip-width apart, kneel with your knees.
- Sit on your heels while pushing your hips backwards
- Your legs should form a V-shape after bringing the toes together
- For support, place a cushion or folded blanket between thighs and calves.
- While bringing your head down, exhale and lean forward and keep the torso between your thighs and calves.
- Slowly extend the arms in front of you and place your palms on the floor and above your head.
- Inhale and exhale deeply
- To release from the position, life your torso upwards in a seated position.
2) Shavasana (Corpse Pose) – For 10 minutes
This pose helps in calming the sympathetic nervous system and giving rest to the body. It also improves digestive power.
- Lie on your back with a pillow/bolster/rolled-up towel under your knees
- Allow your arms to rest by your side and face the palms upwards
- Straighten your knees and legs as the natural position
- Let your body relax, breathe gently and focus on your body movements.
Restorative Yoga is therapeutic and helps in healing emotional, mental and physical pain. In this hectic lifestyle, restorative yoga comes as a medicine to calm the sympathetic nervous system. It brings in calm, balance, peace and good health.