Most people shy away from taking restorative yoga because they don’t think it will be as effective as more intense yoga routines. Restorative is not a lesser yoga. Actually, its two biggest benefits are physical and emotional healing. In the article below we will talk about what Restorative is and its benefits to your body both physical and emotional.
What is Restorative Yoga and Why Should You Be Doing it?
Restoration yoga is a type of yoga that is not as active as other types of yoga but has wonderful benefits. Primarily, restorative yoga is an activity that is geared toward repairing and cleansing the body from physical injuries or emotional trauma. Restorative yoga is a physical and mental balance exercise routine. That being said, there are numerous benefits from practicing restorative yoga.
10 Benefits of Practicing Restorative Yoga
It Enhances Flexibility
All forms of yoga will enhance your flexibility. In restorative yoga, through stretching and purposeful breathing, you will increase your flexibility.
Weight Loss & Toning
By practicing restorative yoga on a regular basis, you can even shed some unwanted weight. A study carried out in 2013 from the University of California showed that overweight women who engaged in restorative yoga were able to lose a substantial weight in a short period of time.
In Can Boost your Immunity
By using restorative yoga and meditation, we can improve our immunity by giving the body the rest and support it needs.
Balancing Our Nervous System
Restorative Yoga practice engages the nervous system. It allows your body to rejuvenate. At the end of the day, the system allows optimization of energy flow to the body organs. It also reduces the fight-or-flight response and can improve your adrenal gland effectiveness.
Helps with Learning Meditation
If you wish to benefit from meditation but you really don’t know the path to take, restorative yoga is a timely solution. It is a bridge that connects the so-called ‘familiar stretches’ and ‘unfamiliar cool,’ deep meditation. Restorative yoga helps one to recover from the feeling of anxiety that was created during yoga through meditation.
Restorative yoga will help your body recover from the daily muscle strain that comes about from exercise or daily activities. Yoga’s healing power extends its hand even when one is not actively involved in the asana. Restorative yoga allows you to proceed with the practice even when the body has little energy.
Emotional healing is just as important as physical healing. The soothing care delivered through restorative poses offer a soothing care that has a natural means of emotional healing. It’s especially effective at lifting spirits and fighting off depression.
It Will Help You Keep a Clear and Focused Mind
Restorative yoga is a deep calming hug to your already stimulated mind. Those who think that those doing yoga are taking a nap are totally mistaken. Just because your body is resting doesn’t mean that your mind is also resting. Being silent does not imply resting but with restorative yoga, the stillness can bring good results.
Helps Fight the Aging Process
We’ve already learned that Restoring means bringing back the lost glow. Restorative yoga stretches the ligaments and straightens the skin through the prolonged holds of postures. This brings back the fluidity level in the body and consequently the younger look.
Complementing an Active Lifestyle
Restorative yoga is a perfect complement to a muscle strengthening active lifestyle. Unlike the other practices, it makes use of bolsters, pillows, or blankets to stretch and lengthen the connective tissues in the body.
Does restorative yoga burn calories?
Most folks don’t view restorative yoga as a calorie burning activity. What people don’t know is that relaxation is a critical means of losing weight. Relaxation is key when it comes to restorative yoga. Relaxation reduces cortisol levels in the body. Reduced levels of cortisol in the body are associated with a reduction in calories in the body. It lessens the need for the body to conserve calories. Overall, it can be concluded that restorative yoga can, subconsciously, cut down calories in the body.
An example of a restorative yoga sequence
There are many restorative yoga sequences but here is one example.
It’s always helpful to start with some soft relaxing music in the background.
Begin with a child’s pose where you sit on the knees. The heels should be apart. Walk your arms in front of you while taking deep breaths as you lower your forehead between arms.
Shift to the cat pose and continue inhaling. Keep turning your head; allowing the flexible neck to tuck in your chin between shoulders to touch the chest. Inhale and exhale deeply as you do this.
After some time, lower down to the needle pose. Here, you rest your ear on the mat for one minute on both sides while the knees are still in their initial position. After this, kneel on your shins, right hand on left knee and left a hand on right knee sequentially. Extend your legs to the front in a seated position, your arms stretched to hold the feet. Cross the legs to a scissor-like pattern. Lean back and forth supporting your arms on the mat.
Move to a pigeon position. On this table position, bring your right knee close to your right wrist and repeat on the left side. Finish with lying flat, face up. Plant the feet to about 5-6 inches from your tailbone. Inhale and lift the hips off-floor. The hands are positioned at the sacrum for support. Relax your entire body flat on the mat for some 10-15 minutes.
30 Min Restorative Yoga Routine
An example of some restorative yoga poses using a bolster-Supported bridge pose.
Here, you lie on your back and bend your knees and the feet. The feet should be bent in such a way that you will be able to touch them using your fingertips. Place your yoga block/support and place it under you, just beneath the sacrum. Place your arm on the belly and hold the pose for some five minutes or so while taking deep breathes.
Restorative Yoga is Worth Trying
If you are looking to relieve stress, increase flexibility and become more active restorative yoga is a great way to slowly start building up your body if you have had trauma (physical or emotional). It’s a lower intensity workout aimed at beginners and people who may have physical limitations.
If you are looking to start restorative yoga I recommend checking out our page of the top 10 restorative yoga DVD’s.