What is Restorative Yoga .
We have Flow Yoga, Hatha yoga, Power Yoga and Restorative Yoga. This yoga delivers what its name implies . . . restoration of the body at a cellular level, renewal of the energy of the mind for clear thinking and regeneration of the immune system. In Tantra Yoga, this is invigorating our Life Force or Prana, which translates into an increase in your vitality.
Restorative yoga is Bliss Out Yoga. This yoga is geared toward a state of blissful relaxation of the entire mind/body. The poses are done with a relaxed yet concentrated effort so you learn to think, speak and move in a relaxed manner every day. Then the body can direct energy into rejuvenation and healing. The practice of Restorative Yoga leaves a profound impression of peace and wellness on the mind that you can recall throughout your day. It is contemplative, quiet and focused so the mind can learn to still its constant chatter. The deep belly breathing sooths and quiets our nerves. It is gentle postures mostly done on the floor or from a chair. This yoga can balance your weight, lower your blood pressure, greatly reduce stress, help with mild depression, improve digestion and reduce the pain of arthritis. Many people compare this yoga to a great massage.
Restorative Yoga helps you feel grounded after illness, grief, loss or any stress. Your connection with nature and the material world will be renewed leaving you feeling supported by the world, physically energized and emotionally balanced. You will be able to more easily resist negativity and accept life as it is. When we can accept our lives there is a deep relaxation of the body and the tension of the neck, back, hips and legs begin to unravel. Life will seem to have smoothness to it after Restorative Yoga as we have learned to balance the ups and downs of our lives. Our confidence will be quietly restored as we reach out to life to fulfill our wishes and dreams. Through this gentle, contemplative type of yoga you will be more compassionate to your body and therefor more compassionate to others. Compassion is enlightenment and spreads peace wherever it goes.
On the other hand, athletes and the average person all need restorative yoga too. Athletes use this type of yoga because their muscles have forgotten how to fully relax after vigorous training. Most people’s lives require that they be either in a chair staring at a computer or on their feet. We are talking, listening, thinking, driving, bending, stooping, twisting and taking the impact on our feet and legs all day long. Our brains our continually at work trying to absorb and process the world around us. The affects of living are exhausting. We need to do something healthy to restore ourselves on a daily basis. If we do not restore our mind/body, we become tired, sluggish, uninterested in life, our stamina decreases and we become irritable. This chronic stress on the body/mind builds up and makes us sick even though we were perfectly healthy.
Yoga postures are categorized as a Shat Kriya (Sanskrit) or a cleansing of the body/mind. When we deep breathe we are releasing gases and toxins through our breath. When we stretch and hold a pose we are squeezing old blood from muscle on the stretch and allowing fresh blood to flow into the muscle on the relaxation. When we release our minds from stress, worries, duties and responsibilities the mind is cleared and refreshed. Even the lymphatic system is cleansed through the pressure exerted on the glands and the immune system is stimulated.
There are several ways to restore our bodies and rid the mind/body of toxins. They are deep breathing, yoga postures, prayer, chanting, fasting (with guidance), relaxation, meditation and sleep. Sleep is of utmost importance in ridding the body of toxins and negativity. Restorative Yoga will greatly improve the quality and duration of your sleep. This has been proven in my classes time and time again.