Restorative Yoga and its’s Benefits

Restorative Yoga was derived from BKS Iyengar, but became popular by one of his students Judith Lasater, Restorative yoga works towards achieving physical, mental and emotional relaxation with the use of props.

The class starts with gentle breath focused movements like cat/cow, low lunges and half salutations. These slow gentle movements help to rid the body and mind of the day and any agitation that may have build up throughout the day. They also help to prepare the muscles to relax and encourages deeper more relaxed breathing. As you begin to move out of your day and into your body the class begins to slow down and poses are supported by props by using blocks, cushions, blankets and or bolsters. Poses are held for longer periods of time from 1 – 10 minutes.

You may only do a handle of poses in a restorative yoga class followed by a long relaxation usually 15 – 20 mins but you will come away from a restorative yoga class feeling deeply relaxed and at peace with the world.

Benefits of Restorative Yoga

  1. Provides healing for the body and mind.

  2. Releases fatigue and stress that builds up from your daily activities.

  3. Soothes the nervous system and slows down the pace of life by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest system) which enables the body to rest and the muscles to become more relaxed. A consistent restorative yoga practice can make your body less vulnerable to stress related illnesses. It calms the sympathetic nervous system which is our fight or flight response and is often at a more heightened state then necessary causing damage to your physiology and well-being. The practice of restorative yoga has an overall calming effect even on a cellular level.

A consistent restorative yoga practice can make your body less vulnerable to stress related illnesses.

  1. Boosts Mindfulness the slower pace class creates space for more awareness of physical sensations, thoughts and emotions. You become more aware of the sounds within your surroundings and you begin to tune into what it means to be a spiritual being having a human experience.

  2. Evokes feeling of being safe and nurtured, its unfortunate but modern life has many people moving through their day in a heightened state of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Restorative Yoga (and yoga in general) helps you to reconnect with your true nature and give you a glimpse of who you truly are, … a pure being and reminds us of the fearless of the soul, remembering you of that inherent goodness within your own heart and in the world.

  3. Deeper Self Awareness and Introspection – Restorative yoga draws your attention inward and away from the external events and situations of the world. The practice becomes a haven for your mind and spirit.

  4. Helps you sleep better

As the days become shorter and the nights longer most animals begin to slow down and hibernate, not us mere humans, instead we get busier , which isn’t all bad. It is good to be active and be sociable but the problem arises when we don’t take the time we need to rest and recover. This is where Restorative Yoga can be truly beneficial, when you make a conscious decision to look after your well-being , you revitalize your mind and body by doing less every now and then.

Take some time out; your body will thank you for it.

Maybe try and find a restorative class that you can go to this winter. If you’re in the Monaghan area, Costello Yoga and Fitness have one starting Thursday the 19th October 8:15pm

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