Why Restorative Yoga?
By Esther Ekhart
When the pace of life is fast, our minds move fast, too. When we are also attracted to a strong, fast-moving Yoga practice, we can easily overstimulate ourselves — and our nervous system takes the beating.
We may end up feeling easily overwhelmed, tired, with a racing mind. We get sick quicker and more often.
Restorative Yoga balances a fast lifestyle and has an enormous capacity to heal physical and mental symptoms that are stress related — and as we know, many diseases these days are stress related.
Practicing restorative Yoga is a great help to anyone who is chronically ill, acutely ill, or recovering from some injuries.
Benefits of restorative Yoga
The beauty of restorative Yoga is that there is no muscular contraction involved. We believe we have to “work” to increase flexibility, but often we achieve more opening in parts of the body that we perceive as tight by softening and relaxing than through an active asana practice. During a restorative Yoga sequence you still stretch, but you relax fully in the stretch, so that tension can slowly be released.
Because the body and mind relax, literally becoming softer, we also create space to get in touch again with our natural qualities of compassion and understanding of others and self.
The restorative Yoga benefits, summarized:
- Enhances flexibility
- Deeply relaxes the body
- Stills the mind
- Improves capacity for healing and balancing
- Balances the nervous system
- Boosts the immune system
- Develops qualities of compassion and understanding toward others and self
- Enhances mood states
Remember that feeling of being truly relaxed, the body all soft, warm, supple, and glowing? Feeling so comfortable in your own skin that you hardly notice your physical body?
Remember that feeling of your mind being laid back, sort of watching everything from a distance with a big smile on your face, knowing beyond a doubt that everything is okay, exactly as it is? In this state, you know that life is just as it is, that there is nothing to accept or reject.
Do you remember what it is like to rest in your true nature? Realize you are not separate from life, any more than the air in a balloon is different than the air surrounding it, or the wave separate from the sea.
The true meaning of Yoga is to experience union. To see through the illusion of being a seperate being. To see that we are all pervaded with and made out of the same energy, which is the ground of all being.
I hope that I have motivated you to take the time out to practice restorative Yoga. Especially if you are the type that feels you rather do something active, because you don’t have enough time. You will benefit most ...
Restorative Yoga videos for you to try out
- This restorative Yoga sequence helps when you are low on energy and you are in need of balancing yourself.
- This restorative Yoga practice is made for when you have a headache or when you are in need of healing.
- Free video / Two restorative Yoga poses to relax the spine.
And of course you can design your own restorative Yoga routine with all the many restorative Yoga poses out there.
Wishing you all the great benefits of a regular restorative Yoga practice!
Category: yoga, articles