If you're wondering about the benefits of restorative yoga in your life, you have come to the right place. In today’s fast paced society, sometimes the smartest thing to do is just slow down. If you need some help doing so, try restorative yoga.
Restorative yoga is a yoga technique that provides the mental and physical balance that can help you combat stress and anxiety while using the help of props, allowing you to deepen your stretches, hold them for longer, and achieve the full benefits of each pose. Yoga poses such as legs-up-the-wall, Savasana, and Child’s Pose require you to stay in the same position for a few minutes. A prop, such as a yoga bolster, pillow, block, or strap can help you stay in place for up to 15 minutes as it helps support your body while you comfortably perform a full stretch. But isn’t regular yoga enough? Keep reading to find out all the great benefits of restorative yoga and all of the amazing benefits it has to offer to your mind, soul and body.
1. RESTORATIVE YOGA PROMOTES MINDFULNESS
Restorative yoga is a powerful yoga practice that encourages mindfulness by elevating your awareness of body and self. Movements in the practice are performed slowly, which not only deepens your stretch but also your breathing. The length of each stretch boosts awareness of your sensations, thoughts, and emotions as well as the environment around you. This is probably going to be your favorite of the many benefits of restorative yoga.
2. RESTORATIVE YOGA CALMS YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
Deep breathing and slow paced movements, like those in restorative yoga, stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system from the first pose. Activating this system counters your fight or flight response, aka stress response, which is responsible for major damag to your body chemistry and overall well-being. This increases feelings of positivity, calm, and relaxation. One study showed that restorative practices helped cancer patients fight fatigue and depression, thanks to its calming properties.
3. RESTORATIVE YOGA ENHANCES FLEXIBILITY
Everyone knows that yoga can make you more flexible. However, adding restorative yoga to your routine can help you reach your flexibility goals much faster. Note that restorative yoga isn’t meant to help you bend into a human pretzel. There is no end goal to restorative yoga as it is a practice that will be beneficial to you throughout your entire lifetime. Therefore, explore the plethora of possibilities your body has to offer and enjoy the release of stress and tension your body and mind habitually hold on to by using multiple relaxation techniques.
4. RESTORATIVE YOGA HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT
A 2013 study compared restorative yoga with a more vigorous stretching routine over a period of 48 hours. Researchers found that participants who performed restorative yoga lost more subcutaneous fat. Restorative yoga aids in weight loss by bringing down your cortisol levels. Research shows that cortisol (a stress hormone) is notorious for increasing abdominal fat.
5. RESTORATIVE YOGA HELPS YOU RECOVER FASTER
We can all use a break. Whether you’re recovering from a strain, an illness, or a tough day at work, rest always sounds like a great idea. You don’t have to perform an active routine every day to benefit from the healing powers of yoga. Performing restorative yoga on a “rest day” can help you stay with your yoga routine on days when you’re suffering from low energy. Not only will it energize you, it will also help your body build strength during your break and recover faster.
6. RESTORATIVE YOGA INCREASES YOUR BODY AWARENESS
The deep stretches and level of relaxation one achieves during a restorative yoga session can help heighten one’s understanding of how profound their body is. Restorative yoga helps you understand how it feels to be a spiritual being in a human body. Unfortunately, most of us haven’t developed an intimate relationship with our bodies. With restorative yoga, you can explore deeper levels of your body strength, allowing you to embrace this intimacy, grow an intense level of acceptance, and love for yourself wholly.
7. RESTORATIVE YOGA HEALS EMOTIONAL PAIN
Just as this incredible practice can alleviate illness and physical pain, it can also heal emotional wounds. Restorative yoga can give you the comfort and care that you need while you are recovering from a broken relationship, the loss of a loved one, or from anxiety or depression of any type.