Looking to go on a vacation? Restorative yoga is “a mini vacation” for your mind and body. It is a passive practice. The body is placed in simple positions on the floor, and the joints of the body are supported by specially folded blankets and pillows. Then with eyes closed, the student rests in a supported position of comfort. All the stress in your body just drains away.
1. Because students who take restorative yoga often say, “I didn’t feel like I did anything, but I felt great afterwards!”
2. Because we are all addicted to “doing” and need to get connected with simply “being” and “resting”.
Perhaps this stems from a hunger to add meaning into our lives and to prove our worth. It’s all too easy to loose touch with the value of just being. Simply being and simply resting is a health need and a spiritual need.
3. Because stress makes us sick.
When you’re stressed, one aspect of your nervous system runs the show. It’s called Your Sympathetic Nervous System or ‘SNS’. We’ll call it Fight or Flight. This tells the body to shunt blood and oxygen away from your internal organs toward your limbs, so you can better run or better fight. We feel this state of tension when we are waiting on a weekend for the 7 train to Flushing, when we are driving in New York City, when we have made a mistake at our jobs, and when we are racing to shop for the best Thanksgiving sale items. All the body’s reserves go toward aiding in this defensive (paranoid) state, leaving few reserves to aid in digestion, elimination, cellular divide, mood and sleep cycle, fertility etc.
This is how chronic stress makes us sick.
4. Because Rest and Digest is the antidote for stress.
And when you’re relaxed and calm, another aspect of your nervous system runs the show. That’s your ParaSympathetic Nervous System or ‘PSNS’. We’ll call it Rest & Digest.
This has innumerable benefits, better sleep, better digestion, improved immune function, improved mood, better concentration, increased fertility, a deep abiding sense of calm.…the list goes on and on.
5. Because we can re-train the body-mind to let go. A regular Restorative Yoga practice is amazing at re-training the body-mind to allow itself to let go.
When asked why she practices Restorative, a yoga teacher shared these words, “The power of letting go is the most nurturing thing I have ever done for myself. I highly recommend this practice for everyone.” – Christina Vaccacio
Big thanks to Juliana Mitchell for your help with this article!
Juliana Mitchell teaches Restorative Yoga at Yumcha Yoga on Wednesdays at 7.45pm.
Check latest schedule here.