I often hear people want to try yoga but they “don’t know where to start”, or my personal favorite, “I can’t even touch my toes!” Restorative Yoga may be a great place to begin. The goal of this style of yoga is to actively relax the body, gently moving from one pose to the next using various props such as bolsters, blocks, straps and blankets. Each pose is held a minimum of 5-10 minutes which gives your muscles ample time to relax, opening up space in your body for a more flexible back, shoulders, hips and hamstrings.
I’ve described this style as a yummy yoga nap, and that couldn’t be more true! However, this restful practice has so many benefits. Restorative Yoga not only does wonders for the physical body, but also has numerous benefits for the nervous system. As we hold these restful postures for a lengthy amount of time our body activates our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), which is also referred to as the ‘rest and digest’ system. When we practice, our heart rate slows to a level where our organs can regulate themselves peacefully rather than in our fight-or-flight mode, which is all too common thanks to our high-stress, go-go-go lifestyle.
Our brains and our bodies need a break, a time to rest and rejuvenate. Restorative Yoga would benefit every body and is a beautiful gift of self-care.
What to expect during Restorative Yoga at MKE MindBody Wellness ~
1 ~ Bring a comfy sweater and socks along with your usual yoga outfit. The restful poses induce relaxation and your body will most likely cool down.
2 ~ An introduction to meditation and Pranayama (breath work) will be held in the beginning and end of class. Holding restorative postures for many minutes can lead to mind chatter or list making. By creating a basic understanding of meditative techniques, students will become present, allowing the mind and body to truly relax and restore.
3 ~ Do not be afraid to ask your teacher for help or for extra props. If you do not feel good in a posture, then something isn’t right. Allow your teacher to help you find a comfortable, relaxed state. Remember, the purpose of this practice is to relax the body from the inside out – if your mind is wandering or wishing you had an extra blanket or more support under your knees… you are not relaxing, you are creating stress. Your teacher is there to help.
MKE MindBody Wellness will be offering RESTORATIVE YOGA w/ AROMATHERAPY classes coming soon!