The 5 Benefits of Restorative Yoga
When we see restorative yoga on the schedule at our yoga studio, we think that it is for yogis with physical issues or for older adults. Restorative yoga benefits all yogis, whether a seasoned practitioner, a novice, or mature adult. It is an essential part of a balanced yoga practice. If we are a dedicated ashtanga yoga practitioner (an ashtanga yogi practices a prescribed set of poses), or a vinyasa yogi, we need to slow down and do a restorative class to balance our body, mine, and, spirit. It is wonderful to do a handstand and drop over but this dynamic practice needs to be tempered with restorative poses. Many yogis feel that a restorative practice is giving up, but it is about letting go. Below are 5 benefits of restorative practice. Regardless of whether we are a long time yogi or a beginner we need to restore and renew our body and energy. Restorative poses are an essential part of our yoga practice if we want longevity as yogis.
1) Stress Relief- When we have a dynamic yoga practice tension builds in out body and energy system. in our western culture accomplishment is held in high esteem so when we can master a headstand it is seen as attaining a certain level in our practice. Each level in yoga should be celebrated but we need to support our high energy practice with soothing long holding poses.
2) Increases Circulation- When we raise our legs higher than our heart it takes pressure off our lower extremities and the blood flows out of our leg veins.
3) Access Body Wisdom- The answer is always in the body. We are more able to hear the body's messages when we are doing restorative poses. The cells of our body are sentient beings that house our history and our future. If we keep ignoring our body's messages we can develop an injury or illness.
4) Clarity- When we spend time in relaxation and go deep into poses we become clear about who we are and how we need to move on this planet. Once we are clear about who we are there is less of a change we will veer off our path.
5) Less Competitive- While doing a restorative practice we are less likely to look at a fellow yogi on a neighboring mat. We are forced to pay attention to ourselves and how we feel in the poses. This can be challenging for those of us who have a long time power yoga practice.
Carmela Cattuti started her writing career as a journalist for the Somerville News in Boston, MA. After she finished her graduate work in English Literature from Boston College she began to write creatively and taught a journal writing course at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education As fate would have it, she felt compelled to write her great aunt's story. “Between the Cracks” has gone through several incarnations and will now become a trilogy. This is the first installment. The second book will be available shortly.To connect with Carmela email her firstname.lastname@example.org.