Benefits of Restorative Yoga
If you’re like many people who try yoga in a big city, you might be used to fast paced “cardio” type of yoga classes that have poses focusing on strength and a quicker pace of flows. If you think of yoga as something to help you stay fit you might not have ever thought about a slower paced yoga class or sequence such as hatha, yin or restorative yoga. But anyone can benefit from incorporative some of these flows into your yoga practice.
The benefits of a restorative yoga practice in short are:
- Nervous System – Soothing to your parasympathetic nervous system
- Body – Deeply relaxing for your body
- Mind – the slower pace helps you to increase your self-awareness and introspection and experience mindfulness
Because many of us are staying home in some form of quarantine, due to the virus going around the world, many of us are looking for new yoga and exercises routines we can do at home for stress relief.
If you like yoga, or even if you just want to try an easy sequence at home, you will love this relaxing restorative yoga sequence. This routine will help to relax your body, calm your mind, turn off the negative chatter in your head, and feel refreshed…in just 9 minutes!
During stressful times like this, restorative yoga can become your best friend. Whether you’re working from home, looking after your children full-time or just looking to break up your day a little, yoga allows us to tune into our bodies and calm our minds.
When stressed, our sympathetic nervous system enters the ‘fight or flight’ response – which in turn can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, affect your memory, and increase stress levels. By working our way through a few relaxing and restorative yoga poses we connect our mind and body, allowing our bodies to return to a state of ‘rest and relax’, and therefore back to a healthier way of functioning.
Breathing techniques for relaxation
Sit cross-legged, relax the hands on the knees and close the eyes. Breathing in and out through the nose, try to breathe in for the count of 4 and out for the count of 8.
If this is difficult try breathing out for the count of 4 and slowly build your way up to 8.
Yoga poses for relaxation
There are many restorative yoga poses to choose from when looking to find a little relaxation – these are just a selection of our favorites.
Savasana (corpse pose)
Use corpse pose (otherwise known as savasana) whenever you need to relax. Take up space by bringing your arms and legs out to the sides, loosening your hands, and letting your feet fall out. You could even incorporate the “4 in, 8 out” breathing technique while doing this pose – this will help you focus on something other than your thoughts, and can be a brilliant way to prepare for sleep.
Child’s pose is great for relieving anxiety and helping you to feel sheltered. Keeping the feet together, bring the sit bones back to sit on the heels, the forehead down to a block, pillow or your mat, and your arms alongside your body. Close the eyes, relax completely and stay for as long as you like.
Gentle inversions will bring your legs above the heart which means that your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood around the body. Bringing your legs above your head can also relieve headaches and feelings of stress.
Standing in forward fold can calm the brain, reduce anxiety and relieve lower back pain – great for if you’re working from home and need a ‘desk’ break!
Yoga for relaxation
Make restorative yoga your friend during this time to help relax your body and your mind and let the world’s troubles disappear for a little while! If you haven’t practiced before, now is the perfect time to start a new habit. And if you are a regular yogi, you’ve now been gifted with even more time to work on your practice.
If you have the right frame of mind, you can see a silver lining in everything…
Take 9 minutes out of your day and relax with this yoga video, incorporating some of the best restorative poses for relaxation and stress relief. Keira guides you through the restorative yoga poses (she is in quarantine in Europe, due to the CoronaVirus!).
This quick flow is helpful to relax you first thing in the morning, or anytime you need a break from the stress. And it works great in the evenings to relax before bedtime.
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