Benefits of Restorative Yoga / Yin yoga

RESTORATIVEYoga is a beautiful benefit for your mind, body and soul.   There are many types of yoga.  Today we’ll discuss Restorative Yoga.  Great for any age, slower paced and gentle!

While yoga in itself focuses on muscles and proper muscle alignment, restorative yoga is all about restful postures and is designed to “re-boot” your nervous system and balance out your body.  Your muscles are to remain quiet in the restorative method.  Practising this form of yoga will give immediate results by lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, loosen up joints and ease bones.   Restorative Yoga will help to keep your endocrine system in check and even boost the immune system.  It will keep your healthy flow flowing!

The body and the mind work in conjunction.   *Doctors are now even recommending yoga and meditation to ease hypertension (high blood pressure), pain relief, increase flexibility and balance, injury rehabilitation, headaches, and so much more.

The great thing about yoga is it can be practised at any time during the day.  Restorative yoga is wonderful to close out your day as it is very relaxing for the body as well as the mind.

While restorative yoga will benefit your whole body, there are many different poses and some are geared toward specific body parts.  All poses will reduce of eliminate stress.  They are all practised using props such as a bolster or rolled blanket, blocks, cushions, exercise balls, a wall, a chair, yoga straps, **eyebags, etc.   The idea here is comfort and relaxation and staying in a pose for many minutes.  Therefore props aid in making you comfortable and to be able to hold the position for any length of time.  And by holding the position, I mean ‘holding with ease and comfort’.  It should be relaxing and easy.   In fact, as you go deeper and longer into the position, you should feel more relaxed, calm and at ease.  If you don’t, you’ll need to adjust your props.  There should be absolutely no tension.

Listen to what your body is telling you though.  If you feel discomfort…stop!  The following is just one pose to give you an idea of restorative yoga.  Information including a link will follow to point you in the direction of even more beneficial poses!

DOWNWARD FACING HERO POSE: a.k.a. supported child’s pose. Very restorative for a wide range of problems, ailments and needs.

A wonderful posture for fatigue, headaches, hypertension, indigestion, neck problems, PMS, shoulder tension, stress relief and more.

* On you mat, sit with your knees spread apart.
* Place a cushion or a bolster or two between your legs and pull it towards you.
* Lie down onto the bolster and place your arms out in front to either side.
* You want your back to be comfortable and straight-ish.  Head supported and even with your back like you are sleeping comfortably and not ‘diving’.
* Place your face nose down or on one cheek, but make sure to shift cheeks giving them equal time.
* Move the bolsters to find a comfortable position.  You can add or subtract support until the tension in your lower back area and thighs is little to none.
* Breath slow and deep and remain in this position 2 -4 minutes to start with.  You can increase your minutes on any pose once you are familiar and more practised.

For further information complete with photos and instructions for restorative yoga poses, take a look at the  “Do Restorative Yoga” site.  Once there you can look at photos and click through for more detailed information.
*Check with your doctor before starting yoga as a treatment.

**An eyebag is a small sack 6-7 inches long and 2-4 inches wide, filled with buckwheat or flax-seed.  Sometimes they are scented with Lavender Essential Oil – for a relaxing aroma.

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