Yoga is considered as an amazing ancient medicine for treating various diseases. Along with treating diseases, yoga is also helpful in rejuvenating yourself and removes stress, which is also a cause of various health conditions, according to the experts.
What is Restorative Yoga?
Restorative yoga is one of the forms of yoga which deals with providing emotional relaxation with the help of props. The use of props is helpful in maintaining the balance while stimulating as well as relaxing your body with the help of yoga poses. It is important to know specific yoga poses works on particular part of the body such as heart or lungs. Other yoga poses works on the development of the overall body.
Restorative yoga is a brainchild of one of the greatest masters of yoga across the globe, BKS Iyengar. It is said that Iyengar asked his students to take the help of various props to make their yoga poses perfectly. This turned on to be the base for restorative yoga. This form of yoga then popularized and spread all around the world by one of the various students of Iyengar, Judith Lasater.
What are benefits of restorative yoga poses?
The poses in restorative yoga are supported by various blocks, blankets as well as other props to get more benefits from it as well as to make it more comfortable. It is a modified version of yoga, where the practitioners can hold the poses for around 15-120 minutes. These also pose helpful in stimulating the functions of both brain and heart.
It is considered that restorative yoga is even more beneficial than sleep. It is considered highly helpful in releasing tension from the muscles, providing relief to the joint aches as well as providing calm to the body stressed body as well as the mind.
Restorative yoga is also highly helpful in decreasing the amount of cortisol in the body. This hormone is linked with weight gain, high blood pressure as well as heart diseases. It has also been said that performing restorative yoga regularly also helps in providing better cancer relief effect as it helps in countering depression as well as fatigue. It is the best form of yoga to get good quality sleep, according to the various yoga teachers.
Sleep is necessary for the body to attain complete relaxation as well as full recovery of the body as well as nervous system. As restorative yoga is believed to provide good quality sleep, it also results into increasing of concentration as well as attention and focus. Apart from that is also helps in attaining all the benefits of normal yoga.
The restorative yoga poses are highly similar to normal yoga poses except it is done with the help of various props. Like in every exercise, you need to do a warm-up first in restorative yoga, known as sun salutation or gentle vinyasa. It is important to know that each restorative yoga pose should be held for at least 3-5 minutes minimum. You can hold it beyond 10-15 minutes as well. Some of the commonly practicing yoga poses includes,
- Legs against the wall, this is performed by keeping a pillow under your legs, back or hips.
- Child’s pose, this is done with tucking your heels under the hips and put a bolster or pillow under your torso.
- Reclining bound angle, it is performed after keeping props under your head, arms as well as legs.
- Relaxation or savasana, this is done by resting yourself on the mat or by keeping the head on the pillow and bolster or blanket under your feet.
Your teacher may also suggest using a blanket to cover your body while trying the restorative yoga poses to make you more comfortable.
It is important to use a wide range of props while doing restorative yoga. In restorative yoga poses, it is recommended to use blankets, pillows, chairs, straps as well as blocks to provide support to your body to get better relaxation while stretching. Always make sure that you have the props of right sizes according to your body to carry out restorative yoga poses. You prop even half inch longer or shorter, and it can make your whole workout uncomfortable.
Can restorative yoga poses reduce stress?
Yes, indeed. As mentioned earlier, restorative yoga poses helps in providing good quality sleep and helps in attaining complete relaxation. This works well in reducing stress from your mind as well as body. Doing restorative yoga is also helpful in activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is also known as the rest-and-digest system. This is highly useful in relaxing the gastrointestinal tract and slows down the heart rate. This is also helpful in reducing the blood pressure in your body.
It is highly important to follow a quality restorative yoga sequence to get all restorative yoga benefits. It is recommended to make a healthy restorative yoga routine to get rid of various health conditions.
Final thoughts on restorative yoga poses
Restorative yoga is one of the best alternative medicine to get a lot of health benefits. Restorative yoga poses not only provide you physical strength but it also helpful in getting mental relaxation. It is a modified version of yoga and done with the help various props to make it even more comfortable. It allows you to hold the pose for a long time so that you can better stretching.
As it is a modified version, you are also free to make the restorative yoga pose even more challenging by adding your variations in it. You can try your own modifications like an increase in stretching of arms as well as upper body for more benefits while doing Balasana or child’s pose. You can even lift the buttocks away from your heels more than required.
By Prajakt K.