5 Hidden Health Benefits of Restorative Yoga

Traquil Restorative Yoga Practice

What is Restorative Yoga? 

Restorative yoga is a gentle type of yoga that uses props such as cushions, bolsters, and blankets so people with different medical conditions and varying movement abilities can practice yoga. Restorative yoga allows the body and mind to completely relax. Therefore it enables the participant to create space and get in touch with their natural qualities of compassion and understanding of others and self. Restorative yoga has many other benefits. 

1. Provides Recovery Time and Space

Life gets even more hectic when the temperature drops and days get shorter. While an active life can help you to maintain and gain strength and confidence, an essential component to growth is recovery time. A 60 - 90 mins restorative yoga session provides the space and time for physical and mental recovery.  Recovery involves relaxing muscles, lowering your heart rate, and allowing your nervous system to calm down. 

2. Decreases Stress Hormone Cortisol

Restorative yoga has shown to decrease cortisol levels which is associated with high blood pressure, weight gain, and heart disease. Restorative yoga teaches conscious relaxation of the body and mind, therefore decreases stress and cortisol level. 

3. Better Sleep

Restorative yoga releases tense muscles, relieves joint aches, and helps the mind to transition from stress to calm. Sleep is crucial to essential physiological repair and memory.  Sleep enables us to create space for new memories, emotions, and energy. 

Also, it has been shown that sleep deprivation affects sports performance. Inadequate sleep can result in hormonal changes. Some research shows that sleep deprivation can increase level of cortisol and decrease activity of human growth hormones and reduction in glycogen synthesis. 

Lastly, a few studies have declared that regular restorative yoga has helped breast cancer patients to relax, fatigue less, and sleep better. Click Here to read more. 

4. Balances Nervous System

Your nervous system is balanced when your body is fully relaxed. Restorative yoga sequence places your body in a relaxed state that allows your nervous system to stop constantly being in the sympathetic state, fight or flight (always on the go and reactionary).  Tap into the parasympathetic nervous system to aid healing and relaxation.  Something we could always use more of in this busy high demand world we now live in.

I tell people that in some ways, this is the hardest class you’re going to take. When you’re still, it’s hard to shut off your mind, and that’s where the real work is. That’s also where you might find the greatest capacity for growth, deep relaxation, and true well-being.

Gail Grossman, Restorative Yoga for Life

5. Enhances Flexibility 

Restorative #yoga still stretches, but you relax fully so tension can slowly

releases." Ekhart Yoga

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"The beauty of restorative Yoga is that there is no muscular contraction involved. We believe we have to “work” to increase flexibility, but often we achieve more opening in parts of the body that we perceive as tight by softening and relaxing than through an active asana practice. During a restorative Yoga sequence, you still stretch but you relax fully in the stretch so that tension can slowly be released."  Ekhart Yoga

Alfred Ball

CEO | Practicing Kinesiologist | Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. He founded Lifemoves in 2007. He has been a Practicing Kinesiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with the NSCA for over 15 years. When he isn't helping people regain their strength and confidence to move with ease he is hanging out with his wife and young son, writing, or training for his next endurance running race. His big audacious goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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