When the pace of life is fast, our minds move fast, too. When we are also attracted to a strong, fast-moving yoga practice, we can easily overstimulate ourselves — and our nervous system takes the beating. We may end up feeling easily overwhelmed, tired, with a racing mind. We get sick quicker and more often.
Restorative yoga balances a fast lifestyle and has an enormous capacity to heal physical and mental symptoms that are stress related.
Restorative poses relieve the effects of chronic stress in several ways. Firstly, the use of props provide a supportive environment for total relaxation.
Secondly, each restorative sequence is designed to move the spine in all directions. Healthy spine: healthy you.
Thirdly, a well-sequence Restorative Yoga practive includes an inverted asana (pose), which reverses the effects of gravity (this could simply be putting your legs on a pillow). By changing the relationship of your legs to gravity, fluids are returend to the upper body and your heart function is enhanced.
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.
Because the body and mind relax, literally becoming softer, we also create space to get in touch again with our natural qualities of compassion and understanding of others and self.
"Learning to be present with yourself and to abide in that which is steady and comfortable does not allow space for self-judgment. When you live this way, you are practicing yoga: you are living fully."