By Sangeetha Saran
Restorative yoga is a form of passive asana, pranayama and meditation practice. Students who practice restorative based yoga sessions use props to support their bodies while they hold asanas. These props include blankets, chairs, pillows, straps, blocks and bolsters. While practicing this form of yoga training, students hold each posture for several minutes.
Restorative asana practice has many benefits, including healing for the body and the mind. People who suffer from chronic fatigue and stress can greatly benefit from practicing this gentle form of yoga.
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Restorative sessions activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is part of the automatic nervous system in the body. In short, the parasympathetic nervous system calms the body. This system slows heart rate, helps the body digest food and puts the body into a state of healing. Activating the parasympathetic nervous system is important to reduce stress. Chronic stress creates many problems in the body. For example, fatigue and illness can often be brought on by stress.
Restorative yoga is all about the parasympathetic nervous system. This practice can help balance the automatic nervous system.
Restorative classes are usually conducted in dimly lit rooms with soft music or silence. Yoga teachers help students find positions for the body which causes no active stress. The body opens passively to release toxins and accept healing.
Students of in restorative classes give themselves time to listen to their bodies. Restorative poses are held for several minutes. Students are asked to focus on their breath the entire class. After practicing restorative yoga regularly, many students begin to notice a release of anxiety within the body, which they did not perceive before. They learn to calm anxiety faster. This skill helps them to reduce stress both on and off of their yoga mat.
Most people who suffer from stress report they have difficulty sleeping. Due to the fact that restorative practice creates inner calm within the body and mind, many students notice that they sleep better after they begin a restorative practice.
Getting enough sleep is important in reducing stress. Sleep regenerates energy levels and helps keep the automatic nervous system balanced. Getting enough sleep prevents illness. Practicing restorative based yoga training before going to bed can help induce calm, deep sleep.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
See yoga videos, demonstrations, and lectures related to 200 hour yoga teacher training programs and specialized continuing education courses.