Rest, Relax & Refresh with Restorative Yoga

A lot of my posts are inspired by other people.  Your questions and feedback are highly valued, so thank you!

A recent question was related to Restorative Yoga (from a lovely lady; fellow St Helenian 🙂 ) Read on to know more about restorative yoga.  I will follow-up this post with some visuals and demos, so stay tuned and subscribe to this blog here and follow Pranalistic on social:  Instagram & Facebook

It’s a shame that many people avoid restorative yoga because they’re more interested in the ‘no pain – no gain’ kind of exercises that make you sweat and up your heart rate.  But there’s always a time to offer your body and mind a restorative yoga practice.  It offers a very peaceful, relaxed way of exercising and moving the body.  It can also provide deep relaxation, lower blood pressure, promotes better sleep and loosens hips and spine.

The key steps to restorative yoga:

  • Relax your body and muscles
  • Slow, lengthen and deepen your breath
  • Calm your mind

A restorative yoga sequence typically involves only 5/6 poses, supported by props (pillows/blankets) that allow you to completely relax and rest.  Restorative yoga poses include very gentle twists, seated forward folds, and gently supported backbends.

Key restorative poses include:

  • Child’s pose
  • Hero pose 
  • Seated Cat & Cow poses
  • Sleeping Pigeon pose
  • Supine spinal twist pose
  • Supported fish pose
  • Reclining Bound angle pose
  • Bridge pose
  • Supported forward fold pose
  • Legs up the wall pose
  • Happy baby pose
  • Savasana

Restorative Yoga tips:

What makes each yoga pose a ‘restorative pose’ is how you approach it.   

Think of it as passive stretching.   

By laying in restorative poses, you bring your attention to the areas of your body that are holding tension.  Once you realise where you hold tension, instead of trying to fix or change it, simply bring your breath to that area.   

Aim to stay in each pose for 3–10 minutes, and come out when you feel you’ve had enough.   

You may wish to use a soft bolster, folded blanket or pillows for added support and relaxation.  For example, placing a block beneath each knee (horizontally) or a rolled-up blanket on top for additional support. Placing a folded towel beneath your head for support and/or with a rolled towel/blanket cradling your neck’s natural curve.  Play with props to allow yourself to get really comfortable.   

Take several long breaths to progressively release all of your body weight and focus on your breathing.  

10 Signs That You Need Restorative Yoga in Your Life 

  1. You struggle falling asleep
  2. You suffer from aches & pains
  3. You feel tired when you wake up in the morning
  4. You’re always angry!
  5. You mind is always racing at 100mph!
  6. You’re tired of all the drama life brings you
  7. You have an injury and you just “push through it” without letting it heal
  8. You want a little less chaos in your life 
  9. You’re addicted to your smartphone! 
  10. You need to recharge

Most of us are living a high-intensity life; always juggling too many activities. This can be too much for what our bodies were made for and can account for a lot of the aches, pains, and sickness you may be experiencing in your day-to-day life.  Maybe the most beneficial exercise for you is the one that lets you experience the state of ‘not-doing’ and restore your body.

Benefits:

  • Heals emotional pain
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Aids sleep
  • Prevents injury
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Provides a bridge to meditation
  • Cultivates heightened body awareness
  • Deepens self-awareness & introspection
  • Connects you with the Divine within (by awakening grace, poise, flexibility, balance, strength, and present moment awareness. This combination creates a mind and body ideally suited for seamlessly merging into the non-local field of awareness, or pure being.)

Give it a go!

TIP:  Simply lying as flat as you are comfortable and belly (diaphragmatic) breathing for a few minutes is a good place to start.

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