Restorative yoga is a soothing practice which aims to restore the mind and body to a relaxed state. The poses are supported with props like blocks and bolsters. These props allow the muscles to release tension completely. Before you engage in restorative yoga, it is ideal to get warmed up by stretching. Most poses are meant to stretch the back and also straighten the spine. In yogic terms, the poses align the seven chakras to be in better harmony. By straightening the back, your chest is going to be brought out and shoulders raised for better breathing. Blood is also going to circulate better from head to toe. These are some of the benefits you should expect from restorative yoga.
You will be able to relax. The sad thing is that your body does not really know the difference between non threatening stress like meeting a business deadline and high ganger stress such as getting away from a wild animal. This yoga helps in calming the fight or flight feeling of stress which is caused by a busy lifestyle. When you breathe and feel that your muscles are supported during restorative yoga, the nervous system, is going to send message that is less urgent to the brain. You will then be able to breath and your heart rate will slow down.
The cardiac system is always hard at work making sure that blood rich in oxygen is circulated through the whole body. Restorative yoga helps the heart to rest by allowing the heart beat to reduce and work less than usual. One classic pose is where the legs are up the wall, the feet and legs are higher than the heart. This allows the heart to rest because blood is able to move down the leg with minimal effort. This pose also helps in reducing congestion and swelling in the legs and feet while providing a stretch.
Restorative yoga also increases breath awareness. Deep breathing helps the muscles and mind to quiet down. Increased awareness of your breath is helpful off the mat as well. You are going to notice some unhealthy breathing pattern such as breathing jaggedly or even holding your breath in times of stress.
When one is stressed out, the body produces a hormone called cortisol in excess. This is a stress hormone that affects the immune system and the adrenal glands as well. Cortisol makes the body to gain a lot of fat and mostly around the belly. When you reduce the level of this hormone via restorative yoga, you are going to lose some weight. Cardiologists also recommend this yoga for treating metabolic syndrome. This is a disorder which involves a combination of conditions that are related to obesity.
Restorative yoga can also be used during pregnancy to help women prepare for childbirth. They are also going to deal better with other health conditions experienced during pregnancy such as headache, nausea, lower back pains and edema. This yoga is also helpful to the elderly by helping them promote and maintain good health.