Restorative Yoga Helps and Here's Why

Welcome back to part 4 of our survey question responses.  Over these past few weeks, we’ve been talking about Reiki and Restorative Yoga and their benefits as a way to clarify the importance of these practices.  While it may seem like a luxury of time and money to give yourself the gift of these practices, I hope you’re beginning to see their value, and how they can support you in carving out time that is just for you so you can improve the quality of your life.

When you stop and think of how run down and depleted we can get and how that affects our health, our mood, our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, even our relationships with ourselves and our work, it seems like a no-brainer to make a commitment to taking care of yourself, making your well-bring a priority, so you can move back to being rested, balanced, and at ease. Reiki and Restorative Yoga with Reiki can get you there.

As we said in our previous post, Restorative Yoga is a physical practice of yoga where we place the body in mostly reclining positions and support it with yoga props like blocks and blankets to facilitate opening with the least amount of effort. The Restorative Yoga practice is designed to relieve the body of stress and effort by supporting the muscles and joints of the body so they can be relieved of the work they do.  When we minimize muscular activity, we encourage relaxation to occur.  When we relax our muscles, we lower our heart rate and oxygen consumption, plus we de-activate the fight-or-flight response.  As the body begins to become less active and the heart rate begins to slow down, the mind will begin to quiet, setting up the environment for a state of deep, profound, healing rest.

While Restorative yoga is neither a cure, nor a replacement for professional medical care, it can be practiced in conjunction with whatever medical care you are undergoing.  Restorative yoga can be used to help support the healing of a variety of issues, including, but not limited to:

  • back issues
  • fertility/reproductive issues
  • migraines/headaches
  • pregnancy
  • menopause
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • depression
In Restorative Yoga we aim to move the spine in all directions so that we can maintain its health and flexibility. We also try to stimulate and quiet the organs of the body so that they too remain healthy.  By adding in factors like warmth and darkness we create an environment where the mind and the body can relax more deeply. 

By opening specific areas of the body, we can actually support healing in those areas.  For example:
  • Placing blankets in a way that opens the chest and lungs can stimulate that area, promoting improved breathing.  Plus it will help decrease the over-rounding of the upper spine that can happen as we age and as we tend to sit more frequently, hunched over in front of computers.  In addition, by opening the chest and heart we can alleviate depression.
  • Folding the torso over a bolster, in a supported child’s pose, we put pressure on the uterus and ovaries, which can help alleviate menstrual cramping. And by physically turning our body inward, we encourage the mind to turn inward, inviting a sense of deep quiet and introspection. 
Ideally, we should incorporate some kind of conscious rest into our lives on a daily basis.  My teacher, Judith Lasater, suggests resting in Savasana (corpse pose, in yoga – lying down without falling asleep, consciously resting) for at least 20 minutes every day.  I also think it’s super important to incorporate a “restorative-yoga-only” practice once a week  - my day is  Friday – what a yummy way to end the week!

Working with a restorative yoga teacher, be it in a group setting or privately, is ideal so that you can more fully understand how to set yourself up carefully and safely, the benefits of individual poses, and what to do while you are in the poses so that it doesn’t become zone-out time. I teach a weekly restorative yoga class, but I also work privately with clients, offering 60-75 minute sessions designed specifically to meet each client’s needs.  In working privately with me, you also have the chance to design a home practice so that you can experience more lasting benefits and make self-care a consistent priority.

Like Reiki, a Restorative Yoga practice can move us from stressed out, overwhelmed, and exhausted to  relaxed, calm, and at peace - the place where healing and growth can occur.
3 FREE Reiki and Restorative Yoga practices are coming to you next week!!  These practices are designed to help you reduce stress, rebalance and center yourself so that you can experience first-hand the benefits of these powerful healing practices and move toward living with more ease and balance. 

Peace, Love, and Bliss,

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