So much to do, so little time. If you are like most people, your list of things to do is endless. Just as you cross something off, giving you a minor sense of accomplishment, another task gets added to the list. And it certainly seems like Restorative Yoga has no place on this endless list.
But while this may seem like a never-ending saga, the truth of the matter is that many of us thrive on checking off the boxes on our to-do lists, giving us a sense of accomplishment. In today’s society, many of us feed off of the “glorification of busy.”
With unbelievable emphasis placed on how many boxes we have checked off our list, we lose sight of the benefit of finding stillness.
The Glorification of Busy and How Restorative Yoga Fits In
When we think of moving our bodies to stay healthy, we often gauge the value of the workout by calories burned or how much we sweat.
Time is a precious commodity as it is a resource that we cannot recoup once spent, so we want the most bang for our buck.
Many people who have not experienced Restorative Yoga have the impression that it is the “relax and take a nap class” where we lay on the floor, supported by props and just chill out . . . not burning many calories, not sweating, not being productive.
So why would anyone want to do that?! Read on, because the list of reasons to practice Restorative Yoga is compelling!
Here Are 5 Big Benefits of Restorative Yoga (and Damn Good Reasons You Should Practice!):
These five incredible benefits of Restorative Yoga also provide five powerful reasons you should make the time for this rejuvenating practice.
1. Restorative Yoga Complements a Power Yoga Practice
The moment you walk into a Restorative Yoga class, the first thing you’ll typically notice is the calming atmosphere in contrast to the high energy vibe that you get when you walk into a Power Yoga class ready to get your ass kicked.
The more “yin” nature of a Restorative Yoga class is a perfect complement to the “yang” nature of a more vigorous Vinyasa class. We need this balance both on and off the mat.
2. It Can Boost Your Mood
Thankfully, we no longer live in an age where we find ourselves running from a hungry tiger with our sympathetic nervous system (aka our “fight-or-flight” response) on high alert.
Restorative Yoga helps to calm the sympathetic nervous system and stimulate its opposite, the parasympathetic nervous system (aka the “rest-and-digest” response), so that we can relax and enjoy a calmer, more meditative state.
When we fully support the body in Restorative Yoga with yoga props like bolsters, blankets, blocks, and straps, we are able to completely relax and release tension. This allows us to find that deeply meditative state that we so desire.
This, combined with the deep breathing commonly associated with yoga, can contribute to lower blood pressure, reduced symptoms of depression, and a boosted mood.
Need more mood boosting? Here are 5 Self-Care Rituals to Boost Your Mood (And Keep It There!)
3. It Can Improve Pain Management and Lead to Quicker Recovery
Muscle tension and tightness can be painful. Through Restorative Yoga, our muscles can relax completely.
Relaxation and tension reduction can increase flexibility and reduce pain. When the body is less stressed, it is better able to focus on what it needs. As a bonus, when we have less stress, our immunity increases and our sleep quality improves!
4. It Promotes Healthy Habits
Yep, you read that correctly! Although Restorative Yoga is not a calorie burner, its ability to significantly reduce stress levels can directly impact what we choose to put in our mouths.
When we leave class feeling blissed out, we are more likely to choose something sensible over stress eating and raiding the pantry for your favorite potato chips or diving into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
These choices can lead to more good choices, crowding out the bad choices, which can ultimately lead to weight loss.
5. It Fosters a Deeper Inner Connection
The ancient text The Bhagavad Gita teaches that “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”
By practicing Restorative Yoga and inducing a state of conscious relaxation, we are able to promote mindfulness, practice self-care, and deepen that inner connection with ourselves. And when we have a deeper connection with ourselves, we can have deeper connections with those around us.
Curious about mindfulness? Here’s How Mindfulness Actually Works + A Practice You Should Try The Next Time You’re Feeling Off
Do Less, Achieve More With Restorative Yoga
Your to-do list will always be there, and so will the dishes and the laundry. What won’t always be there is the time to do everything — and the good news is, you don’t have to!
Taking time to balance the “busy” and practice self-care not only benefits us personally, but also those around us. We cannot pour from an empty cup, thus when we take care of ourselves, we have more to give to others.
So go grab your mat and reap the benefits of Restorative Yoga with a soothing and relaxing Restorative Yoga practice!
With Allie Geer
32-minutes Class | All Levels