There are certain days where you’ll just feel like lying around, and these days can be perfect for a specific kind of yoga known as restorative yoga. There are lots of fancy ways to talk about restorative yoga, but in the end, it’s about the practice and what it does for you. Restoration of the mind and body are aided by occasional, consistent, restorative practice as part of your entire yoga experience.
Restorative yoga poses are ones which are easy to do on day where you feel tired or lazy; if you’re feeling tired and therefore lazy, then restorative yoga is exactly what you need. Restorative poses are the type you can do with the support of a chair, a bolster, or pillow. There are also prop-free poses that are mostly done while lying down.
Restorative yoga tends to be lumped into the yoga specialty category, but only because it is not typical for a full restorative yoga class to be offered by typical studio facilities. Restorative poses are all rather basic and don’t require too much practice to be mastered, so it will be easy for you to learn and practice a restorative yoga session with the help of an online video.
What Does Restorative Yoga Do?
The obvious answer is to say “just what it says.” Specifically, it enables the body to shift out of “work mode”. We find ourselves stuck in work mode simply due to the stresses and obligations of life. When this happens, our third chakra-also known as Manipura, becomes over activated and it drives the workaholic within us to take over and govern our metal functions while it also forces you body to stay in overdrive-we just hear “achieve! achieve! achieve!” and we neglect to hear our bodies tell us relaxing time is needed.
When we’re in workaholic mode, our bodies become slaves to our minds. When we engage in restorative yoga poses, the necessary messages are sent from the body to the brain that tells the mind that it is OK to slow down. Our mind is then able to change gears as the poses trigger the right relaxation queues. Restorative poses also remove pressure from specific points in the body.
For poses such as Viparita Karani, a simple pose where you lay on the floor with your legs up against the wall, you blood flow starts to favor the brain as it moves more easily from your legs. Sometimes, all restoration takes is a rearrangement of the normal position of your body that’s provided by the poses, so that the body can cleanse itself, and so your organs can relax. As your organs relax, they require far less energy to do their normal work.
The result is that your body suddenly needs a lot less energy, so the extra energy that was being expended in workaholic mode is no longer being demanded. The body can relax. Extra energy that is still available is then used for restoring damaged cells, rebuilding muscle tissue and cleaning out your systems. Finishing an effective restorative yoga sequence can make person feel like they’ve just taken a nice nap. Different restorative sequences can be used by different types of athletes-from the recreational cyclist to the hard-core triathlete.