A primary tenet of Ayurveda is “like increases like.” When we get caught up in the go-go-go, slowing down seems like the most unnatural thing in the world. Even our self-care practices can become transactional and goal-oriented, preventing us from experiencing deep relaxation.
In restorative yoga, you hold individual postures for anywhere from five to twenty minutes at a time. Your limbs are supported with props, and the goal is to do as little work as possible. If it sounds boring, it’s anything but — find the sweet spot on the bolster and an hour or more just flies by.
If you’re a movement junkie, restorative yoga can be a perfect complement to a more vigorous vinyasa or ashtanga practice. Here are 5 benefits of practicing restorative yoga:
1. It slows you down.
This one’s one of the best benefits of practicing restorative yoga. If you tend to find yourself caught up in the hustle bustle of life and are burned out more often than you’d like, restorative yoga can help you slow down and find that deep state of relaxation that you have been craving. The poses involved in this form of yoga help you achieve the right physical and mental balance, and can help you feel less anxious and stressed out.
2. It improves self-awareness.
Restorative yoga allows you to be more in touch with your body, physical being, and your mental self, all in all helping you become more self aware. This self-awareness can prove to be an invaluable tool that you can use to explore and learn more about yourself, develop self-love and embrace yourself for what you truly are.
3. It quiets the mind.
If you have an overstimulated mind and seem to have a thousand thoughts racing around, restorative yoga can be just the thing to help your mind find that delicious silence. Restorative yoga slows down your brain waves and allows for deep rest. You’ll learn how to be more content and happy moment by moment.
4. It speeds up recovery.
Whether you’re trying to heal a physical injury or are dealing with emotional pain and suffering, restorative yoga can help you emerge lighter and more grounded. These yoga poses can help you speed up healing even when your energy levels are low, and can be extremely soothing and calming to an emotional injury or trauma.
5. It soothes the nervous system.
Restorative yoga poses can be incredibly beneficial for the nervous system. Holding postures and allowing yourself to relax into them over an extended amount of time can help you heal from chronic stress and an overstimulated nervous system. The deep breathing exercises and poses that are a part of the yoga practice can take your body into the state of rejuvenation and renewal. In turn, you may find yourself full of energy, mental clarity, and calm.