They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away but how about a restorative yoga pose a day?
Check out the article for the full benefits of just one pose a day, then watch this video for a full restorative sequence!
Life is frantic for all of us. In many cases we live in such a heightened stressful state our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) or, ‘fight or flight’ response mechanism remains constantly activated. With hormones pumping in fight or flight
With hormones pumping in fight or flight mode it is no wonder that the stress we experience is having such an alarming impact on our health.
The benefits of restorative yoga are gaining traction with more students embracing the practice and many studios offering classes. A full restorative class would normally incorporate a handful of poses in a 90-minute window, but there are also great health benefits in practicing just one restorative pose a day.
In the words of renowned restorative yoga teacher Judith Hanson Lasater, “when practiced regularly, it will help you to heal the effects of chronic stress in as little as five minutes a day.” Making time in your schedule for a daily period of relaxation reaps many rewards, here are some of them.
Supporting the body with props such as blankets, blocks and bolsters can relieve the physical tension we hold on to through our day. By taking a moment to ensure that the head, body and limbs are fully supported to our own personal comfort the body has the freedom to relax fully.
When our physical body is supported and relaxed we can focus completely on the breath. As the breath slows and deepens it helps the mind to quieten reducing the distractions and thoughts that fill our waking hours. Deeper, steadier breath assists in triggering the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which helps reset the body into a relaxed state.
Whilst stress manifests itself in many different ways it does have a big impact on overall health and wellbeing. Restorative yoga can help to manage blood pressure, reduce muscle tension and lift the symptoms of depression. Also, as we reduce the level of stress in our lives we calm the hormonal imbalance that affects digestion and elimination.
Stressful lifestyles can have an adverse effect on sleep. By forming a daily habit of relaxation through restorative yoga we can influence our stress levels and anxieties in a positive way to improve our quality of sleep.
Focusing on the breath in a state of relaxation helps slow the mind chatter offering up an opportunity to quietly practice acceptance. This, in turn, helps to improve mindset and lift the fog of low mood. Pair your practice with a soothing essential oil like pure lavender, or a lavender scented candle.
Reduce the overwhelm
Life is busy. Balancing work, home, family and other activities is part and parcel of modern day living. Spending ten minutes of your day in complete relaxation helps disconnect from the overwhelm of to do lists and prepares us for the demands of life.
Clear the Mind
When your to-do list never seems to get shorter and you’re being pulled in several directions to accommodate the needs of others it can be difficult to juggle. A restorative practice will help you reset, recharge and mentally reassess so that you can embrace life’s challenges with awareness and clarity.
Take the time to briefly practice one pose daily and see how the cumulative effect improves your mindset, ability to manage stress and, ultimately, your wellbeing.