Yoga is an incredibly accessible form of exercise. Even those with relatively poor fitness levels can quickly master fundamental techniques and reap the benefits. Once you’ve become fairly proficient with the basics, you should turn your attention to restorative yoga. This advanced form of yoga puts more of an emphasis on relaxation, helping practitioners realize a deeper sense of well-being. Ready to explore restorative yoga for yourself? Head to a specialist online retailer like Yoga Studio Store and stock up on a quality yoga mat and a selection of support props so you can hold those poses for longer.
1. Get Rid of Excess Tension
We all know that stress can be detrimental to our mental health, but it can also severely impact our physical health as well. One telltale sign that stress is affecting your physical health is muscle tension. If you don’t have an effective stress management plan in place, this muscle tension won’t easily resolve once the stress trigger has abated. If you’re dealing with significant levels of stress daily, it’s common to experience persistent discomfort in your back, shoulders, and neck.
Thankfully, restorative yoga offers a targeted approach to eliminating accumulated tension. Although everyday yoga poses can be an effective way of relieving tension, you’ll need to maintain certain posture holds for a considerable amount of time for maximum relief. By incorporating props into your restorative yoga sessions, you can give your body the support it needs to finally let go of this built-up tension.
2. Enjoy Better Sleep and Improved Energy Levels
Yoga has long been known to improve sleep quality. In fact, more than half of regular yoga practitioners report improved sleep quality. Restorative yoga is particularly good at reducing stress levels, which goes hand in hand with deeper, more restful sleep. For best results, you should aim to practice restorative yoga poses before heading to bed. A better night’s sleep will also leave you feeling energized come the morning, leaving you ready to take on the day.
3. An Effective Pain Antidote
Many of us deal with chronic pain symptoms in our daily lives. This can be the result of a historic injury or a side effect of certain exercises. Chronic pain can also be caused by not not using our muscles enough. The gentle stretches and longer posture holds that are synonymous with restorative yoga will give your connective tissues time to heal, eventually resulting in less pronounced muscle pain.
4. Lower Stress Levels
Stress is incredibly detrimental to health. Even a relatively minor stress trigger can result in the body releasing cortisol into the bloodstream, leading to an elevated heart rate and raised anxiety levels. These symptoms can be uncomfortable in the short term and disastrous to physical health in the long run. Restorative yoga can help combat stress and anxiety by allowing your body to truly relax. The longer posture holds of restorative yoga provide you with a sense of stillness and calm, encouraging your nervous system to dial things back and overcome debilitating stress symptoms.
5. Improved Digestion
It’s estimated that more than 62 million Americans suffer from at least one form of digestive disorder. Although restorative yoga won’t remedy most chronic diseases, it can help manage less severe disorders. When properly performed, restorative yoga postures can trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is associated with increased saliva and enzyme production. Certain restorative yoga poses can also improve the performance of muscle groups in the lower abdomen. By stimulating these muscles, you’re increasing the amount of blood flow to the organs responsible for digestion.
Getting to Grips with Restorative Yoga
If your yoga knowledge is minimal, taking the plunge with restorative yoga can be daunting. One of the biggest barriers beginners face is achieving a true sense of relaxing when putting their bodies into a pose. If you’re finding this a challenge, consider investing in additional props and posture supports. You may also benefit from researching additional meditative practices.