When life is racing full-speed ahead and you're in need of some head space, practising restorative yoga helps us to find physical and mental balance.
By holding poses longer with the aid of props, the wall, the earth, we can stretch deeply and passively. So take yourself somewhere quiet and spend a little extra time this weekend opening up the body, immersing yourself in your breath and reaping the therapeutic benefits of this nourishing and regenerating form of yoga. ALL OF ELISA'S 2015 LONDON YOGA CLASSES AND OVERSEAS YOGA HOLIDAYS CAN BE FOUND AT ://www.elisawilliamsyoga.com
The Benefits of Restorative Yoga
1. Full and Deep Stretches
Long, supported poses help the body to fully engage, soften and release long held tension and stress
2. Improve Flexibility
Restorative yoga is not a stretch class per se. It simply allows us to discover what happens when we spend time releasing the tension our body habitually holds.
3. Discover Where Stress is Held
Restorative poses give us the opportunity to notice where we hold tension. We learn where the obstacles and obstructions are which can inform us how to make subtle changes in everyday life to reduce the stress and tension that builds up in the body.
4. Lose Weight
Restorative yoga helps to reduce cortisol levels—of which high levels are linked to increased abdominal fat.
5. Boost Immunity
A regular restorative yoga practice helps to improve the immune system and reducing the occurs cd of cold and flu virus's.
6. Balanced Nervous System
A restorative practice balanced the nervous system and allows the body to renew and rejuvenation. It aids energy flow to the organs, tissue renewal, and reduced “fight or flight” response.
7. Quieter Mind
Restorative yoga calms an overstimulated mind. In each pose be mindful, present to the sensations in the body to the breath. Be patient sometimes it takes time for the mind to become quiet. It takes practice to learn how to drop into a place of stillness be content to peacefully rest in the present - framing each moment in a breath.
We all need rest, whether or not you’re recovering from muscle strain, a broken bone, a bad bout of flu, or a chronic illness. Just because you’re not practicing more “active” asanas doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from yoga’s healing powers.
The healing power of yoga can be accessed even when our energy level is low and our body's lack strength. Restorative yoga is perfect when we are recuperating from illness and injury.
9. Emotional Healing
In the same way the body needs to build physical strength after illness, emotional injuries take time and patience to heal. Restorative yoga can provide care when processing the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, coming to terms with a life changing event or dealing with depression or anxiety.
10. A Bridge to Meditation
Restorative yoga provides a bridge towards the unfamiliar and often intimidating practice of meditation. It can sometimes make is feel vulnerable, emotional or anxious but this is all part of the process of cultivating space and letting go.
Wear an eye mask, wrapped beneath a blanket, or lying withy feet up the wall help us to become calmer more grounded and in turn more meditative and introspective.
Elisa Williams is a London based yoga teacher and mum with over 25 years of practice in both. She teaches private and public yoga classes, yoga holidays and retreats. Her interests include family, people , sunshine, sailing and holidays. http://www.elisawilliamsyoga.com