Do you have a fast-paced lifestyle? Amongst that, do you easily get overwhelmed, tired, ill and are unable to ‘switch off’. If so, read on because restorative yoga balances a hectic, non-stop lifestyle and promotes your own ability to release physical and mental symptoms of stress and dis-ease.
I was stood in Angel Station, London the other day during rush hour, waiting for a friend. Even though I was in no rush, just being there was enough for me to get caught up in the tense and frantic pace of commuter energy.  I had to consciously breathe and let go to avoid getting caught in the ‘flow’ of city life. A fast pace of life commits our minds move fast, too. Fast or ‘spinning’ minds are preoccupied with a Yang state of being – always doing, constant movement and stimulation. If you are also attracted to a strong, fast-moving Yoga practice, you can easily overstimulate your Yang energy — and your nervous system takes the beating – leaving you overwhelmed, tired, with a racing mind. You may recognise this if you get sick often. Practising restorative Yoga is a great help to anyone who is chronically ill, acutely ill, or recovering from some injuries because it promotes our Yin energy by slowing down, releasing stress and tension.

Restorative Yoga… not just about relaxation, it’s a practise that takes you into conscious deep rest focused on healing and repair.

Restorative yoga

Benefits of Restorative Yoga

The beauty of restorative Yoga is that there is no muscular contraction involved. We believe we have to “work” to increase flexibility, but often we achieve more opening in parts of the body that we perceive as tight by softening and relaxing than through an active asana practice.  In my work as a Thai-Yoga Massage Therapist,  I notice that my clients experience the greatest results of released tension and increased flexibility with they are totally relaxed. During a restorative Yoga sequence, you still stretch, but you relax fully in the stretch so that tension can slowly be released. When the body relaxes so does the mind and both literally become softer. In doing so we also create space to get in touch again with our natural qualities of compassion and understanding of others and self. Restorative Yoga benefits, summarised:

  • Enhances flexibility
  • Deeply relaxes the body
  • Stills the mind
  • Improves capacity for healing and balancing
  • Balances the nervous system
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Develops qualities of compassion and understanding toward others and self
  • Enhances mood states

Do you remember? 

Think back to a time of being truly relaxed, your body is all soft, warm, supple, and glowing. Do you remember how the feeling was so comfortable in your own skin that you hardly noticed your physical body? Remember that feeling of your mind being laid back, sort of watching everything from a distance with a big smile on your face, knowing beyond a doubt that everything is okay, exactly as it is? In this state, you know that life is just as it is, that there is nothing to accept or reject. Do you remember what it is like to rest in your true nature? Realise you are not separate from life, any more than the air in a balloon is different than the air surrounding it, or the wave separate from the sea.

The true meaning of yoga

The true meaning of Yoga is to experience union. To see through the illusion of being a separate being. To see that we are all pervaded with and made out of the same energy, which is the ground of all being. I hope that I have motivated you to take the time out to practice restorative Yoga.  Especially if you are the type that feels you would rather do something active, because you don’t have enough time. You will benefit most.

If you would like to try restorative yoga, I run a monthly Restorative Yoga Workshop and teach classes every Tuesday morning at Inner Space. Newlyn, Cornwall.