RESTORATIVE YOGA

July 1, 2015

RESTORATIVE YOGA

 

The deeply relaxing practice of RESTORATIVE YOGA stands apart from what you might consider your usual Yoga session.  While Hatha Yoga is generally active and at times challenging, RESTORATIVE YOGA relies on the use of bolsters, blankets, eye pillows and cushions to support the prolonged holding of several simple poses to achieve a deep level of relaxation. It’s a practice that leads toward a more healing and recuperative experience, offering a host of wonderful benefit.  It provides an excellent opportunity to unplug from the frenetic activity of daily life and it offers a welcome respite from the turbulence of life, helping to prepare the mind and body for the inward stroke of meditation and deepened awareness to enhance this. Moving slowly through the poses allows you to drop into your natural state of letting go in to relaxation. This is an eyes closed practice where all of your attention is drawn inward for the purpose of soothing and restoring the nervous system and releasing deeply held tensions in the body.

 

The slower pace and deep breathing of this practice triggers the Parasympathetic Nervous System which serves to slow down the heart rate, dilate the blood vessels, stimulate (digestive) secretions and increase the tone and  inherent strength and vigour of the heart.  This helps mitigate the effects of the fight-or-flight stress response of the Sympathetic Nervous System which can be so damaging to your physiology and well-being and that we are hard wired to operate with. The overall calming effect on the nervous system sets a deeply relaxing tone that comforts your mind and body down to a deep cellular level.

 

RESTORATIVE YOGA helps to develop awareness of your inner world of both the body and mind.  It becomes clear where habitual tensions are, while also revealing negative thought patterns that do not serve. It gives you space to be with yourself in a supportive, nurturing and healthy way.

The subdued quality of a restorative yoga practice will help draw your attention inward and away from external events and situations in your life and of the world. With your awareness directed within, the practice is a sanctuary for the mind and spirit where you can take a deeper look at who you are, what you want, and how you can serve your life and the world. Restorative yoga opens us up to levels of self-exploration and contemplation.

 

The comfortable pace of restorative yoga is a gateway to a deeper understanding of your own body and being. Sadly, many people are not ‘in their bodies’ and suffer out the endless pains of this unconscious stance of taking the body for granted until illness arrives with a wake up call to become embodied. Through a restorative yoga practice an intimacy or familiarity with the Self can be explored and embraced. Deeper levels of bodily strengths can be integrated and owned and a more profound sense of self-love and acceptance can emerge. As these experiences deepen, more deliberate and attentive healthy choices are made and you generally feel better.RESTORATIVE YOGA helps cultivate an acceptance of your body and its inherent limitations. It strengthens your ability to let go of preconceived notions of your body and how you think it should look or feel.

 

We are so easily pulled into the frenetic insecurity of the modern world, even on island paradises.  Many of us can be haunted by fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. RESTORATIVE YOGA provides you with a safe harbor where you can reconnect with your true nature, which is pure, and nourishing. Making that connection through poses, breathing, and deep relaxation restores the memory of who you are, helping to reclaim the fearless nature of your soul. It’s an awareness that most certainly develops over time and becomes second nature or at the very least a reminder of where to return to in the thralls of ordinary or heightened stress. Try it out at SUN DOOR on Wednesdays 5-6:30pm.

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