Sitting in complete stillness and silence can be one of the hardest things to do. It might sound strange, but it’s actually much easier to run a couple of miles than it is to sit still for minutes at a time – without twitching, readjusting, or letting your mind run rampant.
But that’s exactly what restorative yoga asks of us. You learn to sit with that mental discomfort and find a way to face and move through it.
Restorative yoga is a therapeutic style of yoga that promotes healing of the body and deep relaxation through supportive poses. It uses gravity, combined with a wide array of props (including blankets, straps, pillows, and blocks), to naturally open the body. The more your body is supported in restorative yoga, the deeper the relaxation you’ll experience. And there is little to no movement or effort, allowing your mind to be silent.
Restorative yoga engages the parasympathetic nervous system, which relaxes your body and offers a variety of benefits including:
- Improved digestion
- Reduction of muscle tension
- Increased mindfulness
- Less chronic pain
- Lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- And an amazing night’s sleep!
Think this sounds easy? Maybe a little bit like adult nap time?
While you won’t drip with sweat or have to combat your racing heart rate, restorative yoga is not as simple as it sounds. The challenge here is that most of us are very uncomfortable confronting our minds in this way for fear of the emotions and worries that might emerge. That’s why we fill our days with work, school, parenting, tv, and exercise. Anything to keep us busy enough to avoid the vulnerability of sitting with our own thoughts.
Isn’t it about time that you gave yourself a chance to truly center your breath and body?