How a Vinyasa Junkie Discovered Restorative

Why You Need to Give it a Try

While in college, I was completely obsessed with vinyasa yoga. I would always think that if I wasn’t sweating then I wasn’t really exercising. When I graduated college, I found myself in a difficult job situation, leaving me so stressed I couldn’t focus on my work, let alone my life. Whenever I am stressed I always turn to yoga, but this time I knew I needed a whole body experience, so I turned to restorative yoga. I was a bit uncertain because, in the past, restorative was always so slow for me, that my thoughts would wander constantly. But I decided to give it a 100%, judgment free effort.

According to the Yoga Journal, Restorative Yoga is the practice of holding usually around 5 different postures for 5 minutes or more, using blocks and bolsters as props. Typically the postures will include light twists, folds, and gentle backbends. 

For the last 7 months, I have practiced restorative yoga once every week, and it has completely changed my life. I feel more in control of my thoughts, body, and daily situations. Restorative is so much more than a yoga practice, it is an investment in the mind, body, and spirit. Here are just some of the ways you can benefit from a restorative yoga:

1. It quiets your mind

We all have many commitments during the week between friends, family, work, and fitness, you can often find yourself stretched out thin. What I have loved about restorative yoga is the way it helps me take a pause in my life. At first you might find yourself having a difficult time being present, while your mind is thinking about everything you have to do at work or home. Don’t sweat it because it just takes time. Listen to your instructor and follow her/his breathing techniques, or mantras, and you will soon be on your way to peace of mind. Which will help you with those big decisions in your life.

2. Increased flexibility 

Do you ever see dancers doing the splits so gracefully and elegantly, leaving you wishing you could do that? Yoga may not make guarantee you can do the perfect splits, but having increased flexibility can do wonders for your body. When you increase the flexibility in your body, you are freeing your body of not only tension but also of pain. I have talked to people who were able to lessen their back pain from doing restorative yoga. Wouldn’t you like to trade in a pain pill for yoga?

 3. Speaking of pain, why not heal emotional pain?

I have been doing yoga since I was 9 years old, at first, it was more hit or miss for me, and I never really had a consistent yoga practice. In high school, I came back to my mat for restorative yoga after struggling in my classes, and finding myself. I again came back after college after suffering a crushing career loss. What yoga, specifically restorative yoga, has taught me is that life isn’t perfect, and life is really good at throwing us curve balls, and seemingly impossible tasks. But just like you need to take care of your physical body, you must also care for your emotional one too. After a few sessions of self-love and care, you will be ready to take on just about anything, take it from me.

What has been your experience with restorative yoga? What benefits have you found from your practice? Let me know below!

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