Did you know that the only time the body heals/mends itself is when we trigger the parasympathetic nervous system? When we are active and moving through our daily lives our sympathetic nervous system is turned on; it's also known as the fight, flight, freeze response in the body. The body does not heal when we are in this state. It has too much to do.
To heal or mend the body we need to calm and quiet the sympathetic nervous system and allow the parasympathetic nervous system which triggers the "feel good" hormones to kick in. And that's when healing happens.
If you've been feeling a little drained or overwhelmed lately you need to quiet the sympathetic nervous system. A powerful way to do that is with Restorative Yoga.
Restorative Yoga is a different than my regular weekly yoga for sore body classes. During our weekly classes we focus on a particular area of the body or condition and it's an active practice. We move and strengthen and stretch, then we rest.
There are no strengtheners or muscular contraction and not much movement with restorative yoga classes; instead you relax fully into a body position("postures/poses") to slowly release body tension and the postures are fully supported with bolsters and blankets.
While you rest in various positions the body and mind relax, literally become softer. In some of the postures you may still feel a stretch, but you relax fully into the stretch so that tension is released gradually over a 5 or 10 minute period.
Here is a summary of the many benefits:
Deeply relaxes the body
Stills the mind
It's "me" time or "down-time"
Improves capacity for healing
Calms the nervous system
Boosts the immune system
Enhances our mood
Can heal mental and physical symptoms that are stress related
Stimulates the relaxation response in the body and calms the sympathetic nervous system.
You can become so comfortable in your body that you barely notice it. And your mind is so quiet that you feel deeply at peace. You may even fall asleep.
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