The main focus of Restorative Yoga is to achieve mental, physical and emotional relaxation. Here, we relax in poses for longer periods of time, with the aid of props and without any strain. Restorative yoga helps us reconnect with our Parasympathetic Nervous System, the “rest and restore” part of the Autonomic Nervous System. It also strengthens our ability to move between states of stress and rest with more ease.
Restorative Yoga: Engage Your Vagus Nerve
Think of the vagus nerve as a highway that runs from your brainstem down, connecting many important organs in your body. It is a significant part of the autonomous nervous system, which means it influences things you don’t even think about – your breathing, heart rate and digestive function. It also plays a part in how you detect and modulate inflammation – a.k.a. feel pain.
Benefits of Restorative Yoga for Seniors
Appropriate for all levels, restorative yoga is practiced at a slow pace, focusing on long holds, stillness, and deep breathing. In addition to relaxing your mind, studies have shown that restorative yoga can improve sleep and help reduce chronic pain.
Props Needed for Restorative Practices
- a quiet space
- yoga strap
- 2 yoga blocks
- 2 blankets
- sturdy chair
- eye pillow (optional, but very nice!)
Don’t have some of these items? No worries — you can use substitutes from around your house:
• stack of books or magazines in place of blocks
• towels to replace blankets
• pillows, throw pillows, or couch cushions instead of bolsters
• any chair will do, but you can also use the couch
Now, get ready to relax…..