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Restorative Yoga for Stress

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Restorative yoga has been used for thousands of years to help relieve stress and achieve deep relaxation. Whether used in conjunction with active yoga poses or alone, deep meditation through yoga has many benefits. Keep reading to learn more about restorative yoga and how it can help you deal with chronic stress.

What is Restorative Yoga?

Restorative yoga is a type of yoga that incorporates restful postures to help unwind and distress the body. These postures are often augmented with the help of props that support the body for optimal relaxation. Common props used for restorative yoga include yoga blocks, chairs and yoga straps.

In a restorative yoga class (sometimes called a Yin yoga class), each pose is held longer than traditional active poses – typically between three and five minutes. In many cases, restorative yoga poses are the same ones that you will encounter in a more active yoga class. However, the addition of props and the longer length of each pose help modify the focus for optimum stress relief.

Benefits of Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga poses have been found to positively affect the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS is the system that helps bring balance within the body. It is directly linked to blood pressure, heart rate and other factors that affect mood and stress. An inefficient or neglected PNS is also believed to increase the chances for illness. As such, partaking in routine restorative yoga sessions can dramatically improve not only your mental health, but physical health as well.

Restorative yoga is also gentle enough to be enjoyed by people of all ages and levels of health. The props used in restorative yoga are designed to minimize strain on muscles and ligaments so maximum enjoyment and relaxation can be achieved.

Starting a Restorative Yoga Routine

When beginning a restorative yoga routine, it is recommended you start by gaining pose instruction from an experienced yoga instructor. This is because proper posture and pose layout is important for minimizing risk of injury and maximizing level of relaxation. A beginner's yoga class can help you learn a variety of stress-relief yoga poses so that you can incorporate them into your everyday life. Additionally, yoga classes typically offer all the props necessary for restorative yoga, meaning you won't have to go out and spend money on yoga blocks and other important resources.

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