Restorative Yoga ~ The Yoga of Empowerment
When you hear the term Restorative Yoga, what comes to mind? Restorative Yoga is often described as a gently practice of long held supported postures, that is good for beginners, good for those with injury or those that need stress relief. The words gentle, nourishing, relaxing are often used to describe this practice and it all very true. A litany of recent studies and
medical research provide evidence of the amazing benefits of this practice. Restorative Yoga reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. It lowers blood pressure and heart rate and reduces muscle tension, insomnia, and generalized fatigue. It has been shown to boost immunity, lower cholesterol and improve digestion.
In addition to these truly amazing physiological benefits, a consistent restorative practice can lead to much more.
Many of us have been conditioned since we were young to value doing, over being. Society encourages achievement and accomplishment often, at any cost. Frequently, we are in a continuous pattern of doing more, wanting more, learning more, of constantly searching, for more. In all that searching and striving, we inadvertently train ourselves to stop listening
to our bodies, our very basic intrinsic knowledge. We override our basic need for proper nourishment and rest, in order to push through to the next important task. We ignore our aches and pains, perceiving them as weakness, instead of opportunities to listen, reconnect, repair. This can lead to injury or over a long period of time a disconnect develops, a disconnect of
mind, body and spirit.
Restorative Yoga provides an opportunity to restore that connection, to check in, to listen deeply. My restorative practice has changed my life, it has empowered me to realize the true expert of my body, is my body. It has taught me to resist the urge to constantly seek outward advice and to turn inward, to seek an inner wisdom that simply needs connection and a path of communication.
Restorative Yoga allows me to find enough stillness to listen to what my body has to say, and an incredible ease and spaciousness has developed in my life.
As with most contemplative practices, restorative yoga does not erase difficulty, it illuminates it. It is not an easy practice, but it is transformative. When the body comes to stillness, our baggage can come to the forefront. Restorative yoga provides an opportunity to assess long held patterns of holding, tension, emotions, energetic blocks and general lack of ease in our body and our minds while our body is relaxed. It allows the student to create the space to choose a different path, to strive less, struggle less and simple BE more. The process of relaxing our body and moving our intention and attention inward, we realize that we already have all of the answers. What could be more empowering?
~ Lisa Jardine