Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Restorative Yoga

Well, my mom roped me into Restorative Yoga. She's done it a couple of times and swears that it feels like a deep tissue massage. I was confused by the whole concept. Like, "am I getting a deep tissue massage?" "Is the instructor going to touch me?" "What exactly am I going to be doing?" Y'all know I love some Pilates and believe that my core strength has come primarily from Pilates and that Pilates has helped my running tremendously. So I'm always a little skeptical to try something new.

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Okay, so basically I'm copying and pasting from about Restorative Yoga mainly because before a couple of weeks ago, I didn't have the slightest clue about what I was getting myself into.

So what is Restorative yoga? "Restorative yoga is a form of yoga that seeks to achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation with the aid of props. The use of props makes it easier for you to maintain balance while you are stimulating and relaxing your body. While some restorative yoga poses are beneficial to the entire body, others target specific parts of the body, such as the heart or the lungs."

"Restorative yoga provides healing for the body and the mind. It is especially useful when you need to eliminate fatigue and stress that result from your daily activities. It can also help you recover from illness and injury or overcome emotional depression and anxiety that are caused by traumatic events such as divorce, loss of job and death of a beloved."

"It is known that restorative yoga can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which enables automatic control of the body. As such, the regular nervous system will be at rest, and the muscles will become more relaxed. Constant practice of restorative yoga will make your body less vulnerable to stress-related illnesses and help you achieve optimal health."

In restorative yoga, you stay in poses for 10 to 15 minutes with the help of some props (blankets, pillow, sand bags and eye bags. Some of the poses you may do are putting your legs against the wall, child's pose, a reclining bound angle and a relaxation pose.

The point of each pose is that you are to mentally get away and let your body relax. If you are tight in certain areas, you will feel certain poses more, but ultimately you will feel restored and relaxed in the end.

I have a hard time sitting still for a long time, but I really did enjoy the quietness of restorative yoga. I don't think it felt like a deep tissue massage, but I do think it was good for me mentally and physically. I would probably do it before race to really feel prepared.

I think overall it is something that I would recommend to someone that needs to destress or be quiet.


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