The 10 Benefits of Restorative Yoga
“In an increasingly chaotic world, restorative yoga can be the calm in your storm,” says Brandyce Stephenson, a yoga instructor and corporate wellness consultant. “The practice restores your whole being—mind, body and spirit.”
Restorative yoga is good for the whole person, agrees Sonya Zappone, a registered yoga teacher. “By consciously stopping your body, your brain slows down, too. It can be a great meditation practice.”
Here are 10 good reasons to enjoy restorative yoga.
1. Reduce anxiety
The deep relaxed state you attain during restorative yoga allows you to physically release accumulated stress and anxiety in the form of tight muscles and a busy mind. You’ll leave the yoga session feeling calm and peaceful.
2. Manage pain
If you live with chronic or intermittent pain, restorative yoga can help you relax your muscles so that pain may be relieved. The more often you practice, the more likely you are to reduce pain.
3. Lose weight
A 2013 study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and completed by the University of California, San Diego found that restorative yoga helped overweight women trim subcutaneous fat. One explanation was that restorative yoga might reduce cortisol levels. This stress hormone rises when a person becomes anxious and has been found to result in more abdominal fat.
4. Increase flexibility
The prolonged poses of restorative yoga enable you to release the tensions your body holds. This can make you more limber and flexible.
5. Heal emotional pain
Restorative yoga is a meditative experience that may result in some soul-searching. “In addition to getting deep into the muscles, restorative yoga gets deep into the emotions,” says Zappone. “When your mind slows down, you may start to feel various emotions.”
6. Get better sleep
Some restorative yoga practitioners find that the relaxing effects of this type of yoga help them to get better sleep.
7. Practice just about anywhere
Restorative yoga can be done wherever you can comfortably lie down. If you don’t have any props available, you can use items like pillows and blankets.
8. Helps with recovery from illness
Restorative yoga is one of the only types of “exercises” that won’t strain you if you’re ill. In fact, this type of yoga’s deep relaxation effects can facilitate faster healing.
9. Easy to do
Restorative yoga simply requires that you ease into poses and make adjustments as needed. There’s very little to no straining involved.
10. Good self-care
“Restorative yoga provides you with sacred ‘you’ time,” says Zappone. “This is a great way to put yourself first.”