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Restorative Yoga Calms the Mind and the Body

Restorative Yoga Calms the Mind and the Body

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Mary Oliver

In this fast-paced world, our minds move fast, too. It’s easy to become overstimulated and our nervous system takes a beating. We become overwhelmed, tired and have racing thoughts. We tend to become ill more often.

Restorative yoga is a form of yoga that seeks to achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation with the aid of props. Props such as bolsters, blankets, chairs, and blocks make it easier to maintain balance, be fully supported, and relax completely. Poses are held for five to ten minutes giving  time to settle into complete relaxation. As we relax, tension and tightness melt away.

The beauty of Restorative Yoga is that there is no muscular contraction involved. We often believe we have to “work” to increase flexibility, but we may achieve more opening in the body by softening and relaxing then through striving. During a Restorative Yoga sequence you still stretch, but you relax fully into the stretch, so that tension is released.

Because the body and mind relax, literally becoming softer, we also create space to get in touch again with our natural qualities of compassion and understanding of others and self.

Potential Restorative Yoga benefits are: enhanced flexibility, deep relaxation, improved sleep, reduced anxiety and perceived stress, a balanced nervous system, improved capacity for healing, boosted immune system, and enhanced mood states.


Practicing Restorative Yoga balances a fast lifestyle and has an enormous capacity to heal physical and mental symptoms that are stress related.  Today we know that many diseases are stress related.

Remember how you feel when you’ve been on vacation for a while and you’ve had time to unwind and let go of the fast pace of life?

Remember that feeling of being truly relaxed? Feeling so at ease in your own skin that you hardly notice your physical body?

Restorative Yoga allows you to take a vacation from daily pressures, unwind, and feel renewed, refreshed, and at peace with what is.

©Jo Kirsch, E-RYT 500, June, 2014

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