The Power Yoga Company is introducing new Flow and Restore classes, which will be taking place in our new Shanti practice room every Friday and Sunday starting from this week. Jenn Hepton, who will be teaching the classes, explains the principles of this “Active Relaxation” yoga practice.
There are many benefits to Restorative Yoga including relief from chronic stress and fatigue, reduction of the effects of stress-based diseases, balancing hormones and nervous system, boosting the immune system, calming the mind, alleviating depression, treating infertility and overcoming insomnia.
Restorative yoga is like an “Active Relaxation”. We know that the antidote to stress is relaxation. To relax is to rest deeply. This rest is different from sleep. Deep states of sleep include periods of dreaming which increase muscular tension. Relaxation is a state is which there is no movement, no effort and the brain is quiet. In restorative yoga when we place the body in comfortable positions, we also bring gentle attention towards the breath. This allows for the body to fully relax. The body and mind are connected (psychoneuroimmunology) and daily periods of relaxation are essential in allowing the body to keep healthy and strong. “The divisions of our central nervous system (sympathetic & parasympathetic) condition the equilibrium of our body. It is the balance and regulation of these, that governs our health.” (Joseph Levry)
During a restorative yoga practice, we place the body in comfortable supported positions with the use of props and thus consciously shifting the body into a Relaxation Response, a physiological state characterized by a slower heart rate and breathing rate, lower blood pressure and slower brain wave patterns. This allows for the central nervous system to relax, and for the body to heal as it inherently releases layers of tension that we hold. When this shift from the ‘being’ to the ‘receptive’ occurs, we surrender the intelligence of the body. We let go, consciously and unconsciously so that our body is able to restore back to health. Taking the time out each day, to relax and renew is essential to our living well.