Studio Yoga 6 Venture from your beaten path
Restorative Yoga: How & Why It Works
Restorative Yoga induces the relaxation-response and fortifies our nervous and immune systems through
deep rest. The relaxation-response is both a state and a physiological process.
The relaxation-response state is physical, mental and emotional, characterized by reduced agitation,
lower blood pressure, a slower heart rate and a calm, stress-free relaxed feeling. Parasympathetic, or
involuntary nervous system activity associated with this state increases. While Sympathetic, or voluntary
nervous system activity, associated with willful intentions and actions, as well as the fight or flight
response, decreases. The relaxation-response physiological process is the journey our body takes to get
to the relaxation-response state.
With Restorative Yoga practice, we actually train and become skilled in the physiological process of taking
our body to our relaxation-response, just as we train our body and mind to be skilled in any other
Restorative Yoga releases excess tension and stress from within the connective tissue matrix. Ligaments,
tendons and the fascia that surround the muscles make up this web. The connective tissue matrix
supports our vital organs, connects muscles to bones, bones to bones and muscles to muscles. It is
intricately woven throughout our whole body, literally holding it together.
The build-up of excess tension and stresses within the connective tissue matrix adversely affects our
disposition, posture and movement. It leads to a range of feelings: discomfort, tightness, awkwardness,
out of, or off balance and possibly pain. This happens to anyone, regardless of their level of fitness.
Restorative Yoga also improves circulatory function through gravity, which balances the vital organs.
It is important to consider, understand and grasp the immense, intrinsic recuperative value this practice
has for the human body, mind and spirit: to regularly have the space and time of 5 - 15 minutes, or more
to go inward in order to relax our body and mind in a very deep personal way. Restorative Yoga practice
creates this space. The physiologically resting, soothing and recuperative effects of Restorative Yoga on
the nervous system and connective tissue matrix cannot be overstated. This along with the calming affect
it has on the mind makes the practitioner more vibrant in attitude and fresh in thinking and outlook.
Practicing Restorative Yoga contributes to:
- Overall physical, mental and emotional
- Excess tension and stresses within the
connective tissue matrix
- Internal pressure and fight or flight
- Back pain
- High blood pressure
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Recuperation and regeneration skills
- Overall outlook and calm state
- Mental focus, efficiency and information processing
- Energy, steadiness and resilience
- Immune function
- Circulatory function
- Health of vital organs
- Endurance, strength and muscle tone
- Coordination, balance and mobility
- Resistance to injury
The beneficial outcome is accumulative and increases over time with practice. One of the many ways we
characterize it, is that our whole body and mind are refreshed, re-oxygenated and rebalanced. They run
more smoothly, are more nimble, work together better, and our spirit is more buoyant.