It was Friday after a long week. I was exhausted but recently I signed up for trial yoga membership to practice more "self-help". So I checked on schedule and found a late-night restorative yoga class that promised I felt "balanced, rested and sublime". Yes, please I thought as I grabbed my mat and hurried through the cold into the warehouse-like studio: two blocks, a solid pillow-like thing called a pad, and two blankets. I dragged this cargo into the dark room, put it all down and was ready to be restored. I could not wait to feel balanced, rested and lifted ̵
When the class started, we went slowly through some track-like positions and then set ourselves on the path restful pose. I followed the instructions and placed the cushion pillow under my stomach while I was in childish pose. The teacher instructed us to turn our heads to the right and place them on the surface. Great. Done
Then I waited. And waited. And waited. After an apparent eternity (19459004), we were instructed to turn our heads to the left and … to lay it on the surface.
My mind broke out. Would you kid me ?
If I knew that I was running in the cold just to lie down on a pillow and turn my head every 10 minutes, I'd have gone to bed early! After the 75-minute lesson, I stormed home, and that's what I did (… and slept like a baby).
I did not think back then that my childish slumber could have been a positive side effect of the class, but I was curious why anyone should pay for a 75-minute group snooze money. So I decided to research and talk to people who are fans of the practice.
Restorative yoga was first developed to help people heal from injury, illness or burnout by keeping specific poses for longer periods of time (5-20) minutes compared to a traditional yoga class. Some say it is the most advanced yoga practice because it is difficult to achieve conscious relaxation. It's just a matter of passing "." Uh, now what ? " I was fixated in this first grade and learned to achieve a state of active relaxation.
OK, great. But could not I just take an hour-long nap?
Elian Zach, a yoga teacher and founder of the Woom Center in New York, believes that Naps and Yoga both are both useful tools for self-help, but they are not interchangeable. "If restorative yoga is done right, it can provide a deeper rest than sleep, which is almost synonymous with REM sleep, but when we sleep, we dream and feel anxiety, it's not necessarily a good time for recovery. "
Eileen Goddard, a restful yoga teacher at Yoga Vida in NYC, lights up all the equipment. "In order to fully relax, we need to feel physically and mentally supported, and we support restorative yoga, especially at the joints, to give the body that experience of full support." Goddard adds that another important pillar is the presence of the teacher, which provides another level of support.
And the studio atmosphere itself can make or break a good restful yoga session. "The environment must exude a personality that is calming and calming," says Zach, adding that the Woom Center has it all, from a 3D sound system and instruments with overtone effects to three unique aromatic combinations, alchemist Michelle Gagnon has developed students have a rest. (What, whoa.)
This all sounds a little better than a nap – but what are the real benefits of this kind of self-sufficiency?
Yogis who regularly (at least once) practice yoga week) report feeling more focused and better sleep after class.
"The biggest benefit of practicing restorative yoga is the possibility that your nervous system switches from the stress response" fight or flight "to" rest and digestion "" relaxation response, "says Goddard. Other reported benefits include improved pain management , Anxiety and depression, as well as lower blood sugar and even weight loss.
A study by the American Diabetes Association observed a focus group of obese women who practiced restorative yoga for 48 weeks and a group who were stretching during the same period They found that those who practiced restorative yoga had lost a significant amount of subcutaneous fat during the six-month program compared to those in the stretch group and that the same women continued to work during the maintenance period after the end of the program The study is distressing This is the focus of practice on relaxation and stress reduction, resulting in a decrease in cortisol (the hormone that we blame for belly fat).
Log in! Restorative yoga for life! I have found self-help now!
I will not remove Pilates and cycling lessons from my schedule so soon – one can not simply replace the regular exercise with Restorative Yoga. Instead, even the study found that restorative yoga is a "complementary, ancient practice" that should be used in regular exercises in the training .
So intensive training, restorative yoga class or just a nap? Why not all three. "There is room for high intensity courses," says Zach. "There's a time to share with others, and another to sit in front of the TV and eat vegetables alone, sometimes that's fine, but sometimes you want to find self-sufficiency in a bigger way." Restoration Yoga is not lazy – it's a lazy proactive act of self-care. "
EJ Johnson is a Brooklyn-based comedy writer and performance artist. If you like pictures of sparkling things, you can follow her @ ej.sunshine on Instagram.