[dropcap]Try this: Close your eyes. Inhale deeply and exhale completely. Slow your breathing counting to five on the inhale and five on the exhale. Focus on your breath as you continue to be still for a few minutes.[/dropcap]
It’s hard, right?!
Being completely still is something we don’t often do. If we’re not busy and running around, our minds are cluttered with the thought of the next thing that has to be done.
Total relaxation is difficult to come by, but it’s more important than you may realize. Relaxation has been linked to lowering your risk of a stroke and depression. To help bring calmness to your daily routine, consider taking up the practice of restorative yoga.
Restorative yoga is not like Vinyasa yoga, which you may be used to. With Vinyasa yoga you are moving and flowing quickly from pose to pose, but with restorative yoga you relax more deeply and change poses less frequently. Restorative yoga really focuses on holding light stretches for longer durations, which are often supported by props like bolsters and blocks.
Bring restorative yoga to your routine any time of the day and see how it affects your mood.
If you’re an early riser and like to get a little wellness in to your morning, start your day off with yoga. This is a great way to bring yourself a boost of energy and get your blood flowing after being inactive while sleeping.
A few poses that are great in the morning are gentle twists and back bends. Be sure to breathe deeply as you hold each position for a few minutes. As you normally would with yoga, end your morning practice in Savasana or corpse pose and let your mind be completely still as you prepare yourself for the day ahead.
If waking up bright and early isn’t your thing, try practicing yoga at night. After all, restorative yoga can help you achieve a deeper sleep. In the evenings, be sure to try poses that won’t bring you too much energy. Practice forward bends like child’s pose and really concentrate on breathing deeply. Again, wrap up your routine in Savasana allowing yourself to relax as deeply as possible.
Morning or night, find a time that feels best for you and make restorative yoga part of your routine – your body and mind will thank you.