Why restorative yoga is great between massages
If you've ever walked out of a massage and felt like a wet noodle, you know how deeply relaxed it can make you. It would be nice to feel that relaxed for a bit every day, but it's unrealistic to find time to fit a massage into your routine on a daily basis. In between massages, you can find deep relaxation through restorative yoga.
What Is Restorative Yoga?
Unlike other forms of yoga, restorative yoga doesn't go through postures quickly or in continuous movement. Instead, with the support of props including bolsters, blocks, straps and sand weights, you are guided through supported postures that are held for an extended period of time, often up to ten minutes. By relaxing your body against the supports, you are stretching, but not using effort to hold the position. This allows your muscles to stretch and relax as you hold the posture.
Why Relaxation Is Important?
There are a variety of health benefits that come from taking time out to de-stress, whether through massage or restorative yoga. These include:
- Lowering blood pressure and reducing stress, making your heart healthier.
- Boosting your immune response, and reducing inflammation down to the cellular level.
- Assisting in memory function.
- Reducing risk of stroke.
- Helping in preventing depression.
- Reducing risks of some cancers
- Lowering cortisol levels, which can lead to obesity if they are too high.
- Stimulating the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
- Improving circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids.
Increase Your Flexibility
Often the reason you need a massage is because your muscles have tightened causing aches, pains and spasms. By doing restorative yoga postures and stretches you lengthen muscle fibers, which makes you less prone to injury. Becoming more flexible is not only beneficial in preventing injury, but also in the aging process. By keeping muscles moving and flexible, you can increase your range of motion, which in turn protects joints and reduces the loss of cartilage.
Having a regular massage can also assist in increasing flexibility. Massage has been proven to stimulate circulation to muscle fibers, helping them recover faster from exercise. By alternating between massage and restorative yoga, you'll get all the benefits of relaxation and love that Jell-O-like feeling!