Well I was right about not feeling well today. I was able to sleep extra and didn’t get up till 6:00 am but felt like I hadn’t slept at all. I had intense brain fog but forced myself to walk the dogs cuz I knew I’d feel better moving.
I felt a bit better from moving but still had that cotton head feeling all morning. I decided it would be a relaxing day and I wouldn’t push myself. I did do a little cooking because I needed some things to eat but forced myself not to do too much.
Got a nap in in the afternoon but still felt groggy. I felt like I needed to move because I was getting the liver pressure again but didn’t want to do regular yoga or Pilates. I chose to do restorative yoga which helped a lot.
Restorative yoga is a gentle physical form of yoga that has powerful effects on your body and mind. A restorative yoga sequence usually involves 5-6 poses which are supported by props such as bolsters, straps and blocks. Each pose is held for 5 minutes or more which allows for deep relaxation of the body and mind. The poses typically are done either sitting or lying on the floor and involve light twists, seated forward folds and gentle backbends.
There are many benefits to doing restorative yoga. The slower pace and deep breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. This helps to turn off our perpetual fight or flight response due to our go-go lifestyle. The calming effect on the nervous system comforts our body and mind at the cellular level which is important for overall health and healing.
Restorative yoga encourages mindfulness. The slower movements and longer time of holding poses allow you to experience the breath and physical experiences deeper than in a vinyasa yoga class. The practice allows an awareness of physical sensations, thoughts and emotions or sounds around you in a different way than when you’re fully alert. This is a practice that you can take with you off your mat and into the world. Being more mindful in your day to day life can build a deeper appreciation of life, decrease stress and help us heal.
Restorative yoga is the exact opposite of the “no pain no gain” mentality that other forms of exercise have. It is a very nurturing activity as you release and surrender into each pose instead of forcing your body to do what your brain thinks it should do. This allows you to accept your body and it’s limitations. Restorative yoga is a very nurturing form of exercise. How often are you nurturing your body in daily life? Are we even taught that that’s ok?
I find the most challenging part of restorative yoga to be quieting my mind. Usually the first 2 minutes of my practice is the most challenging. I focus on my breath which helps me to focus. After that I fall into a state between being awake and being asleep but I’m totally aware of everything.
After my practice my body feels more aligned, pains are gone and I feel much calmer. I usually sleep better on the days that I do restorative yoga too. It took my guru some time to convince me to do restorative yoga. I was not convinced that it was exercise. Now it is an essential part of my self care routine that I look forward to.
If you’re interested in trying a restorative yoga class, do a google search in your area or check out an online studio like Yoga Download. They are offering 25% off a 1 year membership thru January.
I’d love to hear about your experience.
Pre breakfast-2 tbsp collagen and colostrum
Breakfast-soup, chicken and acorn squash
Lunch-kabocha squash mixed with applesauce and a little coconut oil, turkey liver muffin
Snack-kaboch apple bites
Dinner-turkey breast, acorn squash and spinach