Restorative yoga is a gentle, therapeutic yoga practice that uses different postures and supportive props in specific sequences to draw our sensory experience “inward”, which allows the body’s own healing capabilities to awaken. Restorative yoga postures are different than more active forms of yoga in that they have a greater influence on the internal organ systems than the superficial muscles. These postures stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the relaxation response. It is through this mechanism that restorative yoga can be so effective for the symptoms of stress, panic, and anxiety, and even pain.
Because restorative yoga is so gentle, it is suitable for virtually everyone and postures can always be modified to adapt to motility issues. Stress is essential to life, however, when stress becomes chronic and dominant, illness eventually sets in. Every single illness can be tied back to stress. Modulating our response to stressful situations is an important step to good overall health, and along with exercise and good nutrition, restorative yoga is an excellent tool in helping us to manage stressful situations with greater clarity and compassion.