Restorative Asanas & Pranayama

It is extremely important not to neglect the restorative poses, as they give both the physical body and the subtle body a chance to recover. Students and teachers of yoga ought to allow themselves regular periods of an exclusively restorative practice to help regulate their hormonal balance.

To be effective, the restorative poses require an attitude of receptivity and surrender.  Will power plays no part in their practice.

At a first glance these poses may not look dramatic or challenging.  But each pose is deeply therapeutic and helps to release tension and restore energy.  These poses are powerfully nurturing, in part because they can be held for longer than most other postures, because the body is supported.  They cool an agitated brain, reduce elevated blood pressure, rest the nervous system, and enable the immune and endocrine systems to function more efficiently.

“The antidote to stress is relaxation.  To relax is to rest deeply. This rest is completely different form sleep.  Deep states of sleep include periods of dreaming, which increase muscular tension, as well as other physiological signs of tension.  Relaxation is a state in which there is no movement, no effort, and the brain is quiet.
Restorative yoga poses are often referred to as active relaxation.  By supporting the body with various props, the student can alternately stimulate and relax the body towards balance.” Judith Lasater, PH.D, P.T.