What is Restorative Yoga?

 

When you think of yoga, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You probably get the image of people doing crazy handstands and bending themselves into unbelievable shapes.

What most people don’t realize is that there are many different types of yoga and they can vary greatly. One type of yoga that you may not have heard of before is restorative yoga.

What is Restorative Yoga?

Restorative yoga is the most relaxing and calming style out there. It is based entirely around getting you as comfortable as humanly possible so that your body can restore itself. It involves lots of pillows/bolsters, straps, blocks, blankets and such to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible. You can expect poses to be held for 10 or more minutes at a time.

 

Your Sympathetic Nervous System

The human body is an incredible thing but it slows down on its efficiency when it is under stress. When you are under stress your sympathetic nervous system kicks in. Your sympathetic nervous system is your “fight or flight” reaction. It is what keeps you safe and it is supposed to be held for short amounts of time when you need the extra bit of energy to escape a lion or tiger in the wild.

Things are a little different now and you are under stress a lot more frequently and for a lot more time. Driving, work, school, bills, health and more are all potential stressors.

When your body is in “fight or flight” it cannot function properly. It shuts out your parasympathetic nervous system so your body is stuck in danger mode.

 

Your Parasympathetic Nervous System

Your parasympathetic nervous system is your “rest and digest” or “feed and breed” response. This is the state that you need to be in for your body to regulate itself and function properly. Like I said in the other section, your parasympathetic nervous system cannot function at the same time as your sympathetic nervous system.

That means that when you are under stress, you really are just under stress and your body is focusing on not dying instead of focusing on functioning properly.

How Does Restorative Yoga Help This?

Restorative yoga gets your comfortable and relaxed physically. When you are relaxed physically it is easier for you to relax mentally as well. The goal with restorative yoga is to help relieve you from your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and allow your parasympathetic nervous system to come through and work it’s magic.

 

What to Expect from a Restorative Yoga Class

You can expect comfort, soothing music, warmth, and sometimes some sort of guided meditation or just positive and inspiring words from your instructor. There is no muscle engagement in the poses and there is no tension (stretching) either. It is very easy to fall asleep actually but try to stay awake and just enjoy the calm and comforting experience of just relaxing.

 

Who is Restorative Yoga For?

Restorative yoga is great for everyone. It is beginner friendly and has amazing benefits for just about everyone.

Restorative yoga really is quite a unique experience. Call your local yoga studio today to see if they offer any restorative classes. It just might be your new favorite class!

4 Diet Trends That Are Ruling 2017

A healthy lifestyle is a balance of working out and a healthy diet. There are many diets out there, but some have been taking over social media in 2017. If you are looking for a new diet, here are the four most popular diets so far this year.

1. Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism can be both a diet and a lifestyle choice. In the past few years, we have seen an increasing amount of vegetarians and vegans worldwide. This is not only due to animal welfare concerns, but to ethical and environment concerns also. Vegetarianism and veganism can be healthy, but only if you balance your diet and nutrient levels, which is key to all good diets. There are also increasing vegetarian and vegan options now available at stores and restaurants.

2. Gluten-Free

Gluten-free diets have grown rapidly in the last few years, and it looks like these diets are going to stick around. Gluten is found in grains and is a type of protein which makes dough elastic and bread fluffy. While celiac disease is not on the rise, more people are concerned about gluten and have stopped eating it. Gluten has been found to cause bloating in many people. Many supermarkets have started to stock a wide range of gluten-free options. You can also make your own gluten-free foods at home.

3. Low Carb

The low carb diet comes back every few years; however, no carb diets have been the more popular option in the last few years. The low carb diet looks like it started in 1972 when the Atkins’ Diet was released. It is still popular worldwide.

However, we have seen major changes to the low carb diet. Many people who are on low carb diets are cutting out just the processed carbs this time. This is the healthier option because carbs can be important for the body at times. This diet is about balance and understanding the nutrients that your body needs.

4. Dairy Free Diet

Along with the increase of vegetarianism and veganism, more people are moving away from milk and other dairy products. According to a recent study by The Physicians Committee, around 75 percent of people become lactose intolerant. However, the amount that the intolerance will affect a person depends on their genes and their digestive system. Bloating and gas after eating milk and dairy products are common issues that people have, but the symptoms can be much worse.

With more people being aware of the signs of lactose intolerance and how the dairy industry works, we have seen more people remove dairy from their diet. The increasing amount of options for dairy free milk like soy and almond milk and other products has made it easier than ever before to make the switch to a dairy free diet.

Diet trends come and go, but there are some that stick around for a long time. There are many diet trends that are dangerous, so you should always be careful when you are trying out new diets. The same is true when you are trying new yoga positions and workouts. If you are planning a huge diet change, you should speak with your doctor before making the switch to your new diet.